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Can We Believe What We See?


How do you know whether to believe what you see? With today's technology it's possible to alter images so that the changes are almost imperceptible. In addition to that, some people have great fun posing to create certain illusions. And sometimes people and objects are aligned quite accidentally to produce amusing effects. I wish I could find and scan in a hilarious picture taken in our living room where one the people standing in front of our fireplace ended up with what looked like antlers when the pictures were developed.

Here are some pictures that have been accumulating in my files. Some are undoubtedly contrived, but I think that some are purely serendipitous.

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In this final week before the elections, be careful. Reality is often distorted, and not everything may be as it appears. It's truly hard to know what and whom to believe. I'm glad to know One who is always to be trusted and believed!

If you have a funny picture similar to those above, please send it my way. I'll do another post in the future with the best ones I receive.

quotation...

"Many brave men have died for countries that don't exist any more." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

"I believe in my cosmetics line. There are plenty of charities for the homeless. Isn't it time somebody helped the homely?" - singer Dolly Parton

Too Old to Trick or Treat?


old age warning sign

Do you ever think you're getting too old for some things or that you've overdone it? I'm starting to wonder if I have maybe overdone it by having two extremely full weekends in a row. Both weekends were totally enjoyable and I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on either the camping trip or the mini-reunion, but I'm definitely feeling the fatigue this week!

Just when I think I may be getting too old for such exploits, we have a chapel speaker this week - Dr. John Dreisbach - who went to do missionary work for several months last year on a little island in Lake Chad, Africa. This island has no running water, no electricity, etc. and Dr. Dreisbach was 86 at the time!

With these thoughts swirling through my mind, I'm passing something along that I think you'll find humorous, no matter what you think of Trick or Treating.

You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when...

10. you get winded from knocking on the door.

9. you have to have someone else chew the candy for you.

8. you prefer high fiber treats.

7. someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

6. people say, "Great Boris Karloff mask," and you're not wearing a mask.

5. the door opens you yell, "Trick or..." and can't remember the rest.

4. by the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. you have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.

2. you're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

And the number one reason you may be getting too old to go Trick or Treating...

1. you have to keep going by your house to use the restroom.

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"No matter who is in the White House or whether our economy tanks, my personal responsibilities before God remain the same." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Rob

I let my mind wander, and it didn't come back.

No Truck?


picture of Drew with a pumpkin

This past Friday my wife Becka, our daughter Nora, and I headed north for Cincinnati, Ohio, after my last class ended. Our older daughter Megan, our son-in-law Jim, and our grandson Drew headed south for Cincinnati and arrived earlier in the evening than we did. We all thoroughly enjoyed our quiet weekend together. One of our activities on Saturday was to go to the Pumpkin Patch at Blooms and Berries Farm Market in Loveland, Ohio. We did not do all the activities available there since several members of our party were not feeling their best with colds. We did enjoy seeing all sorts of fall produce on display and for sale and a hayride which included a stop at their pumpkin patch. Here are a few pictures from our afternoon there.

picture of Drew looking at decorative squash

picture of us on a hayride

picture of Drew exploring the pumpkin patch

picture of Drew on the tractor

On the way up to Cincinnati and back we saw a number of questionable drivers and interestingly loaded vehicles. Some people did not let having no truck keep them from hauling whatever it was they wanted to transport. This practice is known all over the world, though, as the following pictures readily testify to what people will do when they have no truck.

picture of a person hauling baskets

picture of a person hauling eggs

picture of a person hauling his family

picture of a person hauling fish

picture of a person hauling various fowl

picture of a person hauling greens

picture of a person hauling hoops

picture of a person hauling a large mirror

picture of a person hauling pigs

picture of a person hauling pipes

picture of a person hauling a piece of railing

picture of a person hauling a shark

picture of a person hauling tires

picture of a person hauling tubes

picture of a person hauling vegetables

During our summers in Asia we saw similar scenes, to our amazement! I am very thankful for my little pickup truck which has come in very handy for hauling all sorts of things. :-)

Even though I have a truck, there are some things with which I have "no truck." Having no truck comes from the French verb "troquer" which means swap, trade, barter. So when someone says he "has no truck with something," it means he refuses to have dealings with something. For instance, I have no truck with the Marxist ideal of "redistributing wealth." I also have no truck with abortion.

On purpose, I try to steer clear of politics on this blog, since the answer to mankind's problems is the Lord, not politicians. I have to say that I am not wildly enthusiastic about either of the two major candidates in the presidential race, so please do not misconstrue what I'm saying as tacit approval of either candidate. Once again this election year, I will have to plug my nose and vote for one person mainly as a vote against the other person. As much as a third party vote would make me feel good, I need to be able to sleep at night.

This past Friday two young pastors whose blogs I follow both did a blog post which I feel compelled to pass on to my readers in light of our elections in two short weeks. I would really like to urge you to check out these two posts, which I pass on without comment - one on a blog called Pensées and another on a blog called My Two Cents.

I would appreciate your comments on our weekend, the people with no truck, and the matters with which I have no truck.

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"God's plans will not fail to be accomplished." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

He who runs behind truck is exhausted. He who runs in front of truck is tired.

