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Why Women Live Longer than Men, take 2

picture of man jumping off a cliff

Have you noticed that there seem to be more old women than old men? Statics worldwide confirm that, for whatever reason, women do indeed live longer than men. There are all sorts of theories out there, from genetics to levels of risky activities. Whatever the reason(s), in nursing homes and other places where older people are in the majority, there are usually more older women than older men.

Almost two years ago, I did a post called Why Women Live Longer than Men that featured some funny pictures of men doing some insanely dangerous things in the workplace and in other settings. Several of the pictures showed me driving some work vehicles, and I assure you, I was far safer than everything around me was! Since that post I've come across more pictures that could help explain why men die younger than women do.

I found some pictures that show that men have been acting dangerously for a long time. Here are some old black and white pictures from construction sites in New York City.

This picture gives a whole new meaning to the expression "going out for lunch."

picture of men on girders

I hope these wooden boards were not old and ready to break!

picture of man sleeping on a girder

Look, Mom! No hands! (and maybe no brains?)

picture of man on girders

Not only has risky behavior been going on for a long time, it seems to start young too.

picture of boy trapped in chair

Although I enjoy air conditioning, I'm not sure I would go to these lengths to fix it.

picture of man doing repairs

I wonder how much this guy makes an hour at the stone quarry ... probably not enough!

picture of man doing some quarrying

When you don't have the right tools available, though, you have to improvise. For example, what do you do when you don't have a jack?

picture of man fixing car

Speaking of jacks, how about lumberjacks? Logging has its own dangers.

picture of man cutting wood

What do you do when you don't have the ladders or scaffolding you need? You come up with alternatives!

picture of man trimming hedges

picture of man on buckets

Movable scaffolding is great!

picture of man on mobile scaffolding

When it comes to working safely, hold no bars!

picture of man fixing car

Many of us men brave all sorts of dangers in vehicles. This bridge is not for the faint of heart!

picture of man crossing bridge

There doesn't seem to be any problem with this bridge, but crossing it was apparently not too easy.

picture of man crossing bridge

I guess as long as you can see through the holes in the lattice, it's OK.

picture of man in car

Here are three pictures that show that some men who are good at securing loads but who don't have much regard for seat belt laws ... or safety.

picture of man in back of vehicle

picture of man in back of vehicle

picture of man in back of vehicle

A lot of us guys enjoy working with wiring and electricity, even if we're not sure what we're doing.

picture of bad wiring

This gives a whole new meaning to the expression "man power!"

picture of man working on wires

I look forward to hearing your remarks about some of these pictures!


"Beware of those whose religion cares more for outward forms and ceremonies and associations than for genuine holiness of heart, justice, mercy, love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, and self control." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

People are more violently opposed to fur than to leather because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.

Dog and Cat Haiku

picture of dog and fan

Do you enjoy the "dog days" of summer? Dogs have been on our minds for reasons other than the dog days of summer. We dog-sat for our daughter Nora while she visited our daughter Megan and her family in Detroit last week. Becka and I have been "cat people" for so long that we'd forgotten how much more work dogs are than cats. And puppies (like Nora's Kingston) require lots of attention and have boundless energy!

Since the new school year is on the verge of beginning, I decided to post something a tad more literary than usual. I'm far from being an expert on the Japanese poetry called haiku. I'm sure the haiku I'm posting today (not my own composition) is probably not the finest ever written, but at least the number of syllables per line follows the standard formula of 5-7-5.

Here's some dog haiku for your amusement:

Dog Haiku

I love my master;
Thus I perfume myself with
This long-rotten squirrel.

I lie belly-up
In the sunshine, happier than
You ever will be.

I sound the alarm!
Paperboy — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I sound the alarm!
Mailman Fiend — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I sound the alarm!
Garbage man — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I sound the alarm!
Neighbor's cat — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I hate my choke chain —
Look, world, they strangle me! Ack!
Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack!!

Dig under fence — why?
Because it's there. Because it's
There. Because it's there.

You may call them fleas,
But they are far more — I call
Them a vocation.

My human is home!
I am so ecstatic I
Have made a puddle

How do I love thee?
The ways are numberless as
My hairs on the rug.

Look in my eyes and
Deny it. No human could
Love you as much.

I am your best friend,
Now, always, and especially
When you are eating.

My wife commented recently that I hadn't posted any cat humor lately. So to balance out the dog haiku, here's some cat haiku.

Cat Haiku

Grace personified,
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.

Small brave carnivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes
Fear vacuum cleaner.

You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.

The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

Blur of motion, then —
Silence, me, a paper bag.
What is so funny?

You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
Sitting on your hands.

My small cardboard box.
You cannot see me if I
Can just hide my head.

Terrible battle.
I fought for hours. Come and see!
What's a "term paper"?

I want to be close
To you. Can I fit my head
Inside your armpit?

Wanna go outside.
Oh no! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

Oh no! The Big One
has been trapped by newspaper!
Cat to the rescue!

Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams.
Claws are not that sharp.

Cats meow out of angst
"Thumbs! If only we had thumbs!
We could break so much!"

