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9 Rules


picture of the 9rules leaf

Yesterday 9rules posted the list of sites newly accepted into their network of blogs. To use the latest media buzzword, ivman's blague has been vetted! (For those who, like me, have been wondering what in the world that means, vet = to appraise, verify, or check for accuracy, authenticity, validity, etc.)

A while back I randomly found 9rules online and tried to figure out what exactly it was. Here’s what 9rules has to say about themselves — "9rules is a place where members and readers can connect, build relationships, and learn new things."

9rules started in 2003 with a set of 9 rules:

1. Love what you do.
2. Never stop learning.
3. Form works with function.
4. Simple is beautiful.
5. Work hard, play hard.
6. You get what you pay for.
7. When you talk, we listen.
8. Must constantly improve.
9. Respect your inspiration.

Since I knew I could abide by those rules, I clicked on the link “How Do I Join” and submitted my blog for their review. And now my blog has been accepted into their community. I'm vetted! (I'm trying to use that word as often as the media is this week - particularly in connection with Sarah Palin, but I know I'm failing miserably, not wanting to use it in every other sentence…).

I'm truly amazed to be included in a group of blogs with, as the 9rules header puts it, "The best content from the independent web." One of the benefits to my blog is exposure to a very large audience. I'm pleased that more people will find out that my blog is a source for good, clean humor. Some of my readers may also find some blogs in the 9rules community that are of interest or use to them; however I hasten to add that there will certainly be some blogs that are not at all to their liking — caveat lector!

In honor of this momentous event, I am publishing "The Rules" - both the women's version and the men's version. I have boiled each of the lists down to just 9 rules. 8-)

The Rules (from the female perspective)

1. The Female always makes The Rules. The Rules are subject to change at any time without prior notification … by the Female.

2. No Male can possibly know all The Rules. If the Female suspects the Male knows all The Rules, she must immediately change some or all of The Rules.

3. The Female is never wrong. If it appears that the Female is wrong, it is because of a misunderstanding caused by something the Male did or said wrong, for which the Male must immediately apologize.

4. The Female may change her mind at any time. The Male must never change his mind without the express written consent of the Female.

5. The Female has every right to be angry or upset at any time. The Male, however, must remain calm at all times, unless the Female wants him to be angry or upset.

6. The Female must, under no circumstances, let the Male know what's on her mind or whether she wants him to be angry or upset. The Male is expected to mind read at all times.

7. Any attempt to document The Rules could result in undesirable consequences. (Uh-oh … I'm toast!)

8. If the Male, at any time, believes he is right, he must refer to Rule #3.

9. The Female always gets the last word. The Male may get the last word, only if it's "Yes, Dear."

The Rules (from the male perspective)

(You will notice that all The Rules are numbered "one" — they are all of equal importance.)

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about your leaving it down.

1. Men = sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Concerning communication: Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials. Ask for exactly what you want. Let's clarify that: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it! Furthermore, "Yes" and "No" are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. If we ask you what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We assume you're telling the truth. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear. For example, if you think you're fat, you probably are. So don't ask us.

1. Concerning problems and projects: Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, it would be best for you to do it yourself.

1. Concerning what we say: Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. Concerning what you wear: You have enough clothes and you have too many shoes. Most men own three pairs of shoes – tops. What makes you think we would be any good at choosing which pair, out of forty, would look good with your dress? When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.

1. Concerning how we see things: Men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what taupe is, let alone that there are shades of taupe! Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. Concerning what we do and don't do: If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that. We do not remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar and remind us frequently beforehand. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. Crying is blackmail.

Now who said that we men are not communicators?! Look at the length of our Rules!

quotation...

"It's not just our prayers and our hymns that declare the glory of God, but it's also our work that declares His glory." - Dr. Bryan Smith

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

Is there an exception to the rule that states, "There is an exception to every rule"?

When Men Go to Walmart…


cartoon of age differences

Here at the beginning of September I'm thinking about some milestone birthdays in our family this month. On the 17th our firstborn will turn 30, and on the last day of the month, I will be 15 years younger than John McCain! (He's a lot younger than most people realize! You do the math….)

