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Posts Tagged ‘German’

Is a Bad Job Better than No Job?

picture of beggars

With unemployment high and jobs scarce, some people are coming to the realization that, in order to work at all, they might have to settle for a job that they would have never considered. Others are finding it necessary to stay in jobs they don't like. A sobering reminder of today's economy is seeing more people with "Will work for food" signs. The cat in the picture above looks like it could be saying, "Will work for effect."

Here are some pictures of people whose jobs, frankly, I would not want. All I can say about the first one is YIKES!

picture of bad job

I guess the job market is tight!

picture of bad job

This job is just plain gross!

picture of bad job

Can this be for real?!

picture of bad job

In the picture below, the German translates as "At the wrong time in the wrong place in the wrong job?"

picture of bad job

I ran across a German website whose schtick is to strategically place pictures on the sides of machines, advertising their job-finding services with the slogan "Life's too short for the wrong job." Some of these are extremely clever. I will give some help for several since the pictures might be hard to figure out.

An instant photo machine...

picture of bad job

Airport security machine for scanning carry-on luggage...

picture of bad job

picture of bad job

picture of bad job

So THAT is how those kiddie rides work!

picture of bad job

If you'd like to see more, you can go to the site shown in the pictures above. Let me warn you that some of them may not be to your liking, especially if you tend to fragility.

Our daughter Megan posted some great pictures of our grandson Drew on her blog this past week. I'll share several of my favorites.

Megan and her friend Beth took their little guys to a mall to see Curious George. Drew was delighted, and Joey was not.

picture of Drew and George

Afterwards they went to Krispy Kreme for warm donuts. Here's a picture of the boys watching the donuts go by on the conveyor. Our little peanut is just barely tall enough to look in the window without assistance.

picture of Drew and Joey

That's almost enough to make me want to be working on the other side of that window!

Later in the week Megan did a post about the golf clubs Drew had received as a Christmas gift. The weather is nice enough now for him to begin to enjoy trying them out. Here are a couple of shots of our young golf pro.

picture of Drew and golf

picture of Drew and golf

If you want to see more, head over to Megan's blog.

What are your thoughts about bad jobs? Would you currently settle for any job, even a bad one? Is there a bad job in your past that you're happy not to have as a part of your present?

Happy Memorial Day to those who have a day off work! Even though I have to work today, I'm thankful to have a summer job. I'm especially thankful for those whose sacrifice have helped secure the freedoms we currently enjoy. May those freedoms erode no further!


"God created man to work, and so man is unhappy when he's doing nothing productive.... It's the fallenness of this world that makes work hard and unenjoyable." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.

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Unhelpful Road Signs

picture of unhelpful road sign

Don't you usually expect road signs to be helpful? Yet how often do you see signs along the highway or in town that might as well not be there? One thing I have noticed about our part of the country is that, when you are driving on the highway, you are expected to remember the last sign you saw because, at the point you'll need the information (the exit), there's no sign to help you! For instance, you see a sign telling that the next exit on the highway is for Hwy SC 253, but when you get to the exit, the only thing on that sign is the exit number. If you didn't happen to notice and/or remember the sign a mile or so back, you would have no idea where this exit will take you.

I have driven quite a bit in France, and let me tell you, it's different! French drivers are ... shall I say ... intrepid? And some of the traffic laws are different. For instance there are many intersections with no stop signs or traffic lights. In that case, the person to your right has the right of way (priorité). Many of the road signs are what I call "International Illiterate Signs." Below are some that you might see in Europe (the home of the first road signs). Of course, the actual signs would be minus the words under them.

picture of European road signs

Many of those signs are easily understandable, but there are some that leave me wondering.

Worse yet in France are the signs Toutes Directions (all directions) and Autres Directions (other directions). Here's an example:

picture of helpful road sign

I may have missed the logic here, but it seems to me that if the sign Toutes Directions is indicating all directions, how can there even be other directions???

Below is a place in France that leaves you wondering why there isn't a "helpful" Toutes Directions sign pointing to the left.

picture of an overabundance of helpful road signs in France

Maybe that is their means of keeping down the speed of the drivers as they must go slowly enough to find the sign they need.