The Big Ones snore now.
Every room is dark and cold.
Time for "Cup Hockey."

Several people have asked about what the symbols =^..^= =^..^= at the beginning of my signature line in each blog post stand for. It's our two cats — Adelaide and Clementine — each pictured by whiskers, ear, two eyes, ear, and whiskers.

This evening I downloaded a piano CD from mincymedia.com called A Place of Quiet Rest. Dave Mincy is offering all 11 tracks of the CD for free at least till the end of this week. I'm listening to it on my iPod, even as I type, and its quiet beauty is ministering to my heart.

Do you enjoy the dog days of summer? Any thoughts on the superiority of dogs or cats? :-)


"We're all going to be sifted, and Satan would love to discourage us." - Dr. Chris Barney

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

A dog will come when you call, but a cat will take a message and never get back to you.

Mug Shots

picture of the Mona Lisa

Have you ever seen the Mona Lisa? I'm not asking if you've seen a picture of the painting — I'm talking about the painting itself. I saw it for the first time the summer of 1972 with my French cousin Annie. Her family lives in the suburbs of Paris, and I was visiting them and other relatives on my first trip to France. (My paternal grandmother was French.) In my mind's eye I pictured what this most famous portrait in the world would be like. Since it attracted millions of visitors each year, I assumed the painting would be "larger than life." I was surprised that it is only 30 inches × 21 inches (77 cm × 53 cm). Below is a picture of the Mona Lisa, known in France as La Joconde and in her native Italy as La Gioconda.

picture of the Mona Lisa in her protective case

It's a good thing this world famous "mug shot" is in that protective case — earlier this month (August 2) a Russian woman pulled a ceramic mug out of her purse and threw it at the Mona Lisa in anger and frustration. The deranged woman was sent to a psychiatric ward afterwards. Because of the protective case, this woman's attack was an unsuccessful, literal "mug shot."

The painting has a long history of attacks. It was stolen in 1911 by an Italian nationalist, a Louvre employee named Vincenzo Peruggia. My French grandmother was a 12 year old girl at the time of the theft — I wonder if she even heard about the theft.... The painting was finally returned in 1913. In 1956 it was doused with acid. Later that same year a man damaged the painting by throwing a rock at it. Sometime in the 16 intervening years between those attacks and my 1972 visit, Mona Lisa was put in that climate-controlled, protective case.

I know it seems a bit irreverent to call this celebrated portrait a mug shot. But that term took on a new meaning last month at the 12th annual Rocks Aroma Festival in Sydney, Australia. The festival featured the huge picture of Mona Lisa made of 3604 coffee cups. 564 pints of milk were used to lighten some of the cups of coffee cups to achieve the required shades for the design. Here are two pictures of the picture.

picture of the Mona Lisa coffee cups

picture of the Mona Lisa coffee cups

Now that is a mug shot!

Many other items have been used to recreate versions of the Mona Lisa. This one was done by 300 employees at a department store in Osaka, Japan. They built their rendition with nothing more than old train tickets — several hundred thousand of them.

picture of the Mona Lisa made with train tickets

A mystery artist used about 800 Rubik's cubes to create the image below. He twisted each cube to get the colors he wanted on the top face before placing them next to each other on a board.

picture of the Mona Lisa made with cubes

Lego has its own Mona Lisa.

picture of a Lego Mona Lisa

That wasn't enough for Eric Harshbarger who used Legos to create "Mona Lego," composed of over 30,000 Lego blocks. It measures six by eight feet and weighs over 45 pounds.

picture of the Mona Lego

Chinese artist Ju Duoqi did a version of Mona Lisa with vegetables. Her veggie Mona Lisa ("Mona Tofu") is made out of rice, sea kelp, and tofu.

picture of the veggie Mona Lisa

In addition to various versions of the Mona Lisa, there are plenty of perversions. Here she is with bubble gum.

picture of the Mona Lisa with bubblegum

Here's Goth Mona Lisa.

picture of goth Mona Lisa

Here she is in a burqa.

picture of the Mona Lisa in a burqa

Here are some animated "gif" images of Mona Lisa.

picture of animated Mona Lisa

picture of animated Mona Lisa

picture of animated Mona Lisa

picture of animated Mona Lisa

picture of animated Mona Lisa

picture of animated Mona Lisa

I'll end this part of the post with a Mona Lisa comic strip.

picture of Mona Lisa comic

Some of my regular readers may have noticed that I didn't do my usual Thursday blog post last week. I had to make a quick trip up to Ohio to help deal with some issues that my mother is having. If you are one who prays, please pray that Mom's thinking will clear up soon. She is having some exceedingly dark thoughts right now, and it's hard to know why this started happening all of a sudden.

What are your thoughts about the Mona Lisa? Do you think it deserves the status it enjoys?


"God calls dead rebels to life." - Joshua Pegram

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

If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

Etch A Sketch

picture of Etch A Sketch

Did you know that the Etch A Sketch is 50 years old? It was invented by a Frenchman in the late 1950's. It was licensed to the Ohio Art Company and debuted as Etch A Sketch in July 1960. I had one as a child and spent many happy, frustrating hours playing with it, but I could never produce anything astounding. If you have ever had one, were you ever able to draw amazing things or even write legibly?