As I age gracefully, I'm noticing some of the subtle differences that come with each stage of life - the way you see things and do things. (Notice the cartoon on the right…) On a more personal level, when I was a 20-something, it was nothing to pull all-nighters or at least to stay up late into the night doing fun activities or doing grading and course preparations as a young teacher. Now I have a hard time staying up very late at all. Just this past Friday evening a bunch of us teachers got together for a game night. Most of us played games late into the early part of the evening! Sigh!

Today's "instant vacation" takes a look at some of the changes that aging makes in something as everyday as going to Walmart.

When men go to Walmart…

You are a man doing some kind of project around the house – mowing the lawn, putting a new fence in, painting the living room, or whatever. You are hot and sweaty, covered in dirt or paint. You have your old work clothes on. You know the outfit - shorts with a hole in them, old T-shirt with a stain from who knows what home repair, and an old pair of tennis shoes.

Right in the middle of this great home improvement project you realize you need to run to Walmart to get something to help complete the job.

Depending on your age you might do the following:

In your 20's:
Stop what you are doing. Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush and floss your teeth, and put on clean clothes. Check yourself in the mirror and flex. Splash on a lot of your favorite cologne because you never know, you just might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout lane. And you went to school with the pretty girl running the register.

In your 30's:
Stop what you are doing, put on clean shorts and shirt. Change shoes. You married the hot chick so no worries in that department. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror. Still got it. Add a healthy shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell. The cute girl running the register is the kid sister of someone you went to school with.

In your 40's:
Stop what you are doing. Put a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the hole in your shorts. Put on different shoes and a hat to cover up your messed up, unwashed hair. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Brute cologne is almost empty, so you don't want to waste any of it on a trip to Walmart. Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking in than flexing. The spicy young thing running the register is your daughter's age.

In your 50's:
Stop what you are doing. Put on a hat, wipe the grime off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don't want to get dirt in your new sports car. Check yourself in the mirror and you swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it makes you look fat. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have it. Then you remember the hat you have on is from Buddy's Bait Shop and says, "I Got Worms."

In your 60's:
Stop what you are doing. No need for a hat anymore – nothing to cover up. Hose the dog dirt off your shoes. The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50s and no need to replace it. You hope no one will notice the hole in you pants. The girl running the register may be cute, but you don't have your glasses on so you are not sure.

In your 70's:
Stop what you are doing. Wait to go to Walmart until they have your prescriptions ready too. Don't even notice the dog dirt on your shoes. The young thing at the register smiles at you because you remind her of her grandfather.

In your 80's:
Stop what you are doing. Start again. Then stop again. Then you remember you needed to go to Walmart. You go to Walmart, then wander around for an hour trying to think what it is you are looking for. Then you burp out loud and turn, thinking someone behind you called out your name. You realise you went to school with the old lady who greeted you at the front door an hour ago

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I want to be perfectly fair, though, and remind my readers that it's not just we men who are conscious of their appearance when they go to shopping. Here's a picture of a newspaper article that proves that women think about what they're going to wear when they go to Walmart.

picture of a newspaper article

Have any of you been or seen a "fashion plate" at Walmart lately? Or how 'bout some of those conversations you can't help overhearing?

quotation...

"You never realize what a good memory you have until you try to forget something." - Franklin P. Jones

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

Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.

What Can You Learn from a Dog?


picture of Paisley under a chair

Our family seems to be growing lately by going to the dogs! In a comment I added to one of my recent blog posts called great cat quotations I mentioned that even though our kids grew up with cats, all three of them are dog people now. They don't dislike cats, but they've chosen to own dogs instead. The puppy in the picture on the right is our latest "grand-pup" - Paisley. Our daughter Nora bought her when she moved into her own apartment last week. Paisley is a Weimaraner that's about 7 weeks old. That makes our fourth grand-pup. Megan and Jim have a dog who's a mix of terrier and sneaky neighborhood dog, and Mark and Katie have two dogs, both of mixed heritage, that they got from the Greenville Humane Society.

