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Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

Bear with Us


My wife recounted to me a recent news story she had seen about a man in Daytona Beach, FL, who looked out the window and spotted a black bear in the hammock swing in the back yard! Here's a picture of the bear:

Bear in Hammock

That news story and another one the other day about Smokey the Bear turning 70 this year made me think I ought to do a blog post about bears. First, there's a fun, short YouTube video about his birthday, and then I've posted two jokes that have bears in them.

Those of you reading this post in e-mail or in a blog reader might have to go to this blog post itself to see the video.
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Consistency on the 5th Birthday of My Blog


picture of birthday candle

This Saturday is the 5th birthday of my blog. That's hard to believe. I started the blog as a way to share pictures and stories of our adventures we would have while teaching at a university in China in the summer of 2005. I was reluctant, but at the urging of and with the help of a young tech I worked with at IT, I set up my blog. My first post, on June 19, 2005, was called Strangers in Paradise. If you weren't an ivman reader back in 2005 and 2006, you might enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the accounts of our experiences during the two months we taught summer school in China.

I had been sending out "iv's" (instant vacations by e-mail since sometime back in 1996 or 1997 and got used to maintaining a regular mailing schedule. Some of you who have been reading "my stuff" since the earliest e-mailings probably deserve a purple heart! 🙂 When I saw how easy it was to publish blog posts, which included images, I decided to start to distribute my "iv's" by way of the blog instead of by e-mail. If you're a fairly new ivman reader and don't know all the history, you might find my about page an interesting explanation of what my blog is all about.

In blogging it's important to be consistent — in timing and in over-all content. Some blogs start out great guns and then quickly die out because the blogger did not count the cost of how much work it is to keep up a consistent schedule. In a post called How to Start a Blog I shared the following comic strip along this line.

cartoon about blogging

Keeping with the theme of consistency, I'd like to share a fun series of pictures. One of the posters we hang up for a few weeks each school year in our French classroom is the one below. Ernest's face is amazingly flexible and expressive for illustrating the different emotions.
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Word Nerd


picture of Dr. Seuss

Theodor Geisel, born on March 2, 1904, would have celebrated his 105th birthday today, had he not died in 1987. He is better known by a title and his middle name – Dr. Seuss. Children and adults alike love his books for their fun use of words, rhyme, and rhythm.

Our children had several Dr. Seuss books that they loved especially – The Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, and Green Eggs and Ham. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them aloud to the children, but Fox in Socks was quite a challenging tongue twister!

picture of Nerd

Dr. Seuss combined words to make new words that were known only in his books. I'll have to ask Dave over at The History Bluff to verify this, but it is believed that Dr. Seuss coined the word "nerd" that has taken on a life of its own. I've read that the first documented use of the word was a character named Nerd (seen in the picture on the right) in the story If I Ran the Zoo in 1950 ... just in time for my birth the following year. Phew! I don't know if I could have been a nerd in high school otherwise! 😯

Now that I've moved on to become a computer geek, I have to admit that I'm still a word nerd. As a language teacher, I love words. I marvel at Dr. Seuss's ability to put words together in such fun patterns.

My word play is definitely more in punning rather than in rhyming. In honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday, I'm posting some fun puns.

Abacus: a calculator used by early geeks.

Baker: A person who works for money because he kneads the dough

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

picture of the cat in the hat

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

Adam's rib: the original bone of contention.

Air pollution is a mist-demeanor.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

A gross ignoramus: 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A calendar's days are numbered.

The dentist and the manicurist fought tooth and nail.

Dow Jones Averages: Roamin' numerals

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Here's the link to the official Dr. Seuss website.

Our daughter Megan and several other young mothers went together with their toddlers to see the Cat in the Hat at Pottery Barn Kids. Megan wasn't sure how Drew would react, but instead of being afraid, he was intrigued. All he wanted to do was to get a hold of the Cat in the Hat's red necktie. Here's a picture from that visit.

picture of Megan, Drew and the cat in the hat

Do you or your family members enjoy Dr. Seuss books? If so, what's your favorite?

quotation...

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

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

A waist is a terrible thing to mind.


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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.


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Cool Birthday!


We celebrated our grandson Drew's first birthday this past weekend. I have way too many pictures to pick from, so I will show as much restraint as possible. Here are some of the stories and some pictures....

Grandma and Nora traveled up as planned. They got stuck in a horrible traffic backup in Tennessee, not far from the state line to Kentucky. They got off at the next exit the traffic crept up to to try to find a restroom. Several men from the DOT pulled off to see if they were OK. Becka asked the one man why the traffic was so backed up, thinking he'd say it was an accident since the southbound traffic was flowing fine. He told her that the some of the mountain had caved! Yikes! We were thankful that it had happened before they got that far. He told them that if they continued on the road at that exit, they would come to a gravel road that would eventually take them to Jellico on the other side of the place where the mountain had caved. It was after dark, but they could see well enough to know that the left side of the gravel road was a sheer drop-off! I was very relieved when they called me from Jellico!

On Friday they managed to stay ahead of the snow storm that hammered Ohio. Below is a picture of them at lunch time in Perrysburg, OH, with some of the snow from earlier last week.

What Becka and Nora didn't know was that a few weeks ago I cashed in some frequent-flyer miles to fly up for the weekend too! I was supposed to arrive in Detroit at about midnight, but because of the snow, our pilot was delayed in arriving from his flight from Toronto. So my three hour layover in Chicago O'Hare became a six hour layover! (reminiscent of the theme song of Gilligan's Island ... a three hour tour!) When I arrived in Detroit at about 3:00 a.m. my son-in-law (who was in on my surprise) was there waiting for me. It was so fun when I slipped into our bedroom, kissed Becka to wake her up, and enjoyed her complete surprise!

We all really enjoyed being together on Saturday as preparations were going on for the "friends party" at 5:30 that afternoon. Meg and Jim asked me if I would give Drew his first trim to try to reduce his "baby mullet." Here are a couple of pictures of the process....

"Hey, Grandpa, what are you doing to me?!"

A lot of preparations went on in the kitchen for the food for the party the theme of which was puppies. Nora set up a cookie factory on the kitchen table....

Here's a tray full of the finished product....

Megan made a cute cake she'd seen online....

Drew also got his own cupcake - his first taste of cake! He enjoyed the cake, but he didn't want to touch it.

Drew really enjoyed the presents....

Grandma loved being with her boy....

It's hard to remember his being such a tiny preemie a year ago - he's such a fine, upstanding boy now!

My flights home Sunday were less eventful, and the delay in Chicago O'Hare was shorter than Friday night's delay. What's kind of sad is that 10 hours of my weekend were spent at O'Hare! Yuck! Becka and Nora are driving back to South Carolina today (Tuesday). It will be great to have them home again!

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My recent trip up north, where they are experiencing one of their hardest winters in a long time, reminded me of the horrors of global warming and of an e-mail I received recently about the Northern Lights and a frozen Antarctic wave.

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Yellowknife, named after copper, is the the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories. Here are a few pictures of the Northern Lights over Yellowknife and living in teepees at 37 degrees below 0....

It's beyond cool!

Below are some pictures of Antarctica. In the e-mail I received, what you see below was attributed to a quick freeze of a wave in super frigid air, but according to snopes it's actually the result of melting and refreezing. Whatever the situation, that's one cold place!

quotation...

"It's nice to have the things money can buy, as long as you don't lose the things money can't buy." - Kevin Johns

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

If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?


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