ivman's blague rotating header image loading ... please wait....

The Household Handyman’s Guide

picture of handyman

With temperatures dropping, people start doing more things inside than outside. That results in more indoor projects, including home repairs. Everyone knows that we guys thrive on "honey-do lists" and the like. Today I'm posting a list of ten helpful hints for the household handymen out there. For some jobs, wouldn't you love to have as many arms and hands as the cartoon figure on the right?! :-)

The Household Handyman's Guide

1. If you can't find a screwdriver, use a knife. If you break off the tip, it's an improved screwdriver.

2. Try to work alone. An audience is rarely of any help.

3. Above all, if what you've done is stupid, but it works, then it isn't stupid.
Click here to continue reading this post →

What’s in Chinese Walmarts?

picture of Chinese Walmart

What would life be like without Walmart? Loving Walmart's low prices, in our home we have a saying, "If Walmart doesn't have it, we don't need it." Some people are snooty about shopping at Walmart, and others object to shopping there because of some of their corporate practices or because so many things they now sell are made in other countries. We will not discuss all that in this post, please, but we'll focus rather on some interesting things available at Walmart in China.

Earlier this week my wife forwarded an e-mail to me that she had received from her office mate and that served as the basis for this post. It had pictures of Chinese Walmart products that are either unusual or that most Americans would not even think about finding at Walmart.

It's not surprising that the Walmarts in China would have a large selection of chopsticks.

picture of a Chinese Walmart product

Bulk rice is available. (Actually, we saw the same thing in other supermarkets in China. We never got to shop at Walmart over there during either of our summers.)
Click here to continue reading this post →

Pumpkin Pi

picture of pumpkin pi

Do you like pumpkin pie? It's something I look forward to every year at this time ... and we have not had one yet. (Hint, hint....) :-) In our house we have found that we like pumpkin pie made with winter squash about as well as we do pie made with real pumpkin. Pumpkins have come to my mind often lately not only because they are almost everywhere you look, but also for several other reasons, the image below from my recent blog post on being mathematically challenged.

picture of pi equals pie

I found another interesting equation along the same line. Here's the picture:
Click here to continue reading this post →

Seasonal Funny Signs

picture of no signs sign

It's been a while since I posted some funny signs, and readers have been keeping me supplied. Thanks! Here in the Carolinas, autumn is in full swing. It seems as if the colors are not going to be as spectacular as usual, though, due to the timing of this year's drought. Many, but not all, of today's signs have something to do with the fall season.

One of my readers from Germany visited the zoo in Heidelberg several weeks ago and saw a sign he knew I'd love. I'm not sure if they're selling hot ice or something ice hot.

picture of ice hot kiosk

It's strange, but "ice hot" could be an apt description of autumn days here in South Carolina since it's in the low 40's in the morning and in the low 80's in the afternoon. You need a snow suit in the morning and a swim suit in the afternoon!

Cyclists seem to love autumn especially — we run into so many of them on the roads this time of year. (Not literally, of course....) :-) Here in Greenville some streets have been modified to include bicycle lanes. It would be great to see the following on the pavement in one of those bike lanes.
Click here to continue reading this post →

Increase Your Word Power

picture of eschew obfuscation

Since my last post was about mathematics, I thought we'd work on our active vocabulary in today's post. I have a fun list of two dozen common sayings expressed with high falutin words. Some people take a special ghoulish delight in using big words that others don't know. For instance, the saying "Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity" is more commonly known as "beauty is only skin deep." See how many of the sayings below you can figure out.

The first two were written by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth — of Cheaper by the Dozen fame — to assist their children in increasing their vocabulary. They were able to get them to rhyme.

A futile superfluity of culinary aid destroys nutritious liquids of osseous tissues made.

Never enumerate ere fractured are the shells of bipeds gallinaceous, lest suddenly thy calculations prove utterly fallacious.

Now on to my list:

1. Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.

2. Selecting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.

3. Surveillance should precede saltation.

4. That prudent avis that matutinally deserts the cosiness of its abode will ensnare a vermiculate creature.

5. It is fruitless to become lachrymose over precipitously departed lacteal fluid.
Click here to continue reading this post →