I'm so used to cats now after so many years of having cats that I have a hard time understanding what dogs are trying to communicate to me. Here's a Far Side® cartoon I can really relate to…

comic of dog decoder

If you too wonder what dogs are trying to tell us…

Things we can learn from a dog

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps, and then stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want is buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, prance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Instead run right back and make friends.

If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you'll get what you want.

Leave room in your schedule for a good nap.

When you do something wrong, always take responsibility (as soon as you're dragged shamefully out from under the bed).

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

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Have you dog owners learned any lessons from your dog?

Here's a parting shot of Paisley in her crate…

picture of Paisley in her crate

quotation...

"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear." - Dave Barry

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

So if it's a dog's life you're leading or if you're working like a dog, learn some of the lessons above – take a moment, take a breath, and just enjoy being alive. SMILE! (without sticking your tongue out, of course!) :-P

What’s Your Motive?


What motivates you? How do you motivate others? Is it even possible to motivate others?

Motivation is an interesting phenomenon. Here at the beginning of a new school year, we teachers try to think of ways to motivate some of our less enthusiastic students to try harder in our classes. Not necessarily an easy thing to do. If you read the "experts" in the field, you find a wide range of ideas and suggestions — instructor's enthusiasm, reasonable expectations and goals, showing relevance of the material, asking engaging questions, active involvement and participation of students, building self-confidence, variety, rewards and privileges, rapport between teacher and students, and on and on it goes.

There's a whole industry out there whose goal is to help motivate people. One of their products is the motivational poster. You've undoubtedly seen them. They generally have a symbolic picture, a keyword, and an inspiring or motivating saying or quotation. Here's an example…

motivational poster on destiny

Here's one on persistence…

motivational poster on persistence

There's another whole industry that is a spin-off of the motivational posters. They call their products demotivational posters. Here's their version of persistence…

demotivational poster on persistence

Their whole premise is that "motivational products create unrealistic expectations, raising hopes only to dash them." They go on to say, "…we created our soul-crushingly depressing Demotivators® designs, so you can skip the delusions that motivational products induce and head straight for the disappointments that follow!"

This poster of theirs pretty well sums up their philosophy…

demotivational poster on motivation

Some of their posters are quite cynical, but many are downright hilarious. Sometimes the picture is indispensable and other times their wording is enough. Here are a my absolute favorites…

demotivational poster on apathy

Blame - The Secret to Success is Knowing Who to Blame for Your Failures.

demotivational poster on burnout

Challenges - I expected times like this - but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent.

demotivational poster on cluelessness

Defeat - For Every Winner, There are Dozens of Losers. Odds are You're One of Them.

Dysfunction - The Only Consistent Feature of All of your Dissatisfying Relationships is You.

Failure - When Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough.

Futility - You'll Always Miss 100% of the Shots you Don't Take, and, Statistically Speaking, 99% of the Shots You Do.

demotivational poster on incompetence

Ineptitude - If You Cant' Learn to Do Something Well, Learn to Enjoy Doing It Poorly.

Mistakes - It Could Be that the Purpose of Your Life Is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others.

Pessimism - Every Dark Cloud Has a Silver Lining, but Lightning Kill Hundreds of People Each Year Who are Trying to Find it.

demotivational poster on tradition

Trouble - Luck Can't Last a Lifetime Unless You Die Young.

Underachievement - The Tallest Blade of Grass is the First to be Cut by the Lawnmower.

Wishes - When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.

You can see the whole Demotivators® collection on their website despair.com and maybe even decide to buy some of their funny products.

