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Posts from ‘September, 2008’

So Teach Us to Number Our Days…


Earlier this week I posted the obituary of my former German professor, colleague and friend, Edith Long. Today I am shocked to have to tell you about the death of her son Paul on the way home from his mom's funeral. I am saddened beyond words.

With all the news coverage of Hurricane Ike yesterday and today, what would have been a huge news story - the horrible train crash in the Los Angeles area - has been pushed to the background. Paul, Karen, and Devin Long flew back home yesterday (Friday) after several days with Paul's family here in Greenville. Paul told me after the graveside service that he was dreading having to connect through Dallas with all the news about the storm expected to go through there. As far as I know, they got through Dallas fine. However, our Lord had it in His plan that they would be aboard the Metrolink commuter train involved in yesterday's collision. Karen and Devin each suffered minor injuries, but Paul suffered severe head trauma that resulted in his death this afternoon. Paul's sister Gail sent me a link this afternoon to an article in the NY Times about the crash. Paul's son Devin was interviewed shortly after the accident yesterday and quoted in the article. I put the link further down in this blog post, but the article has changed in the last hour, maybe with the news of Paul's death. Here's what was in the original article:

"Witnesses described a scene of instant terror. Devin Long, 16, was sitting in the middle car with his parents when the trains collided. "There was a great big jerk," he said. "I heard what sounded like a bunch of cars colliding, like a multicar crash. Both my parents went flying. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor between the exit doors." Mr. Long was thrown from his seat, but remained conscious.

His father, Paul Long, 56, lay unconscious but breathing by the stairwell to the second level of the double-decker car. His mother, Karen Long, 55, was injured but alert, he said. “When I saw the condition Dad was in, I sort of freaked out,” he said. “Mom was trying to communicate with Dad. I turned around and saw all the seat cushions tossed about the car. There was blood everywhere. People had cuts on their heads and faces, legs; they had many injuries.”

You may read whatever form the article now has by clicking here.

Paul was three years behind me in college, but through his mom, he and I got to know each other while I was in college and he was still in high school. We shared a very similar sense of humor. Paul was a long-time reader of my e-mails and my blog, and he sent me quite a bit of humor and even some more reflective types of things. Whenever he and his family came to Greenville to visit, we would have lunch together.

Please pray for his wife Karen and son Devin, as well as Paul's three siblings and their families. They have not even had time to begin to process Edith's homegoing and are in total shock about Paul's sudden departure for heaven. We're all reeling from the shocking suddenness of this all, but we're comforted by the knowledge that our Lord has not lost control - this was all in His loving plan for us all.

Today, I'm going to post the last thing my friend Paul sent to me. At the beginning of his e-mail he said, "Unfortunately, I remember most of these!"

Things you don't hear anymore...

Be sure to refill the ice trays - we're going to have company after while.

Watch for the postman - I want to get this letter to Aunt Mary in the mail today.

Quit slamming the screen door when you are on your way out!

Put a dish towel over the cake so the flies won't get on it.

You boys stay close by - the car may not start and I will need you to help push it off.

There's a dollar in my purse. Get 5 gallons of gas when you go to town.

It's getting hot. Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here.

Don't forget to wind the clock before you go to bed.

Why can't you remember to roll up your pant legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up.

You have torn the knees out of that pair of pants so many times there is nothing left to put a patch on.

Don't you go outside with your good school clothes on!

Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle.

If you pull that stunt again, I'm going to wear you out!

Get out from under the sewing machine; bumping it messes up the thread!

That dog is NOT coming in this house! I don't care how cold it is out there, dogs just don't come in the house.

Wash your feet before you go to bed. They are nasty from playing outside all day barefooted.

Take that empty bottle to the store with you so you won't have to pay a deposit on another one.

Quit jumping on the floor! I have a cake in the oven and you are going to make it fall if you don't quit!

Let me know when the Fuller Brush man comes by - I need to get a few things from him.

You can walk to the store; it won't hurt you to get some exercise.

Don't sit too close to the TV. It's hard on your eyes.

Go out to the well and draw a bucket of water so I can wash dishes.

It is time for your system to get cleaned out. I am going to give you a dose of castor oil tonight.

If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you'll get another one when you get home.

Quit crossing your eyes! They will get stuck that way!

quotation...

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

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


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Are You a Motivator or a Demotivator?


A few weeks ago I did a post about motivation that generated some good discussion. People shared what has motivated them and what they've done to motivate others.

