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Has Technology Improved Our Lives?


It's undeniable that technology brings with it many wonderful conveniences and opportunities. But has technology really improved our lives? This is a question we discuss in some of my French classes when we read francophone literature that bemoans the changes to traditionally simple lifestyles where Western civilization enters and becomes dominant.

When I think about how different my life is now from when I was a child and recognize how dependent I've become on technology, it's almost startling. And if you had ever told me that I would one day work summers as a PC tech, I would have thought they were crazy!

Below are some cartoons in my files about the impact of technology on us.

picture of technology

picture of technology

picture of technology

picture of technology

picture of technology

picture of technology

picture of technology

Is your life better because of technology? How has technology improved or diminished your quality of life? Do you have more stress or less stress because of all the gadgets and appliances in your life?

quotation...

"Scripture leaves no room for spiritual neutrality." - Jeremy McMorris

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Rob

A computer's attention span is as long as its power cord or its battery life.

Travel Destinations


picture of cloud formation

With summer officially here, thoughts turn towards a vacation trip (my apologies to those in the southern hemisphere where it's now winter ... which sounds good right now as our temps here are in the upper 90s F!) Each country has areas full of charm and also idiosyncrasies. Today's iv highlights some of those "quaint aspects" of several parts of the USA.

If you get lost traveling, how can you tell where you are?

You might be in Arizona if...
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You've learned to open and drive your car without touching the car door or the steering wheel.
3. You can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.
4. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
5 You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
6. The 4 seasons are tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!
7. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.

You might be in California if...
1. You make over $250,000 a year, and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2 The high school quarterback calls a time-out to answer his cell phone.
3. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
4. You sleep through earthquakes.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6. You think that you're normal and everyone else is behind the times.

You might be in Michigan if...
1. Your definition of a small town is one that doesn't have a lake.
2. The word "thumb" brings to mind first a geographical rather than anatomical significance.
3. You learned to pilot a boat before the training wheels were off your bike.
4. You expect to receive Vernors when you order ginger ale.
5. Half the coins in your pocket are Canadian.
6. You drive 80 mph on the highway and pass on the right.

You might be in New York City if...
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.
3. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
4. You think Central Park is "nature,"
5. You've worn out a car horn.
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You might be in the Deep South if...
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2."Y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. After five years you still hear, "You ain't from 'round here, are ya?"
4. "He needed killin'" is a valid defense.
5. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, etc.

You might be in Maine if...
1. You have only three spices: salt, pepper, ketchup.
2. You design your Halloween costumes to fit over a snowsuit.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. You have more miles on your snow blower than on your car.
5. Instead of referring to two or more people as "y'all" or "all y'all," you call them "you guys," even if both of them are women.
6. The four seasons are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and Black flies.

You might be in Colorado if...
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home, and he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

You might be in the Midwest if...
1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition, for example "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"

You might be in Florida if....
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you are often driven by headless people.

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We hope to go north later this summer to see family and for a much-needed "Grandma and Grandpa fix" before the new school year begins. Do you have any travel plans?

If any of you want to make a list for your home state or country or if you can add to any of the above, comment away!

quotation...

"Belief affects behavior, and behavior reflects belief." - Dr. Bruce McAllister

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Rob

Should you trust a stockbroker who's married to a travel agent?

Poison I.V.


picture of poison ivy

Do you ever get ideas from reading blogs? My wife did a post recently about the inspiration she gets from reading other blogs. Yesterday Bet over at Dappled Things had a post discussing two of my summertime enemies — mosquitoes and poison ivy. I commented on her blog that I am bait for both. Shuddering at the thought of poison ivy reminded me of some quotations in my files.

The I.V. of ivman, for you newer readers, stands for "instant vacation." You can read more about how this whole "iv" thing got started on my about page. My iv's are intended to give my readers some much-needed laughs. I've named this blog post "Poison I.V." because it is a list of borderline venomous quotations that range from cynical, to pessimistic, to thought-provoking, to hilarious! Some of the quotations are actually insults, but I think you will LOL at some of them.

I am always a bit hesitant to share quotations of people that I'm not familiar with for fear that the one quoted is some weirdo or creep. So I will add the following disclaimer — if in my ignorance I am sending a quotation from such a person, I'm doing so innocently. Never assume malice for what ignorance could explain.