Financial Crisis Hits Japan


picture of a Japanese bank

Who wants to be the bearer of yet more bad news with all the financial gloom and doom already out there? But something has come to my attention that I feel duty bound to share with my readers. (Here at ivman, we're known for tackling the hard things as well as doing the fun things.) I've just read that uncertainty has now hit the Japanese banking sector. Read on, if you can take it....

In this past 7 days the following has happened in the Japanese banking world:

Origami Bank has folded.

Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Sumo Bank has gone belly up.

Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

Samurai Bank is soldiering on, following sharp cutbacks.

Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop, and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that customers may get a raw deal!

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All right, so I'm an incorrigible punster. Some would say, don't laugh at him - it only incorriges him. But it does do the heart good to chuckle when times are unsettling. Here in America things are so bad that they've printed a new dollar bill:

picture of the new dollar bill

But all joking aside, these financial woes are indeed worldwide and serious, particularly right before the elections here in the USA. There are so many huge issues out there at this time, but this one seems to be front and center, as it should be. As good as it is to be able to laugh a little, it's definitely no fun at all to watch the stock market roller coaster, knowing that what little we have towards retirement is being affected by what's going on in the market. That said, we know that God's promises to care for His children are not dependent on or at the whim of this world's economics.

What are some of you doing at this time in reaction to the financial situation? Do you have any words of wisdom to share?

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"I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread." Psalm 37:25

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Rob

Q: What is the difference between a banker and a pigeon?
A: A pigeon can still afford to put a deposit on a Ferrari.

Camping Tips


picture of a tent

This past weekend my son Mark and I went camping with my best friend Phil and his three sons - an event that has been happily repeated through many years. Now that our sons are all in their twenties, we don't know how many more of these we'll be able to do with all six of us there. It was a fabulous weekend - so enjoyable and relaxing! We enjoyed having Sliding Rock almost to ourselves. (Who else was crazy enough to plunge into 55 degree water?) The fall colors up in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina were not quite at their peak, but they were further along than they are here in Greenville. I had taken my digital camera along to capture some Kodak moments, but we were so busy enjoying ourselves all weekend that I forgot to pull the camera out. Some blogger I am, huh?!

We've done this so much that we have most of the details down pat. However because my 35-year-old Coleman stove, which I had been able to light just fine in our driveway last week, decided that it would not light Saturday morning. We had to take a quick trip to the store to get a replacement for my stove and for Phil's air mattress that lost its air Friday night. (Mine didn't lose its air until Saturday night.) There were a couple of other items we wished we had brought along, but none that we felt like we had to buy to get through the weekend.

Below are some camping tips for you. I'll start off with a story.

Setting Up Camp

The loaded mini-van pulled into the only remaining campsite. Four children leaped from the vehicle and began feverishly unloading gear and setting up the tent. The boys rushed to gather firewood, while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils.

A nearby camper marveled to the youngsters' father, "That, sir, is some display of teamwork."

The father replied, "I have a system - no one is allowed to go to the bathroom until the campsite is set up."

Camping Tips

Get even with a bear who raids your food bag by kicking his favorite stump apart and eating all the ants.

Old socks can be made into high fiber beef jerky by smoking them over an open fire.

When smoking a fish, never inhale.

A hot rock placed in your sleeping bag will keep your feet warm. A hot enchilada works almost as well, but the cheese sticks between your toes.

The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.

Acupuncture was invented by a camper who found a porcupine in his sleeping bag.

While the Swiss Army Knife has been popular for years, the Swiss Navy Knife has remained largely unheard of. Its single blade functions as a tiny canoe paddle.

Effective January 1, 1997, you will actually have to enlist in the Swiss Army to get a Swiss Army Knife.

Lint from your navel makes a handy fire starter. Warning: Remove lint from navel before applying the match.

When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant.

You'll never be lost if you remember that moss always grows on the north side of your compass.

You can duplicate the warmth of a down-filled bedroll by climbing into a plastic garbage bag with several geese.

When camping, always wear a long-sleeved shirt. It gives you something to wipe your nose on.

You can compress the diameter of your rolled up sleeping bag by running over it with your car.

A two-man pup tent does not have enough room for two men and does not include a pup.

A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes an excellent side dish. A potato baked in the coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck.

You can start a fire without matches by eating Mexican food, then breathing on a pile of dry sticks.

In emergency situations, you can survive in the wilderness by shooting small game with a slingshot made from the elastic waistband of your underwear.

The guitar of the noisy teenager at the next campsite makes excellent kindling.

Check the washing instructions before purchasing any apparel to be worn camping. Buy only those that read "Beat on a rock in stream."

The sight of a bald eagle has thrilled campers for generations. The sight of a bald man, however, does absolutely nothing for the eagle.

It's entirely possible to spend your whole vacation on a winding mountain road behind a large motor home.

In an emergency, a drawstring from a parka hood can be used to strangle a snoring tent mate.

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Those camping tips, of course, were in jest. I hope my readers who enjoy camping will post some of their real favorite camping tips. Do you have any great tips to share?

quotation...

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child

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Rob

A great deal of hostility can be released when camping in the fall by using campaign literature of politicians for toilet paper. (I'm ivman, and I so approve this message!)