Our German friends Uwe and Diana are leaving Friday morning to do some sightseeing for a week in Atlanta, Savannah, and Charleston. Here's a picture of them this evening, with "Ivman Central" in the background....

picture of Uwe and Diana

They, of course, are used to the wordless signs in Germany, and so if they see any, they will know what to do. They even have a GPS in their rental vehicle here to help them get around. But I hope they don't run across any signs like the ones below in which the words will cause more confusion than help.

picture of helpful road sign

picture of helpful road sign

picture of helpful road sign

Maybe their GPS will help them in situations like the ones below.

picture of helpful road sign

picture of helpful road sign

picture of helpful road sign

I'm sure some of you have funny experiences of driving in another country or of having to decipher unhelpful road signs. Please share them with us!


"Praising God is not closing your eyes to reality. It's lifting your eyes to reality." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

The road to success always seems to be under construction.

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Spelling and Pronunciation Woes

picture of dominoes

Although the following is not news to long-time ivman readers, it may help newcomers to understand a little more about the guy who does this blog. After teaching French as a foreign language for 32 years and German for 16 years, I found out what it's like to teach English as a foreign language when my wife and I taught summer school at a university in China in 2005 and 2006. English is not easy, even if you grow up speaking it, but trying to explain some of the oddities of English to non-anglophones makes you realize just how quirky English spelling and pronunciation can be. With that in mind, I've put together several things from my files that highlight some of those difficulties of the English language.

The combination of letters "ough" at the end of various words has seven different pronunciations, as shown in the following poem:

'Tis not an easy task to show
How o-u-g-h sounds; since though
An Irish lough (lok) and English slough
And cough and hiccough (hik'kup) all allow,
Differ as much as tough and through,
There seems no reason that they do.

The following could really make you say "Hmmm..."

If GH can stand for P as in Hiccough,
And if OUGH stands for O as in Dough,
And if PHTH stands for T as in Phthisis,
And if EIGH stands for A as in Neighbor,
And if TTE stands for T as in Gazette,
And if EAU stands for O as in Plateau,
Then an alternative spelling of POTATO could be GHOUGHPHTHEIGHTTEEAU,

No wonder the English language is so hard to learn and master, huh? I sometimes wonder how we manage to communicate at all! We have many homonyms – words that are spelled differently but pronounced the same, as illustrated in the picture at the beginning of this post – ate/eight, weigh/way, eye/aye/I, etc. But worse yet, we have words whose spellings are exactly the same and yet whose pronunciations differ, based on how the words are used!

One of my pet peeves is the mispronunciation of one of the sayings of Dr. Bob Sr. — "Duties never conflict." I often hear people say it using the pronunciation of conflict as if it were a noun, with the emphasis on the first syllable. But since conflict is a verb in the saying, the emphasis should be on the second syllable. I'm not sure where that mispronunciation began ... I certainly hope it wasn't Dr. Bob Sr. himself. 🙂

Below are some fine examples for your analysis. (It's more effective if you try to read the following sentences aloud.)

We must polish off the Polish sausage before it spoils.

He could lead if he got the lead out.

The farm was used mainly to produce produce.

The dump was so full that they had to refuse more refuse.

Sometimes I progress without making any real progress.

The soldier decided to desert in the desert.

There's no time like the present to present the present to the birthday boy. (Whoa! Two pronunciations, but three uses!)

Even though I read it last year, I will read it again this year.

Instead of a trout, a bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object he offered me.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

The bandage was wound around the wound.

His teacher was content with the content.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

The two of us were too close to the door to close it. (Not only does this one use "close", but it also contains the dreaded to-too-two homonyms.)

The buck does funny things when does are nearby.

With her needle and thread the sewer could not fix the tear in the sewer line, she reported later with a tear in her eye. (A double whammy in this one.)

To help with the planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was so strong we couldn't wind the sail.

If you were in the slough of despond could you just slough it off?

After a number of injections my jaw finally got number.

The king had to subject his subject to a series of trials.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

If someone resent an e-mail to you, would you resent it?


We are having a lot of fun with our German house guests, each supplying for the other the English word or German word that the other person would like to say but won't come to mind. In the process we've all learned many words, idioms, and slang in each other's language. The other evening I learned a word I didn't know before. What was funny about it was that I immediately figured out what the word had to mean from the knowing the two root words and hearing it in its context. The word is Staubsauger, which literally means "dust sucker." From what Diana was saying, I knew right away that it has to be the German word for vacuum cleaner. I'll have to do a blog post sometime on German compound words!

I hope your week is off to a good start. I'm looking forward to what will be added to this post through readers' comments.


"True worship is never stingy." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

Anger is only one letter short of danger.