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Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent. - Ambrose Bierce

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers. - Socrates

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner. - H.L. Mencken

Women who insist upon having the same options as men would do well to consider the option of being the strong, silent type. - Fran Lebowitz

He has Van Gogh's ear for music. - Billy Wilder

Journalism consists largely in saying "Lord Jones died" to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive. - G.K. Chesterton

Woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with the nonconformity. - Eric Hoffer

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free. - P.J. O'Rourke

If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment, other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters. - George Bernard Shaw

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul. - George Bernard Shaw

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't sleep with the window open. - Ogden Nash

Every Frenchman wants to enjoy one or more privileges; that's the way he shows his passion for equality. - Charles de Gaulle

The average Ph.D thesis is nothing but the transference of bones from one graveyard to another. - Frank J. Dobie

A woman in love will do almost anything for a man, except give up the desire to improve him. - Nathaniel Branden

Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm. - John F. Kennedy

There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it. - Denis Diderot

The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible. - Jean Kerr

The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth. - Edith Sitwell

Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes. - George Norman Douglas

A woman does not spend all her time in buying things; she spends part of it in taking them back. - Edgar Watson Howe

Washington is the only place where sound travels faster than light. - C.V.R. Thompson

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. - Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. - Mark Twain

Hollywood brides keep the bouquets and throw away the grooms. - Groucho Marx

A modest little person, with much to be modest about. - Winston Churchill (about Clement Atlee)

Suppose you were an idiot..... And suppose you were a member of Congress.... But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain

I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial. - Irvin S. Cobb

I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. - Clarence Darrow

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary. -William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"Whom are you?" said he, for he had been to night school. - George Ade

We live in an environment whose principal product is garbage. - Russell Baker

I get my exercise acting as pallbearer to my friends who exercise. - Chauncey Depew

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. - Eric Hoffer

Perhaps in time the so-called Dark Ages will be thought of as including our own. - G.C. Lichtenberg

When I feel like exercising I just lie down until the feeling goes away. - Robert M. Hutchins

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. - Jonathan Swift

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. - Samuel Johnson

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. - Rita Rudner

Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person? - La Rochefoucauld

The multitude of books is making us ignorant. - Voltaire

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. - Winston Churchill

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. - Voltaire (1764)

I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants. - A. Whitney Brown

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. - William James

It is dangerous for a national candidate to say things that people might remember. - Eugene McCarthy

If they really want to honor the soldiers, why don't they let them sit in the stands and have the people march by. - Will Rogers

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

There is no distinctly native American criminal class, save Congress. - Mark Twain

What this country needs are [sic] more unemployed politicians. - Edward Langley

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. - P.J. O'Rourke

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it. - Groucho Marx

They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge. - Thomas Brackett Reed

He loves nature in spite of what it did to him. - Forrest Tucker

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure? - Harry Shearer

Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear. - Alan Coren

Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other who never forgets them. - Ogden Nash

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. - Mark Twain

I have given two cousins to war and I stand ready to sacrifice my wife's brother. - Artemus Ward

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OK, now did you laugh at least once? And did you notice, there was not one mention of Mark Sanford, Farrah Fawcett, or Michael Jackson?

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

A TV can insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.

Bagpipes


picture of bagpipers

Do you like the sound of bagpipes? To my way of thinking, bagpipes seem to show up at some of the oddest times in some of the oddest places — even here on my blog now! When I think of bagpipes, I think of the British Isles and kilts. But bagpipes, like the Swine Flu, have spread all over the world. If you don't know much about bagpipes, there's a link to a good article on Wikipedia.

picture of bagpipe parts

Since I did not know the parts of a bagpipe mentioned in some of the jokes, such as drones, I searched to find a picture with labeled parts. I found one picture that had detail, down to the tiniest parts (WTMI = way too much information). Instead, I'm posting the nice simplified picture I found. I also did a search for Bill Livingston, mentioned in one of the jokes below, and learned that he is legendary in the world of bagpiping. He's a Canadian world class bagpipe soloist. (Maybe like me, you didn't know there was such a thing....)

While I'm not a huge fan of bagpipes, I don't really hate them either. A number of years ago we had a Pipes and Drums group came to campus for an artist series. There were several medleys in their program, but my knowledge of bagpipe music was so sparse that I could not recognize their having gone from one number to the next. The only number in a medley that was distinct to me was "Scotland the Brave." (You can find it online and listen to it.) I was exultant! I had finally recognized something! :-D

Whether you like or dislike bagpipes, I think you'll find cause for laughter in what follows.

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There was a young Scottish boy called Angus who decided to try life in Australia. He found an apartment in a small block and settled in.

After a week or two, his mother called from Aberdeen to see how her son was doing in his new life.

"I'm fine," Angus said. "But there are some really strange people living in these apartments. One woman cried all day long, another lies on her floor moaning, and there is a guy next door to me who bangs his head on the wall all the time."

"Well, ma laddie," says his mother, "I suggest you don't associate with people like that."