According to Wikipedia:

An Etch A Sketch is a thick, flat gray screen in a plastic frame. There are two knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. Twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line. The knobs create lineographic images. The left control moves the stylus horizontally, and the right one moves it vertically.

As I researched for this blog post, I was surprised that there are actual Etch A Sketch artists out there. Here are some pictures I found online of the creations I could never have done. I was unable to find attribution for some of them. If I've posted yours and you would like credit and a link, let me know.

I read that a young child did this map of the United States!

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Someone was able to do an optical illusion with the Etch A Sketch.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's the Golden Gate Bridge.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's some ancient Egyptian artistry done by Etch A Sketch artist Kevin Davis.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's the Mona Lisa by Etch A Sketch artist Jeff Gagliardi.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's "Starry Night" by VanGogh, and Jeff Gagliardi.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

This one was done by Etch A Sketch artist George Vlosich. The drawing looks too perfect to be real! This guy takes Etch A Sketch art to a whole new level!

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

There are different products that are spin-offs of the Etch A Sketch. Here's a pocket Etch A Sketch.

picture of a pocket Etch A Sketch

Here's an Etch A Sketch pen that might offer some competition for students' attention.

picture of Etch A Sketch pen

There's an app for it...?

picture of Etch A Sketch for iPod

Now here's one I have a hard time believing.

picture of an Etch A Sketch with Windows

I'm a little nostalgic since my 40 year high school reunion was this past weekend up in Ohio. I was not able to attend, but I have heard that those who did enjoyed it. Since I'm on this nostalgia kick, I'm remembering that 10 years ago there was a lot of hype about the y2k bug. Below is a solution proposed by one company (in jest, of course).

Our goal is to remove all computers from the desktop by Jan 1, 1999. In place of the current computer, everyone will be provided with an Etch A Sketch. There are several benefits to this move:

1. No y2k problems

2. No technical glitches keeping work from being done.

3. No more wasted time reading and writing e-mails.

4. Better development of upper body strength.

In anticipation of your questions, an FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) has been provided:

Q: My Etch A Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch A Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch A Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch A Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my Etch A Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.


If this has got you itching to try your hand at an Etch A Sketch, Ohio Arts offers an online virtual Etch A Sketch.

What are your memories of Etch A Sketches? Are they good ones?

I'll end this post with a comic I found online that is reminiscent of the Far Side.

picture of an Etch A Sketch comic


"At salvation your spiritual DNA changes" - Dr. Drew Conley

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

The future will be sketched with what we've drawn from the past.

More Funny Signs

It's been a while since I've posted funny signs, and pictures have been accumulating in my folder. I'll start off with some that readers have sent me from Europe.

Here are several from Switzerland. Each one has varying degrees of comprehensibility.

picture of a sign

picture of a sign

picture of a sign

A former student who now lives in Germany said that she and her family stayed at Ice Hotel in Sweden. She took this picture of the bathroom in the woods there and wondered if I had ever seen a "P-Tree" before.

picture of a sign

The following isn't really a sign, but it somehow seems to fit in this post. This is from a menu at a Mexican restaurant.

picture of a menu

I know "parts are parts," as the old advertisement stated. But I think I'd prefer to order a thigh instead of a thing.

The next five pictures are variations on a theme — all are signs in front of the administration building of a Lutheran retirement community in Pennsylvania where a reader's Aunt Dot lives.

picture of a sign

picture of a sign

picture of a sign

picture of a sign

picture of a sign

This sign is one that a reader saw in the somewhere in the Blue Ridge Parkway. I'm not quite sure what it's warning us about.

picture of a sign

Here's one that I took at the hotel where we stayed on our visit to St. Louis. We were surprised that they would have a guest at the register.

picture of a sign

If you'd like to know more about our visit in St. Louis last month, check out my wife's post called St. Louis.

For those of you who don't have Krispy Kreme Doughnuts near by, I'll need to explain something. The very best time to go to Krispy Kreme is when they have hot, fresh doughnuts coming off the conveyor belt. Those plain, glazed doughnuts called "hot ones" are worth every calorie and fat gram with which they are laden!!! You know they have "hot ones" if their neon sign is lighted. There are several different styles, but here's how they look in our part of the country.

picture of a sign

If you look carefully, you can see that the neon sign above actual has two neon bulbs — each one lights up approximately half of the sign. Well, I noticed that one of the local shops had one of the two bulbs burned out, and I captured the picture below on my trusty cell phone.

picture of a sign

Being the basically unbashful jokester that I am, I went inside to buy a hot one and to ask if many women had been inquiring about what they were advertising on their sign outside. One girl behind the counter was puzzled, but the other one cracked up and said that she had actually had several inquiries about their hot employee "Doug" and had to explain regretfully that no one by that name worked there. The burned out bulb has been replaced since my visit....

Thanks to those who help keep me supplied with funny signs! I'm always watching for them myself. Keep 'em coming!


"We are privileged dirt. God has blessed us with privileges dirt doesn't deserve." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

I have not yet begun to procrastinate.