Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Things You Might Not Know - 6/26/08

This week's list is 13 things you might not know. Once you read it, you will know everything I know.

1. The book "Gadsby" written in 1939 by Earnest Wright does not contain a single word with the letter "e" in it. This is it: Gadsby

2. The heart of a blue whale is the size of an automobile.

3. Earth is the only planet not named after a God.

4. The metal can was invented 48 years before the can opener. Instructions on early cans called for a hammer and chisel.

5. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi never won a Nobel Peace Prize but Yasser Arafat did.

6. Istanbul Turkey is the only city in the world that is located on two continents.

7. Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. In some Spanish dialects, Colgate means "go hang yourself."

8. The Olympic, Titanic's sister ship, sailed the seas for 25 years.

9. The snap made by the tip of a bullwhip results from exceeding the speed of sound. It is a tiny sonic boom.

10. Watermelon, which is 92% water originated from the Kalahari Desert in Africa

11. The name Thailand literally means "land of the free." It is the only southeast Asian country to never be occupied and ruled by a European power.

12. Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world

13. The hymn "Amazing Grace" was written by a slave ship captain

Wordless Wednesday - 6/18/08

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday 13 - Clean Jokes - 6/12/08

These are 13, totally clean jokes that I think are funny. Some are very old, that does not make them less funny.

1. A blind man was out walking with his seeing-eye dog when suddenly the animal paused and wet the man's leg. Bending down, the blind man stretched out his hand and offered the dog a biscuit. Having watched what happened, a bystander said, "What a kind man you are, rewarding him? That dog just peed on your leg!"
"Not kind," said the blind man, "I am trying to find his head so I can kick him in the butt."

2. A visitor to a college campus paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall. "It's a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway."

"Actually," said the guide, "it's named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation."

"Oh? Was Joshua Hemingway a writer also?"

"Yes, indeed. He wrote a check."

3. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

4. Bert took his black lab to the vet. "Doctor," he said sadly, "I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to cut off my dog's tail."
The vet stepped back, "Bert, why should I do such a terrible thing?"
"Because my mother-in-law's arriving tomorrow, and I don't want anything to make her think she's welcome."

5. A customer was continually bothering the waiter in a restaurant; first, he'd asked that the air conditioning be turned up because he was too hot, then he asked it be turned down because he was too cold, and so on for about half an hour.
Surprisingly, the waiter was very patient, walking back and forth and never once getting angry. So finally, a second customer asked why didn't they just throw out the pest.
"Oh I don't care." said the waiter with a smile. "We don't even have an air conditioner."

6. A man and a friend are playing golf one day at their local golf course. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows down in prayer. His friend says: “Wow, that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man.” The man then replies: “Yeah, well we were married 35 years.”

7. When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C. The Russians used a pencil.

8. Two tourists were driving through Wisconsin. As they were approaching Oconomowoc, they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town’s name. They argued back and forth until they stopped for lunch. As they stood at the counter, one tourist asked the blonde employee. “Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us? Would you please pronounce where we are… very slowly?The blonde girl leaned over the counter and said, Burrrrrr, gerrrrrr, Kiiiing.”

9. Bob received a parrot for his birthday. The parrot was fully grown, with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren't expletives were rude. Bob tried to change the bird by constantly saying polite words, playing soft music... anything he could think of. Nothing worked. He yelled at the bird, and the bird got worse. He shook the bird, and the bird got madder and more rude. Finally, in a moment of desperation, Bob put the parrot in the freezer. For a few moments, he heard it swearing, squawking, kicking and screaming. Then, suddenly, there was absolute quiet. Bob was frightened that he might have actually hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door.The parrot calmly stepped out onto Bob's extended arm and said: "I'm sorry that I offended you with my language and I ask your forgiveness. I will endeavour to correct my behaviour." Bob was astounded and was about to ask what had changed when the parrot continued: "May I ask what the chicken did?"

10. A young man called directory assistance. "Hello, operator, I would like the telephone number for Mary Jones in Phoenix, Arizona."
"There are multiple listings for Mary Jones in Phoenix," the operator replied. "Do you have a street name?"
The young man hesitated, and then said, "Well, most people call me Ice Man."

11. A grasshopper hops into a bar. The bartender says, "You're quite a celebrity around here. We've even got a drink named after you." The grasshopper says, "You've got a drink named Steve?"

12. Proudly showing off his new apartment to a friend late one night, the drunk led the way to the bedroom, where there was a big brass gong.
"What's that brass gong for?" asked the friend.
"It's not a gong. It's a talking clock," the drunk replied.
"A talking clock? How's it work?"
"Watch this," said the drunk. He took a hammer, gave the gong an ear-shattering pound and waited. Someone on the other side of the wall screamed: "Hey, you jerk. It's 3:00 in the morning!"

