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Are We in for the Ride of Our Lives?


I got a wonderful story by e-mail this weekend that I simply had to share on my blog. Here it is:

A woman told her neighbor that she had seen a man driving a pick-up truck down the interstate and that a dog was hanging onto the tail gate for dear life!

She said if the pick-up truck driver hadn't been going so fast in the other direction, she would have tried to stop him.

A few weeks later, her neighbor saw that same truck in the parking lot at the Bass Pro Shop and took a picture of it.

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The driver of the pick-up truck is a local taxidermist, with a great sense of humor!

And that "dog" is actually a coyote named Kyle! I learned that when I did a web search and found the website of the taxidermist.

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As the world economy and our national economy are struggling, largely because of debt (ie. people spending money they don't have) and as our government votes on a spending bill of close to a trillion dollars we don't have, I think we all need to hold on for the ride of our lives. The Lord keeps sending us these reminders that our hope is not in people, but in Him.

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"There aren't any big shots when it comes to servants of God. If you want to be in the limelight to serve, it's not service you're thinking about – it's recognition." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

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

Abraham Lincoln Quotations


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Today is the 200th birthday of two famous men - Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. I was surprised (but probably shouldn't have been...) to see which of the two men Google chose to highlight – Darwin. I decided to honor President Lincoln by sharing some well-known and not-so-well-known quotations from him. Some of them are quite powerful, while others show that he had a highly developed sense of humor.

Quotations from Abraham Lincoln

A woman is the only thing that I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.

What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.

I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.

I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.

I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child has.

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain.

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this, too, shall pass away."

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.

The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.

Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

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Do you have a favorite quotation from Abe Lincoln to share or a comment to make on one of these quotations?

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"I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side." - Abraham Lincoln

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

"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met." - Abraham Lincoln

Kids on Love


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Everyone has his own perspective on things. The description of this blog right under the blog name reads "one French professor’s humorous and serious perspectives on life…." While I definitely share my perspectives on life, I'm very interested in what others think too – that's why I invite people to make comments on my blog.

Of all the perspectives out there, children have some of the best things to say about many issues of life, some of which they don't fully understand and others that they understand surprisingly well. Today's instant vacation is some thoughts kids have about love. I don't know the source of these – obviously someone who is around children a lot.

Kids' thoughts on love

WHAT IS LOVE?
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's Love."

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss."

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken."

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

CONCERNING WHY LOVE HAPPENS BETWEEN TWO PARTICULAR PEOPLE
"One of the people has freckles and so he finds somebody else who has freckles too." Andrew, age 6

"No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell ... that's why perfume and deodorant is so popular." Mae, age 9

ON THE ROLE OF BEAUTY AND HANDSOMENESS IN LOVE
"It isn't always just how you look. Look at me, I'm handsome as anything and I haven't got anybody to marry me yet." Brian, age 7

WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. Lynnette, age 8

CONCERNING WHY LOVERS OFTEN HOLD HANDS
"They want to make sure their rings don't fall off because they paid good money for them." Gavin, age 8

"They are just practicing for when they might have to walk down the aisle someday and do the holy matchimony thing." John, age 9

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
When they're rich. Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. Curt, age 6

SOME SUREFIRE WAYS TO MAKE A PERSON FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU
"Yell out that you love them at the top of your lungs ... and don't worry if their parents are right there." Manuel, age 8

"Don't do things like have smelly, green sneakers. You might get attention, but attention ain't the same thing as love." Alonzo, age 9

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF ADULTS EATING DINNER IN A RESTAURANT ARE IN LOVE?
"Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get cold ... other people care more about their food." Bart, age 9

"It's love if they order one of those desserts that's on fire. They like to order those because it's just like how their hearts are - on fire." Christine, age 9

HOW TO MAKE LOVE ENDURE
"Be a good kisser. It might make your wife forget that you never take out the trash." Dave, age 8

"Don't forget your wife's name..that will mess up the love." Erin, age 8

CONFIDENTIAL OPINIONS ABOUT LOVE
"Love will find you. Even if you hide from it. I have been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me." Dave, age 8

"I'm not rushing into being in love. I'm finding the fourth grade hard enough." Regina, age 10

IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. Anita, age 9

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY?
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. Kirsten, age 10

WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. Camille, age 10

HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. Derrick, age 8

HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? Kelvin, age 9

HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck. Ricky, age 10

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Do you have any quotations on this subject from kids in your life?

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"The problem with man is not the lack of evidence, but the suppression of evidence." - Dr. Ravi Zacharias

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Rob

After a quarrel, a wife said to her husband, "You know, I was a fool when I married you." The husband replied, "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice."

Earth to Mars! … Earth to Venus!…


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In his book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, John Gray asserts that women complain about problems because they want their problems to be acknowledged, while men complain about problems because they are seeking solutions.

In anticipation of Valentine's Day next week, I'm posting a classic by Dave Barry that highlights Gray's assertion. I laugh every time I read this!

Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine.

He asks her out for dinner, she accepts, and they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to a concert, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and without really thinking, she says it aloud, "Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?"

And then there is silence in the car.

To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.

And Roger is thinking: Wow. Six months.

And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward ... I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a whole lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Roger is thinking: ... so that means it was ... let's see ... February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means ... lemme check the odometer ... Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Elaine is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed it – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.

And Roger is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Elaine is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.

And Roger is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 90- day warranty. That's exactly what they're gonna say, the rats.

And Elaine is thinking: maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a warranty. Why, those ....

"Roger," Elaine says aloud.

"What?" says Roger, startled.

"Please don't torture yourself like this," she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have ... I feel so . ." (She breaks down, sobbing.)

"What?" says Roger.

picture of knight on white horse

"I'm such a fool," Elaine sobs. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."

"There's no horse?" says Roger.

"You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Elaine says.

"No!" says Roger, glad finally to know the correct answer.

"It's just that ... It's that I ... I need some time," Elaine says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

"Yes," he says.

(Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

"Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?" she says.

"What way?" says Roger.

"That way about time," says Elaine.

"Oh," says Roger. "Yes."

(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

"Thank you, Roger," she says.

"Thank you," says Roger.

Then he takes her to her home. After he leaves, she throws herself on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn; whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechs he's never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it. (This is also Roger's policy regarding world hunger.)

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say:

"Say, Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?"

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Do you think this is a pretty accurate picture of the relationship between most men and women you know, or is your experience a lot different from this?

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"The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, how can you hope to find inward peace?" - A.W. Tozer

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Rob

Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it!

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20 New Logos After the Economic Downturn


Branding is becoming an increasingly important matter today, not only in the corporate world, but also in many other areas of life, including blogging. It seems that choosing a name is no longer enough. Your name needs to be associated in people's minds with an easily identifiable logo. According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers."

Before our kids could read, they would still recognize places of business we drove past. These businesses had branded their signs or logos sufficiently well that even small children recognized them immediately. I'll bet many of you had the same types of experiences with your kids, proving the effectiveness of branding.

The current economic woes have prompted some businesses to consider altering their logos. See how many of these you could still recognize if they became the new logos.

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We might as well laugh about things we cannot change, huh? :-)

Several have remarked that I do not have a logo for my blog. I'm not sure what my logo should look like. For most of my visitors, the various scenes from Paris in the header are an identifying feature for ivman's blague - my special trademark. If you were designing a logo for my blog, what would it look like?

picture of Bonza mascot

Happy Bonza Bottler Day!

Today is one of the twelve we have each year. You can check out the official page set up and maintained by the family of the holiday's founder. The logo on the right is the official logo.

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"We live in a world of unsatisfied desire." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Rob

Advertising: The science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.