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While You Were Out…

picture of form

Summer jobs are a reality for many students and teachers. Summers have found me doing a wide variety jobs, some better than others, from working on an assembly line in a factory to writing French textbooks. Eleven summers have included short-term missions trips to France and to China. This is my ninth summer as a PC tech at IT. My job takes me to places on campus that many people don't even know exist. It's been fun to be able to meet so many people and to put names and faces together, along with workplaces.

When we work on people's computers, we are careful to respect their workspace and personal belongings. Since my work involves working on computers, though, I can't help but notice the things taped to them — Bible verses, sayings, pictures, cartoons, articles, you name it. Today's iv is several things that I've seen taped to computers on campus and enjoyed, either because they made me think or made me laugh.
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Consistency on the 5th Birthday of My Blog

picture of birthday candle

This Saturday is the 5th birthday of my blog. That's hard to believe. I started the blog as a way to share pictures and stories of our adventures we would have while teaching at a university in China in the summer of 2005. I was reluctant, but at the urging of and with the help of a young tech I worked with at IT, I set up my blog. My first post, on June 19, 2005, was called Strangers in Paradise. If you weren't an ivman reader back in 2005 and 2006, you might enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the accounts of our experiences during the two months we taught summer school in China.

I had been sending out "iv's" (instant vacations by e-mail since sometime back in 1996 or 1997 and got used to maintaining a regular mailing schedule. Some of you who have been reading "my stuff" since the earliest e-mailings probably deserve a purple heart! :-) When I saw how easy it was to publish blog posts, which included images, I decided to start to distribute my "iv's" by way of the blog instead of by e-mail. If you're a fairly new ivman reader and don't know all the history, you might find my about page an interesting explanation of what my blog is all about.

In blogging it's important to be consistent — in timing and in over-all content. Some blogs start out great guns and then quickly die out because the blogger did not count the cost of how much work it is to keep up a consistent schedule. In a post called How to Start a Blog I shared the following comic strip along this line.

cartoon about blogging

Keeping with the theme of consistency, I'd like to share a fun series of pictures. One of the posters we hang up for a few weeks each school year in our French classroom is the one below. Ernest's face is amazingly flexible and expressive for illustrating the different emotions.
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What Is a Father?

picture of father hands and baby feet

In honor of Father's Day this coming Sunday, I am posting a piece by Paul Harvey that I found in my files.

What Is a Father?

A father is a person who is forced to endure childbirth without an anesthetic. He growls when he feels good and laughs very loud when he is scared half-to-death.

A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child's eyes. He is never quite the hero his daughter thinks. Never quite the man his son believes him to be. And this worries him sometimes. (So he works too hard to try to smooth the rough places in the road of those of his own who will follow him.)

A father is a person who goes to war sometimes...and would run the other way, except that war is part of an important job in his life (which is making the world better for his child than it has been for him).

Fathers grow older faster than other people, because they, in other wars, have to stand at the train station and wave goodbye to the uniform that climbs on board. And, while mothers cry where it shows, fathers stand and beam ... outside ... and die inside.

Fathers are men who give daughters away to other men who aren't nearly good enough, so that they can have children that are smarter than anybody's.

Fathers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table off to the arena, which is sometimes called an office or a workshop. There they tackle the dragon with three heads — Weariness, Work, and Monotony. And they never quite win the fight, but they never give up.

Knights in shining armor; fathers in shiny trousers. There's little difference as they march away each workday.


I trust that you will be able to honor your father, either in person or as you share with others what's in your memory about your dad. Maybe you'd like to pay tribute to your dad in the comments.

I hope you dads out there will be a blessing to your families and that you will be blessed by your families.

I'll close with a cartoon I found online that made me smile.

cartoon about dads


"Well, my dad's stronger than your mom." - Derek Adams to Mark Loach

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

By the time a man realizes that his father was usually right, he has a son who thinks he's usually wrong.

Bizarre Finds

Do you ever wonder what inspires some of my blog posts? :-) Often it is family news or local and/or world events. Sometimes it's just something in life that strikes me funny and makes me think of something humorous on that topic.

As I run across pictures and stories that I think have the potential for inclusion in a blog post, I put them in a folder on my computer called "Sometime." I do the same with pictures that readers send me. Frequently when I look at what's in that folder, a theme for a blog post begins to form in my mind. This week as I scanned the pictures in that folder, I saw some great stuff that I thought would probably have nothing to do with any one particular blog post. So I decided to put some of the humorous or merely interesting pictures together into one post of wonderful, yet bizarre finds. Here goes.

A while back a reader took a picture of another vehicle and sent me it to me. You have to look really closely to see what some of those "animal pests" are. The one right above the phone number is "spouses."

picture of animal pest truck

Here are several newspaper articles I've received that struck me funny.
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Ole, Sven, and The Birds

picture of The Birds original poster

Did you ever feel as if you were in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller? If you've seen The Birds, you will remember some of the horror scenes where Tippi Hedren is being chased and attacked by birds. Well, I had a "Tippi Hedren moment" this past Saturday. We were meeting our son-in-law Jim in Cincinnati so that Meg and Drew could go back home after their two week visit with us. While waiting for Jim to arrive, we went to the Creation Museum. Before going into the museum, we strolled to the petting zoo by way of the nature trail. We were enjoying all kinds of flora and fauna when out of nowhere a red-winged black bird swooped down and pecked me on the head. Although we were doing nothing extraordinary as we meandered along the nature trail, we were apparently too close to its nest. I wonder how many others were attacked that day! Here's a scene from The Birds that came to mind.

picture of Tippi being attacked

Our daughter Megan was glad not to be the one attacked by the bird. Before she and Drew came to see us, she had been having to dodge being attacked when she checked her mail. A robin had built a nest in the light fixture on Meg and Jim's front porch. After the babies fledged, Jim fixed things so that that fixture will not be a nesting site any more, and Megan can now check her mailbox confidently.

In light of our experiences, I'm sharing some bird groaners. Hope you pun lovers enjoy them.

(For those not familiar with the term "budgies" used in the jokes below, that's the name in some parts of the world for what others call "parakeets.")

Two Minnesotans walk into a pet shop near Brainerd. They head to the bird section and Sven says to Ole, "Dat's dem." The owner comes over and asks if he can help them.

"Yah sure, ve'll take two of dem dere little budgies in dat cage up dere," says Sven.

The owner puts the budgies in a paper bag. Ole and Sven pay for the birds, leave the shop, get into Sven's pick-up and drive to the top of some big cliffs near Brainerd Lake. At the cliffs, Sven looks down at the 1000 foot drop and says, "Dis looks like a grand place."

He takes the two birds out of the bag, puts them on his shoulders and jumps off the cliff. Ole watches as Sven falls all the way to the bottom, killing himself dead.

Looking down at the remains of his best pal, Ole shakes his head and says, "By yumpin' yiminy, dis budgie-jumping is too dangerous for me!"

VAIT!!! Dere's MORE!
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