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Frau Edith S. Long

Frau Long's obituary was published this morning in the Greenville News as well as on the Mackey Mortuary site. I'm sorry that there was no picture to share with you. Since both obits read the same, I will post it below. On the Mackey site, there is the possibility to sign the guest book with your thoughts about Edith for her family to read. You can do so by clicking here.

Edith S. Long
January 10, 1930 - September 07, 2008

Edith Suendermann Long, 78, went home to her Lord Sunday, September 7, 2008.

Born January 10, 1930 in Czechoslovakia, she was the daughter of the late Eduard and Julie Kolbaba Suendermann. She became an American Citizen in 1955.

She was a retired Professor of German from Bob Jones University.

Mrs. Long was a member of Morningside Baptist Church.

She was predeceased by her husband, Carroll Bolt Long and a grandchild, Brittany Leigh Nicholas.

Surviving are two daughters, Gail Nicholas and Jane Hewitt; two sons, Paul S. Long and Carl E. Long and their spouses and eight grandchildren.

Services will be conducted Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 4 PM at The Mackey Mortuary with Pastor Tony Miller and Dr. David Yearick officiating. Interment will follow in Graceland East Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends Tuesday from 7pm until 8:30pm at the mortuary.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to German Speaking Missions c/o Gospel Fellowship Association Missions, 1809 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29609.

Obituaries and online registry at www.mackeymortuary.com

The Mackey Mortuary, 311 Century Drive, Greenville, SC

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German-Born Americans

Several German-born Americans, Dr. Guenter Salter and Mrs. Edith Long, have had a large influence in my life. They were my main German professors at BJU. Dr. Salter passed away a few years ago, and Frau Long passed away yesterday, September 7. Frau Long was like another mom to me during my undergrad studies, and since 1984 she has been my colleague and my friend. It's been very hard to see her difficult battle with dementia for the past several years. Whenever I would visit her, I usually sensed that she knew that she knew me and that she enjoyed our visits. She tried so hard to communicate with me, but it was a mishmash of German, English, and gibberish. At the end of one of my last visits with her, she said to me clearly, "Thank you. Bye-bye." I will post her picture and obit later this week, once it's published. Visitation will be Tuesday evening from 7:00-8:30 at Mackey Mortuary, and the funeral will be at 4:00 Wednesday afternoon at Mackey. I will miss her, but I'm glad that she's released from the bondage she's endured and that she's enjoying unclouded communion with our Lord.

picture of Einstein in 1921

Today's instant vacation is something originally written by a German-born American who is well-known worldwide, Albert Einstein. On the right is a picture of him taken in 1921.

Einstein's Problem

Albert Einstein wrote the following problem. I am passing it on as Einstein wrote it.

1. There are 5 houses (along the street) in 5 different colors: blue, green, red, white, and yellow.
2. In each house lives a person of a different nationality: Brit, Dane, German, Norwegian, and Swede.
3. These 5 owners drink a certain beverage: beer, coffee, milk, tea, and water; smoke a certain brand: Blends, Blue Master, Dunhill, Pall Mall, and Prince; and keep a certain pet: bird, cat, dog, fish, and horse.
4. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand, or drink the same beverage.

The question is: " Who owns the fish?" (The fish is not mentioned in any of the 15 clues, so you have to figure everything else out first.)

1. The Brit lives in the red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The green house is on the left of the white house.
5. The green house's owner drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8. The man living in the center house drinks milk.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11. The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12. The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

picture of Einstein sticking his tongue out

NOTE: Albert Einstein said that 98% of the world couldn't solve his puzzle. Can you do it? Pay close attention to all the clues and use your powers of logic to figure out "who owns the fish." The picture of an older Einstein on the right seems almost like an appropriate taunt from him as people try to solve his puzzle.

You will definitely have to revisit some of the clues several times. A clue that seems to give you no information at first will prove to be useful later on, after the possibilities have been narrowed down. For example, the first clue, that the Brit lives in the red house, wasn't useful until you learned from the ninth clue that he doesn't live in the first house.

I drew a grid like the one below to write in the things of which I was certain until I finally arrived at the answer. I've done a couple of the totally obviously answers – from clues 8 and 9 – to get you started. When you figure out the answer, post it in the comments.

picture of puzzle grid


"All the devil's apples have worms in them. Don't bite." - Hal Webb

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob, who's ready for some fall weather!

I don't have a solution, but I admire the problem.

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