A number of people have told me how much enjoyed the posters in that blog post. Just recently I have learned about a tool at despair.com that allows you to upload a picture and give it a title and motivational text of your own. Here are some that I generated myself, using pictures I had in my files and their online utility:

picture of one of my posters

picture of one of my posters

picture of one of my posters

picture of one of my posters

picture of one of my posters

Here's one I made by combining a picture I found somewhere online with a t-shirt slogan that a reader added in a comment to a blog post of mine back in July:

picture of one of my posters

Before I give the link to this online utility, though, I'd like to caution my readers to use it with great discretion. It would be extremely easy to be a source of huge discouragement to someone by thoughtlessly wedding image and text that could really hurt someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Words are very powerful things. The Bible tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue…. (Proverbs 18:21) Quite literally through our words we can cause others to want to live life to the fullest or even to want to die. That's a sobering concept for someone like me whose life is filled with the dispensing of words - in the classroom, in personal interactions, and on this blog.

With that said, I'll now give you the link – http://diy.despair.com/motivator.php

Here's a fun one that I did with a picture of Grandma and me with our grandson Drew:

picture of one of my posters

He turned 18 months old on Tuesday of this week, and we really do miss him a lot. We have a rendez-vous planned with Meg, Jim, and Drew in Cincinnati one weekend this fall, and we can't wait to see their whole family! Our daughter Nora will be flying up this weekend to spend the next week with them to help Megan celebrate her 30th birthday on September 17. If you'd like to send Megan birthday greetings and/or bits of wisdom as she reaches this milestone (millstone?), you may do it through the comments on this post.

Congratulations to a large number of my readers who correctly solved Einstein's puzzle! His assertion that only 2% of people could solve was made without knowing the caliber of readers of ivman's blague! You all have far exceeded his figures! Bravo!

quotation...

"Proverbs presents godliness in working clothes." - unknown

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning, and nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day.


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Frau Edith S. Long


Frau Long's obituary was published this morning in the Greenville News as well as on the Mackey Mortuary site. I'm sorry that there was no picture to share with you. Since both obits read the same, I will post it below. On the Mackey site, there is the possibility to sign the guest book with your thoughts about Edith for her family to read. You can do so by clicking here.

Edith S. Long
January 10, 1930 - September 07, 2008

Edith Suendermann Long, 78, went home to her Lord Sunday, September 7, 2008.

Born January 10, 1930 in Czechoslovakia, she was the daughter of the late Eduard and Julie Kolbaba Suendermann. She became an American Citizen in 1955.

She was a retired Professor of German from Bob Jones University.

Mrs. Long was a member of Morningside Baptist Church.

She was predeceased by her husband, Carroll Bolt Long and a grandchild, Brittany Leigh Nicholas.

Surviving are two daughters, Gail Nicholas and Jane Hewitt; two sons, Paul S. Long and Carl E. Long and their spouses and eight grandchildren.

Services will be conducted Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 4 PM at The Mackey Mortuary with Pastor Tony Miller and Dr. David Yearick officiating. Interment will follow in Graceland East Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends Tuesday from 7pm until 8:30pm at the mortuary.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to German Speaking Missions c/o Gospel Fellowship Association Missions, 1809 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29609.

Obituaries and online registry at www.mackeymortuary.com

The Mackey Mortuary, 311 Century Drive, Greenville, SC


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German-Born Americans


Several German-born Americans, Dr. Guenter Salter and Mrs. Edith Long, have had a large influence in my life. They were my main German professors at BJU. Dr. Salter passed away a few years ago, and Frau Long passed away yesterday, September 7. Frau Long was like another mom to me during my undergrad studies, and since 1984 she has been my colleague and my friend. It's been very hard to see her difficult battle with dementia for the past several years. Whenever I would visit her, I usually sensed that she knew that she knew me and that she enjoyed our visits. She tried so hard to communicate with me, but it was a mishmash of German, English, and gibberish. At the end of one of my last visits with her, she said to me clearly, "Thank you. Bye-bye." I will post her picture and obit later this week, once it's published. Visitation will be Tuesday evening from 7:00-8:30 at Mackey Mortuary, and the funeral will be at 4:00 Wednesday afternoon at Mackey. I will miss her, but I'm glad that she's released from the bondage she's endured and that she's enjoying unclouded communion with our Lord.

picture of Einstein in 1921

Today's instant vacation is something originally written by a German-born American who is well-known worldwide, Albert Einstein. On the right is a picture of him taken in 1921.

Einstein's Problem

Albert Einstein wrote the following problem. I am passing it on as Einstein wrote it.

Facts:
1. There are 5 houses (along the street) in 5 different colors: blue, green, red, white, and yellow.
2. In each house lives a person of a different nationality: Brit, Dane, German, Norwegian, and Swede.
3. These 5 owners drink a certain beverage: beer, coffee, milk, tea, and water; smoke a certain brand: Blends, Blue Master, Dunhill, Pall Mall, and Prince; and keep a certain pet: bird, cat, dog, fish, and horse.
4. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand, or drink the same beverage.

The question is: " Who owns the fish?" (The fish is not mentioned in any of the 15 clues, so you have to figure everything else out first.)

