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Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

picture of glass of water

Probably all but my very youngest readers have heard the question "Is the glass half full or half empty?" used as a sort of litmus test to determine the general outlook of a person. It is normally assumed that an optimist would say a glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty.

Gary Larson of the Far Side would say that that little test actually determines four basic personality types.

picture of glass test

I've compiled a list of the ways that people of different professions or walks of life might answer the question "Is the glass half full or half empty?"

The government would say that the glass is fuller than it would be if the opposition party were in power.

The opposition would say that it is irrelevant because the present administration has changed the way such volume statistics are collected.

The cynic wonders who drank the other half.

The worrier frets that the remaining half will evaporate by next morning.
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Snow and Snowmen

picture of snowflake

With snow in 49 of the 50 states this past week, I thought everyone might enjoy having something to laugh about in connection with snow. Here in our part of South Carolina we got a good half-foot of snow, capped off with a quarter-inch of freezing rain. Since there are many winters with little or no snow, Greenville County doesn't have many snow plows. About the only roads that they plow here are interstate highways. Most of the week even main roads were hazardous and side streets were like ice skating rinks! The beginning of classes at BJU was delayed from Thursday to today.

Speaking of snowplows, I'm always amused by this fun animated picture depicting how snow plowing would be carried out if enacted by Congress.

picture of snow humor

Children seem to anticipate snow with greater excitement than adults do. I guess children haven't had to deal with it as much. This next cartoon always makes me smile.

picture of snow humor

Once the snow comes, you can have some fun with it, without leaving home. This next man did some creative snow sculptures.
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Another Baker’s Dozen of Funny Signs

picture of Deere crossing sign

Thanks to some of my readers and to some of my own finds, I've accumulated enough funny signs for another blog post. Those who traveled over Christmas and New Years may have seen traditional deer crossing signs. Did any of you see a "Deere Crossing" sign like the one on the right?

One reader took pictures of several funny signs on a recent trip and sent them my way. This first one didn't come with any explanation. Is this building a public restroom? If so, do both males and females who smoke go to one end of the building, and non-smoking males and females to the other?

picture of funny sign

The next two don't exactly seem necessary to me....
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Seeing Eye to Eye

picture of how monovision looks

Over Christmas break I have been able to ponder various aspects of being in A Christmas Carol first semester. Besides the great time we had preparing and presenting the play and the close ties with the other cast members that continue on, one by-product of the play for me is a return to contact lenses after a ten-year hiatus.

I wore contacts for a little over twenty years, beginning in my senior year of high school. But when I hit 40 and needed bifocals, my best option at that time was to change to glasses. After a few years of that, I heard about the newer gas permeable lenses and something called monovision. With monovision, one eye is fit with a distance lens and the other eye is fit with a near lens, providing clear vision for both distance vision and near. Being one who has always liked the unusual, I decided to give it a try. It worked fine for me for several years, but my length of comfortable wearing time kept getting shorter and shorter to the point that it made more sense just to go back to glasses since I was already wearing them most of the day anyway. At that time, soft contact lenses that corrected for astigmatism were not available.

For A Christmas Carol, though, I needed to be able to navigate all over the theater and backstage without glasses, with very little light, for 11 performances without colliding with people or objects. I decided to try resurrecting my old gas perm contacts to see if they would get me through the performances. The prescriptions were no longer right, but it was much better than being blind. And I could wear them long enough to get me through a performance each night.

Thanks to Obamacare's improving all our lives, we were going to be losing our vision coverage at the end of 2010. I was overdue for an eye exam, so I worked one in before year's end. I asked the doctor about contact lenses and monovision. He urged me to try monovision again, since there are now soft toric lenses that correct astigmatism. All I can say is that I love the soft contact lenses and I'm adjusting well. I've switched which eye is my close eye this time because my right eye is actually my (much!) weaker eye and the cataract development in that one is further along than in my left eye. So why not make it my close eye?

If you have never heard of monovision, this whole thing might sound strange to you. The brain just looks out of whichever eye it needs to to see what you're focusing on, based on the distance or proximity of the object. The other eye just provides depth. There are some compromises, but that's true of any other means of vision correction when you throw both nearsightedness and farsightedness into the mix. One fun thing is to have something between a far-away object and your distance eye — like the head of someone seated in front of you. You have to move your head to one side or the other so that your distance eye can focus on that far-away object. So if you were talking to me face to face, I'm not sure whether we would be seeing eye to eye, so to speak.

Thinking about all this made me think of how differently people see things, even when they are looking at the same things. I'll start off with a story from my files.
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Thomas Jefferson and Amphibolies

picture of amphiboly sign

Some things do not seem to go together. Or if they are put together, the result is humorous, as in the case of the signs on the right. With the beginning of the 112th Congress, there is much anticipation of what our Congress critters will try to accomplish. As I contemplated what to post today and found a list of quotations of Thomas Jefferson in my files, I wondered what he would think of what our nation has become and is becoming. As I looked at the wisdom of Jefferson and knowing his close ties to the other founding fathers of our nation, I did a little looking around online and found a final quotation that was quite interesting. On to the quotations....

John Kennedy said in his address at a dinner for Nobel Prize Winners of the Western Hemisphere on April 29, 1962, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

The quotations of Thomas Jefferson below could prove his point.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government."

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe."

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
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