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Happy Christmas Decorating!


picture of Charlie Brown and his Christmas tree

Do you usually go all out with Christmas decorations, or is your decorating as sparse as Charlie Brown's Christmas tree? I ask because our fairly minimal decorating is still fresh in my mind from this past weekend. Our cats are delighted to be able to lie again under the artificial tree. (And they say cats are finicky....)

With the tight economy, some people want to cut back on their Christmas lights. If you have a neighbor who has gone wild with his outdoor decorating, you can save money by decorating in the way the folks in the house on the right did in the picture below.

picture of dittos from the neighbor

As we decorated the tree this weekend, we were frustrated early on. After Christmas last year we bought some strings of lights on sale to replace the string of lights that had died "in action" midseason and that we thought would probably be dead by this year. However we discovered that the new lights had white wires instead of green and stuck out like sore thumbs when we tried them out on the tree. Grr! This necessitated a hasty trip to the store so that decorating could continue. I think we are now done for this year. Phew!

Some counselors claim that hanging lights on a Christmas tree is one of the three most stressful situations in relationships. The other two danger zones are teaching your mate to drive and wallpapering together. With that in mind I present the following to you:

What Not to Say when Hanging Lights on the Christmas Tree...

"Hellooo!!! You've got two red lights right next to each other. You're supposed to go yellow, green, red, blue, not yellow, red, red, green, blue...."

"I don't care if you have found two more strings — I'm done!"
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Signs that Make You Wonder


picture of funny signs caution

I love funny signs and try to post some every month or so, as I accumulate them. Today's is a random collection, with no general theme, other than leaving me wondering. Several were spotted and photographed by some of my readers whose blogs I follow.

This past Saturday morning at the banana box sale, we saw a funny sign that daughter Megan posted on her blog. I wonder if a past incident occasioned the store's posting this sign.

picture of sign at banana box sale

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Training Session


picture of Thomas the Tank Engine

Many younger Americans don't have much experience with trains any more since AmTrak passenger service does not go to smaller towns as trains do in other countries. And so I think it's an interesting phenomenon that Thomas the Tank Engine is capturing the hearts and minds of so many little boys. This week I'm being plunged into the world of Thomas.

Our daughter Megan, son-in-law Jim, and two-and-a-half-year-old grandson Drew are here for a week, and since I last saw them four months ago, Drew has become obsessed with all things Thomas. It's astounding to me that he can tell you the name of any of the 60 different train cars at a glance! Poppy has some catching up to do and will undoubtedly not be up to speed by week's end.
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Thanks or No Thanks?


picture of pilgrims praying

A national day of thanksgiving has been a part of American life since the earliest days of our country in the early 1600s. By the mid-17th century, the custom of thanksgivings was established throughout New England and began to spread southward during the American Revolution. The newly established Congress recognized the need for such a celebration. The Founding Fathers thought it important that this tradition be recognized by proclamation.

Soon after approving the Bill of Rights, a motion was made in Congress to initiate the proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving. In 1789 Congress requested that the president "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God...." And President Washington did just that.

After 1815 the annual tradition of a presidential proclamation ceased and did not resume until during the Civil War, when President Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving. The traditional day eventually became the last Thursday of November.
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So, Why *Did* the Chicken Cross the Road?


picture of chicken crossing the road sign

There are some classic types of jokes that people either love or hate — puns, knock-knock jokes, elephant jokes, blonde jokes, light bulb jokes, Polack (or substitute the group of your choice) jokes, riddles, etc. Frankly there are some of those that I don't prefer personally. In today's blog post, I'm featuring why did the chicken cross the road? jokes.

Do you ever wonder how certain kinds of jokes ever got started? Here is some history of "why did the chicken cross the road?" jokes from Wikipedia:

The exact origin of the riddle is obscure. Its first known appearance in print occurred in 1847 in The Knickerbocker, a New York monthly magazine: ...There are 'quips and quillets' which seem actual conundrums, but yet are none. Of such is this: 'Why does a chicken cross the street?' Are you 'out of town?' Do you 'give it up?' Well, then: 'Because it wants to get on the other side!'

Here are some of my favorite replies to the question Why did the chicken cross the road?

Any kindergarten teacher: To get to the other side.

Sir Edmund Hilary: Because it is there.

Confucius: Chicken who cross road at 5pm get very flat.

Barack H. Obama: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for change! The chicken wanted change.

Richard M. Nixon: The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did not cross the road.

Dick Cheney: Did you say chicken? Where’s my gun?

Bill Clinton: I did not cross the road with that chick.
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