Clues:
1. The Brit lives in the red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The green house is on the left of the white house.
5. The green house's owner drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8. The man living in the center house drinks milk.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11. The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12. The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

picture of Einstein sticking his tongue out

NOTE: Albert Einstein said that 98% of the world couldn't solve his puzzle. Can you do it? Pay close attention to all the clues and use your powers of logic to figure out "who owns the fish." The picture of an older Einstein on the right seems almost like an appropriate taunt from him as people try to solve his puzzle.

You will definitely have to revisit some of the clues several times. A clue that seems to give you no information at first will prove to be useful later on, after the possibilities have been narrowed down. For example, the first clue, that the Brit lives in the red house, wasn't useful until you learned from the ninth clue that he doesn't live in the first house.

I drew a grid like the one below to write in the things of which I was certain until I finally arrived at the answer. I've done a couple of the totally obviously answers – from clues 8 and 9 – to get you started. When you figure out the answer, post it in the comments.

picture of puzzle grid

quotation...

"All the devil's apples have worms in them. Don't bite." - Hal Webb

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob, who's ready for some fall weather!

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


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9 Rules


picture of the 9rules leaf

Yesterday 9rules posted the list of sites newly accepted into their network of blogs. To use the latest media buzzword, ivman's blague has been vetted! (For those who, like me, have been wondering what in the world that means, vet = to appraise, verify, or check for accuracy, authenticity, validity, etc.)

A while back I randomly found 9rules online and tried to figure out what exactly it was. Here’s what 9rules has to say about themselves — "9rules is a place where members and readers can connect, build relationships, and learn new things."

9rules started in 2003 with a set of 9 rules:

1. Love what you do.
2. Never stop learning.
3. Form works with function.
4. Simple is beautiful.
5. Work hard, play hard.
6. You get what you pay for.
7. When you talk, we listen.
8. Must constantly improve.
9. Respect your inspiration.

Since I knew I could abide by those rules, I clicked on the link “How Do I Join” and submitted my blog for their review. And now my blog has been accepted into their community. I'm vetted! (I'm trying to use that word as often as the media is this week - particularly in connection with Sarah Palin, but I know I'm failing miserably, not wanting to use it in every other sentence…).

I'm truly amazed to be included in a group of blogs with, as the 9rules header puts it, "The best content from the independent web." One of the benefits to my blog is exposure to a very large audience. I'm pleased that more people will find out that my blog is a source for good, clean humor. Some of my readers may also find some blogs in the 9rules community that are of interest or use to them; however I hasten to add that there will certainly be some blogs that are not at all to their liking — caveat lector!

In honor of this momentous event, I am publishing "The Rules" - both the women's version and the men's version. I have boiled each of the lists down to just 9 rules. 😎

The Rules (from the female perspective)

1. The Female always makes The Rules. The Rules are subject to change at any time without prior notification … by the Female.

2. No Male can possibly know all The Rules. If the Female suspects the Male knows all The Rules, she must immediately change some or all of The Rules.

3. The Female is never wrong. If it appears that the Female is wrong, it is because of a misunderstanding caused by something the Male did or said wrong, for which the Male must immediately apologize.

4. The Female may change her mind at any time. The Male must never change his mind without the express written consent of the Female.

5. The Female has every right to be angry or upset at any time. The Male, however, must remain calm at all times, unless the Female wants him to be angry or upset.

6. The Female must, under no circumstances, let the Male know what's on her mind or whether she wants him to be angry or upset. The Male is expected to mind read at all times.

7. Any attempt to document The Rules could result in undesirable consequences. (Uh-oh … I'm toast!)

8. If the Male, at any time, believes he is right, he must refer to Rule #3.

9. The Female always gets the last word. The Male may get the last word, only if it's "Yes, Dear."

The Rules (from the male perspective)

(You will notice that all The Rules are numbered "one" — they are all of equal importance.)

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about your leaving it down.

1. Men = sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Concerning communication: Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials. Ask for exactly what you want. Let's clarify that: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it! Furthermore, "Yes" and "No" are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. If we ask you what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We assume you're telling the truth. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear. For example, if you think you're fat, you probably are. So don't ask us.

1. Concerning problems and projects: Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, it would be best for you to do it yourself.

1. Concerning what we say: Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. Concerning what you wear: You have enough clothes and you have too many shoes. Most men own three pairs of shoes – tops. What makes you think we would be any good at choosing which pair, out of forty, would look good with your dress? When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.

1. Concerning how we see things: Men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what taupe is, let alone that there are shades of taupe! Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. Concerning what we do and don't do: If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that. We do not remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar and remind us frequently beforehand. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. Crying is blackmail.

Now who said that we men are not communicators?! Look at the length of our Rules!

quotation...

"It's not just our prayers and our hymns that declare the glory of God, but it's also our work that declares His glory." - Dr. Bryan Smith

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Is there an exception to the rule that states, "There is an exception to every rule"?


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