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Posts from ‘September, 2009’

Don’t Mess with Seniors!


picture of old swinger

I never thought I'd be a "swinger" in my old age. But this past weekend, I was a swinger, of sorts. As I related in my last post, my son and I joined over 100 other men from our church to go to the Wilds for a men's retreat. It was a wonderful weekend, in spite of the rain. The messages we heard from Dr. Dick Stratton were super and the fellowship was great. Because of the rain and mud, Mark and I weren't really tempted to do the hike to the second falls, opting to play some indoor games instead.

In the afternoon, however, we enjoyed some outdoor activities in some light drizzle. We started off with the Land Trolley, then the Giant Swing, then 18 holes of miniature golf before heading inside for some Foosball and air hockey. Shortly after we went inside, the drizzle became the torrents that continued the rest of our time there and on our drive home after dinner.

Here are several pictures of us doing the Giant Swing. We were "suited up" first.
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Seeing The Forest for More than the Trees


picture of autumn beauty

There are not many things I enjoy more than being in the woods of Western North Carolina in the fall. Becka and I go up there several times each fall, just for the day. If you're a long time iv reader, you know that I try to go camping up in that area one weekend each fall with my son Mark and with my friend Phil and his sons. This year our various schedules just don't mesh. Read about last year's adventure in my post called Camping Tips. This year instead of going camping, Mark and I will be going to a men's retreat at the Wilds this weekend. I'll tell more about it at the end of this post.

As I look forward to this weekend, I decided to post some humor from our nation's Forest Service personnel and rangers. What follows is comments and questions from visitors.

Forest Service Complaints
This list circulated for a while among Forest Service employees. These are supposedly actual comments on Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:

"A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call."

"Escalators would help on steep, uphill sections."

"Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness."

"Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands."
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Redneck Boats


With summer officially ending this week and the arrival of much-welcomed autumnal temperatures and colors, people living in colder climes have either already removed their boats from the water or will probably be doing so soon. One of my younger readers (Hi Ben!) asked me this past week to put out some more redneck pictures. With those two thoughts in mind, I decided this might be a good time to do a post on rednecks boats. In earlier posts I've shown examples of just how much ingenuity and imagination there is among rednecks.

Rednecks Catfish Bait

As I searched online for better, clearer versions of some of the pictures I had in my files, I ran across a website that sells a special soap used as bait to catch catfish. (I didn't even know you could catch catfish with soap!) One thing in particular that I found amusing is that the company calls its own product Rednecks Catfish Bait Soap. Learn more about it by going to http://www.catfishbaitsoap.com

Of course, the arrival of cold weather does not keep some rednecks from doing things with boats. Here's a redneck ice fishing boat.

picture of redneck ice fishing boat

If you need to transport your boat to the water, you need a boat trailer. Here's an example of necessity's being "the mother of invention."

picture of redneck boat trailer

Once you get the boat to the water, you need to know how to use a ramp to get it from the trailer into the water.

picture of redneck boat ramp

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What They Don’t Know….


picture of Oz Venn diagram

One of the interesting facets of having completed 36 years of teaching is the observable differences between today's students and those that I taught at the beginning of my career. There's no difference, of course, in IQ — my current students are every bit as bright as those I taught "back in the last millennium," as I love to say when referring to my younger years. One thing I do notice, though, is that what today's students know and don't know is vastly different from what my former students knew and didn't know.

I try to stay current on some aspects of today's pop culture so that I know what my students and others are talking about. I'm not always successful in that endeavor, though — there's just so much to keep up with and so little time! It's quite a balancing act trying to keep up on (dreary) current events and to dabble in several of the many avenues of social networking as well as trying to do as much reading as possible on French Literature from the Middle Ages in preparation for my course lectures. Talk about having one's feet planted in two different worlds!

During one of our many interesting lunch room discussions last school year, a colleague mentioned something he had read online. One professor in a community college contends that he has found only one thing with which his students, who vary greatly in age and background, all seem to be familiar. Here's that portion of the article:

One of the things I try to do on the first night of English 102 is relate the literary techniques we will study to novels that the students have already read. I try to find books familiar to everyone. This has so far proven impossible. My students don't read much, as a rule, and though I think of them monolithically, they don't really share a culture. To Kill a Mockingbird? Nope. (And I thought everyone had read that!) Animal Farm? No. If they have read it, they don't remember it. The Outsiders? The Chocolate War? No and no. Charlotte's Web? You'd think so, but no. So then I expand the exercise to general works of narrative art, meaning movies, but that doesn't work much better. Oddly, there are no movies that they all have seen—well, except for one. They've all seen The Wizard of Oz.

The preceding quotation is from an article in The Atlantic online called "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower" by Professor X (really)

I'm not sure that we could justify applying his findings to all college students in America, but I've made enough allusions to things in the Wizard of Oz in my classes to know that most of my students always seem to catch them. When we learn the French -re verbs, I enjoy presenting one that's not in our book — fondre. I demonstrate its meaning by writhing, sinking down towards the floor, and saying "Je fonds" in a high-pitched voice. Most of my students catch on right away that I'm saying "I'm melting" and imitating the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. I guess that that would lend some credence to Professor X's statement.
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Even More Funny Signs


picture of dog warning sign

In a recent comment, a reader asked me where the old pre-blog archives are now. When my computer and domain were hacked back in April and I had to rebuild the whole ivman.com domain (including my blog and my wife's blog) twice in a relatively short period, the second time I opted not to rebuild the old archived iv's and funny pictures. Instead I am trying to incorporate them slowly into my blog. Therefore, the "funny pix" link in the tag cloud in the sidebar takes you to the posts to my blog with funny pictures in them, not to the old archives.

That said, I'll tell you that today's post of funny signs is made up of new signs that have come my way as well as several signs from the old archives. I hope you get some stress relief from the laughs these may give you.

Even without being able to read Chinese, you could probably figure out what the sign up above was warning about. Here are a couple more signs with writing in other languages on them.

This one would make me keep looking up!

picture of tropical warning sign

I'm assuming that this next one is referring to underwater sandbars...?

picture of beach warning sign

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