Before leaving despair.com behind, I'd like to highlight a couple more of their posters. Here's one that goes to the very heart of this French teacher…

demotivational poster on effort

I wonder if anyone has shown these two demotivational posters to Obama…

demotivational poster on hope

demotivational poster on change

Ever since I first found the Demotivators® website, I have been saving things that others have put together, following the same basic template, satirizing a number of areas of life. Here are some of the ones I've collected…

demotivational poster on cleaning

demotivational poster on committees

demotivational poster on individualism

demotivational poster on misspelling

demotivational poster on uniqueness

demotivational poster on unity

I found one that I altered — I thought that the blank image with nothing but the word Alzheimer's was over the edge, so here's my softened version of it…

demotivational poster on senior moments

I hope that you were more amused than demotivated by the preceding posters!

Anyway, back to motivation… What motivates you? If you are in a position to try to motivate others, what works for you? Like those posters above, what has demotivated you at times?

As cute as it may be, would the following "motivational" poster be enough for you or those around you?

demotivational poster on awesomeness

I fear that that is what is happening in many classrooms today — teachers telling their students how great they are in an effort to motivate them.

I'm really looking forward to getting some reader input on this whole area of motivation.

quotation...

"When I choose to sin, it's like taking a spoonful of death because sin and death go together." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

In the world of political correctness, people aren't lazy, they're only selectively motivated.

Did He Pass the Test?


boy taking a test

Does the thought of taking tests fill you with terror? Probably. Classes haven't even begun for us yet, and I'm already thinking about tests. We're in faculty in-service meetings this week on campus and they have been excellent - very helpful and thought-provoking! Next week we'll be working in our offices getting our courses ready to go. Then after several days of course registration, classes will begin September 3. Part of teaching is writing and grading tests. But tests aren't limited just to the realms of academia. Many potential employees have to take tests to show their competencies for the jobs they'd like to land.

Here's a story about a man in that very situation.

Tom is applying for a job as a signalman for the local railroad, and is told to meet the inspector at the signal box.

Tom seems like a good prospect, and the inspector decides to give Tom a pop quiz. He starts off by asking, "What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading towards each other on the same track?"

Tom says, "I would switch one train to another track."

"What if the lever broke?" asks the inspector.

"I'd run down to the tracks and use the manual lever," answers Tom.

"What if that had been struck by lightning?" challenges the inspector.

"Then," Tom continues, "I'd run back up here and use the phone to call the next signal box."

"What if the phone were busy?"

"In that case," Tom argues, "I'd run to the street level and use the public phone near the station".

"What if that had been vandalized?"

Tom quickly replies, "In that case I'd run into town and get my Uncle Leo."

The puzzled inspector asks, "Why would you do that?"

"Because he's never seen a train crash!"

(So, did Tom pass the test and land the job?)

Now here's a little test for you. It appears to be a list of trick questions with obvious answers, but it really is!

The world's easiest test?

(Answers follow, but NO cheating!)

1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2. Which country makes Panama hats?

3. From which animal do we get catgut?

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7. What was King George VI's first name?

8. What color is a purple finch?

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?

Now remember ... NO cheating!

Answers to the world's easiest test…

1. 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

2. Ecuador.

3. From sheep and horses.

4. November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.

5. Squirrel fur.

6. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria — Island of the Dogs.

7. Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert.

8. Distinctively crimson.

9. New Zealand. (Chinese gooseberries is an older name for kiwifruit.)

10. Thirty years, of course! From 1618 to 1648.

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If that test made you feel as dumb as it made me feel, maybe this final item about testing will make you feel like a rocket scientist (or at least a rocket surgeon…).

A college football coach had recruited a top talent for the team, but the player couldn't pass the school's entrance exam. Needing the recruit badly, the coach went to the dean and asked if the recruit could take the test orally. The dean agreed, and the following day the recruit and the coach were seated in his office.

"OK," the dean said, "What is seven times seven?"

The recruit looked terrified as he thought it over for a moment then said, "I think it's 49."

The coach immediately jumped to his feet. "Oh, come on, Dean," he begged, "give him another chance!"

Lends weight to the oxymoronic nature of the expression "sports scholarship," doesn't it? Do you have a test experience you'd like to tell about? We'd love to read about it in the comments.

quotation...

"Right affections lead to right thinking, and right thinking leads to right living." - Dr. Bryan Smith

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

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, then the lesson afterwards.