"Oh," says Angus, "I don't, Mum, I don't. No, I just stay inside my apartment all day and night, playing my bagpipes."

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Two girls are walking along when they hear. "Psst! Down here!" They both look down and see a frog sitting beside the road. The frog says to them, "Hey, if you kiss me I'll turn into a world famous bagpiper and make you both rich and famous!"

The two girls looked at each other, and one of them reached down and grabbed the frog and stuffed it in her pocket. The other girl said, "What did you do that for?"

The first replied, "I'm not stupid. I know a talking frog is worth lots more than a famous bagpiper any day.

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Q: How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
A: Put it in a bagpipe case.

Q: What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
A: A bagpiper.

Q: What did the bagpiper get on his I.Q. test?
A: Drool.

Q: How many bagpipers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Five — one to handle the bulb and the other four to contemplate how Bill Livingston would have done it.

Q: How many bagpipers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Five — one to change the bulb and four to criticize his fingering technique.

Q: If you were lost in the woods, who would you trust for directions, an in-tune bagpipe player, an out-of-tune bagpipe player, or Santa Claus?
A: The out-of-tune bagpipe player. The other two don't really exist.

Q: What's the definition of a gentleman?
A: Someone who knows how to play the bagpipe, and doesn't.

Q: What's the difference between a cat in the road and a bagpipe in the road?
A: Some people would actually swerve to miss the cat.

Q: What's the definition of a quarter tone?
A: A bagpiper tuning his drones.

Q: Why is a bagpipe like a Scud missile?
A: Both are offensive and inaccurate.

Q: How do you know if a bagpipe band is at your front door?
A: No one knows when to come in.

Q: Why did the bagpiper get mad at the drummer?
A: He moved a drone and wouldn't tell him which one.

If you took all the bagpipers in the world and laid them down end to end, ... it would be a good idea.

Q: If you drop a bagpipe and a watermelon off a tall building, which will hit the ground first?
A: Who cares?

Q: How late does the bagpipe band play?"
A: "Oh, about a half beat behind the drummer."

Q: The uilleann pipes are the only instrument declared safe by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB). Why?
A: They have seat belts and an air bag.

Q: Why do bagpipers leave their cases on their dashboards?
A: So they can park in handicapped zones.

Q: Why do pipe bands march when they play?
A: Moving targets are harder to hit.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?
A: No one cries when you chop up an bagpipe.

Q: What's the difference between a dead snake in the road and a dead bagpiper in the road?
A: There are skid marks in front of the snake.

Q: How can you tell if a bagpipe is out of tune?
A: Someone is blowing into it.

A Canadian Officer, pinned down with his unit in 1944 in Italy, urgently signaled his CO, "Need reinforcements to rescue us, please send six tanks or one bagpiper."

Q: How do you get two pipers in tune with each other?
A: Shoot one of them.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a chainsaw?
A: The chain saw doesn't have vibrato.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a lawn mower.
A: People get upset when someone borrows their lawn mower and doesn't give it back.

Q: What's the difference between a dead bagpiper in the road and a dead country singer in the road?
A: The country singer may have been on his way to a recording session.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a trampoline?
A: You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.

Q: How can you tell a bagpiper with perfect pitch?
A: He can throw a set into the middle of a pond and not hit any of the ducks.

Q: Why are bagpipers fingers like lightning?
A: They rarely strike the same spot twice.

Q: What's the definition of "optimism"?
A: A bagpiper with a beeper.

Q: What's the range of a bagpipe?
A: Twenty yards if you have a good arm.

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A man walked into an office building after parking his car. When he got on the elevator, he said, "Oh no! I left my bagpipes in my car! Somebody might have stolen them!"

Back to the car he ran, and, sure enough, when he got there, his back window was smashed out. But when he looked in the back seat, he found four more sets of bagpipes.

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Q: What do you call 100 bagpipes at the bottom of the sea?
A: A good start.

Q: Why do pipers walk when they play?
A: They are trying to get away from the sound!

Someone once said, "You don't PLAY bagpipes, you WIELD them."

Q: How can you tell the difference between bagpipe songs?
A: By their names.

Q: Why do most people hate bagpipes right away?
A: It saves time.

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I look forward to your comments on bagpipes!

quotation...

"Bagpipes (noun). I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made object never equalled the purity of sound achieved by the pig." - Alfred Hitchcock

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Rob

Thought: How do you know when it's time to tune your bagpipes?

Super Grill for Dad


Just a quick post for you last-minute Father's Day shoppers.

A reader sent me a picture of a great gift idea that I just had to share.

picture of super grill

I want one! :-D How 'bout the rest of you dads?

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If your dad's sisters are construction workers, would you call them carpenter aunts?