13. A guy is sitting at home when he hears a knock at the door. He opens the door and sees a snail on the porch. He picks up the snail and throws it as far as he can. Three years later, there’s a knock on the door. He opens it and sees the same snail. The snail says ‘What the hell was that all about?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Redneck Movers - 6/11/08

I can't leave this totally wordless. This vehicle is driving on I-77 in Charlotte. The mattress is secured by only a single piece of twine. The photo is poor because I used my antique cell phone.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "My Nights" Writer's Island - "Unexpected"

I had originally written a piece for this week about what I do in the summer evenings. But it was very boring and read like a Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce ad. So I decided to write about one single night at Myrtle Beach, Saturday night. That is why my post is going up late.

I went to see a band called Third Eye Blind. It was a free outdoor concert in conjunction with the annual Sun Fun Festival. I had heard a few of their songs but knew very little about this group other than in my opinion they had one of the best, most original, names ever for a band.

I got up very close to the stage as I have often done over many years of concert attendance. I was easily the oldest person in the area I was standing in by 25 years. There were enough blunts burning to give me a contact high and add to my enjoyment of the music. It was fun to see the twenty-somethings singing along with every song, as I did when I went to see The Stones "final" concert, in London, so many years ago.

Unexpectedly, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. I was so impressed by their musical abilities that I came back home and read up on them. The lead guitar player, Tony Fredianelli, was as good as I have ever heard. His guitar solos were amazing. The lead singer and wordsmith, Stephan Jenkins, has penned some incredible lyrics. He has great stage presence and an ability to bond with his energetic audience. He projects an honesty that seems to be missing in many performers. They ended their show with a shortened cover of Stairway to Heaven. Jenkins’ voice sounded very much like Robert Plant used to sound. He nailed it. So many bands sound great in the studio, where their shortcomings can be enhanced by technology, but sound terrible live. Third Eye Blind is actually better live than on CD. Their energy cannot be felt from a studio recording. It was a very memorable night. You are listening to one of their songs right now. Enjoy!

The night before I had stopped to see another concert at the same outside venue from a band that should have been more age appropriate for me, the Catalinas. I managed to listen to about four songs before I decided to go find something fun to do. I think I was much too young to enjoy their music.

To me, they sounded like a very bad karaoke. If I ever have trouble sleeping I will purchase one of their recordings. It will be much cheaper than sleeping pills. They had begun performing in the late fifties and I think their voices deserted them sometime during the seventies. In their defense, they are probably one of the many groups for which the name has endured through the years with a revolving door of personnel. The Catalinas I heard probably had few, if any, original members. They are one of the many “beach music” bands that exist pretty much only in the Carolinas. Luckily most people that enjoy this music will be dead soon. Hey, I am joking here. Remember, “Writing With a Smirk?”

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thursday 13 - Songs I Never Pass On - 6/5/08

I have several hundred songs on the playlist that randomly plays on the IPOD in my car. Depending upon my mood I often skip songs as soon as the intro begins. These are 13 songs that I never pass on. I am never out of the mood to hear any of them. There are many more but these came to mind first:

1. Bed of Roses – Bon Jovi

2. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC

3. Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughn

4. Nessun Dorma – Luciano Pavarotti – one of the highlights of my life is seeing him live in Hyde Park in London from right in front of the stage – for free (London Rocks)

5. I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

6. Faithfully – Journey

7. Can’t Let Go – Lucinda Williams

8. Cry – Angie Aparo

9. Eruption – Van Halen

10. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen

11. The Flame – Cheap Trick

12. Like a Hurricane – Neil Young

13. Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly

Three Word Wednesday - 55 Flash Fiction Friday - 6/4/08

I have not submitted to 3WW on a regular basis. Sometimes I read the words and nothing immediately comes to mind. Then suddenly it is Thursday and I know that I am too late for anyone to read it. But I realize if I want to consider myself a writer of any value I must be able to write even when not inspired. So, today I challenged myself to complete a 12 Word Wednesday using the last four prompts that I did not respond to: blurred, illegal, match, deny, smile, uncomfortable, cautious, human, maybe, average, neck, and scratch. And to challenge myself further I made myself form the words into a 55 Flash Fiction Friday.

I have always been uncomfortable in my own skin. Maybe it is because my self-concept is blurred by my image of the average human, which I don’t match. I am cautious and seldom risk my neck. I have pretty much gone through life without a scratch, but I don’t deny myself an occasional illegal smile.

Wordless Wednesday - 6/4/08