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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Drive safe. Be safe...

... and have a wonderful new year. 

Here's the deal: New president... thank God. Renewed spirit, New springtime. Still, and always, land of greatest opportunity and freedom, etc. 

Just want to say, Happy New Year! (Someone said --oh yeah...that great philosopher, Owen Wilson in Marley and Me... that if you use an exclamation point, it is like laughing at your own joke. So maybe I'd better say good-by to last year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -with strong emphasis on the exclamation points.)

We still only have two or three wars, depending on which day you count, economic problems up the Wazoo (think that is the name of a river in Mississippi), too few jobs to go around, foreclosures and fiveclosures, mixed opportunities, health care problems, global warming, etc... but we have an ace in the hole...

HOPE (no exclamation point).

What is it about Alabama?

So in out holiday travels, we drove from NC to Dallas, TX (with the dogs) to visit one of our great families. Small drive. Only 1150 miles, one overnight in Jackson, MI... the state that never stops trying to be 49th at something.

Back to Alabama though. Drove successfully through two huge speed traps... one before B'ham and one after. First sting had 10 chaser cars busy as we drove by. Second had only six or seven, but there, two officers were on an overpass "shooting cars." 

My guess... state needed money and one of the 39 incredibly important bowl games... the Papa John Bowl or something or other, was there the next day. Voila! Opportunity.

Those buggers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My proudest moment (that day)

At Christmas eve dinner with my two beloved Boston families, we were joined by another couple--friends--a doctor and her attorney husband. Conversation flowed easily, from interesting topic to interesting topic. Then we touched on character traits and I saw my opening:

"The three stooges had a poignant short on that just 50 years ago."

Imagine that! environment and heredity and the three stooges. Who would'a thought? But I did it and hardly anyone thought I was an idiot... more or less.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukah to all

When you stop to count your blessings, there aren't enough fingers and toes to even come close. Christmas season creates the mood to reflect in a way ordinary days too often don't.

So, thank you God for all we have...especially our loves: those we love, those who love us and the love that we share with our fellow man.

Help and blessings, please, to those who have needs, great and small. Special attention please to those who have greater needs of all kinds. You, God, know who they are in all of the world.

Help and bless those who hate, who seek revenge, who have hardened hearts and minds, who abuse power and trust, who victimize... may you allow them all one step closer to humankind.

Grant hope, faith in goodness if not in God, love and peace to all.

Thank you for all... and not insignificant, the blessing of allowing us to laugh at ourselves from time to time. It's nuts out there, but it's all we have on this earth. So thank you for all the important stuff... and the perspective to know what is and what isn't.

With love, Jerry

The Perfect Christmas Gifts

Tom had beautiful long hair, blond and to his shoulders--Prince Valiant style, that he was so proud of. And his wife, Mary, had this incredible purse watch accurate to the hundredths of a second, that was her most treasured possession. They both desperately wanted to get the other something very special for Christmas but they were poor as church mice.

Then, as if the Christmas angel had touched their hearts at the same exact moment with her wand, they each had a grand idea... and off they went to do their 'secret' gift stuff.

That Christmas eve, they wrapped their gifts for one another in the most beautiful paper they could find. Then, by the light of their tiny fireplace, Mary asked Tom why he kept his hat on... and Tom asked Mary what time it was... but each quickly changed the subject. They blissfully held hands and with the warm glow of the fire and their deep love for each other reflecting in their eyes, they exchanged gifts.

It was a wonder to behold. As they opened each others' gifts, they exchanged smiles, then hugs as they collapsed on each other crying tears of joy. Holding their gifts, they reflected on the deeper meaning. There, almost identical, were two hearts made from red construction paper with dried macaroni glued to it, spelling the words: "I wov u snookie wookie."

As for the hair and the pocket watch, are you out of our mind. Those things really mean something to them.

Sorry. Christmas truely is deeper than that... but I couldn't resist the urge. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For Lexophiles (lovers of words) Only

1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

2. A will is a dead giveaway.

3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

14. Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

16. A calendar's days are numbered.

17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

Note: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

Published with permission of John Mark Ministries


Friday, December 12, 2008

Full Moon Tonight...

In fact, it is the brightest full moon we will see til 2016, because in its elliptical path as it coordinates with earth's revolution around the sun, it is nearer than anytime since 1993. (Raise your hand if you remember that.)

It is noticeably larger... and absolutely brilliant!

On average, the moon is a mere 238,856 miles, 1672.7 yards away (center to center). It takes the moon's reflective light 1.2 seconds to reach us. Tonight, that very same moon is only 221,559 miles away. (Sounds like a sale, doesn't it?)

This brings to my mind, the unscientifically proven moon madness theory which emergency room doctors, bartenders, police officers and nursing home attendants will swear to be true. A full moon is said by many to induce all kinds of crazy behavior with predictable results... the height of agitation to say the least.

I am just back from visiting my mom in a nursing home. Last night, it was chaotic. The 16 people in her wing were bouncing off the walls. The meek were bold. The sitters were wanderers. The silent were talking like they were being interviewed. Gratefully though, no werewolves. Nurses and attendants know without looking that the moon is full. Happens every time, they say.

As I say, it's nuts out there... and a little magnificent too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ode to a Greek Urn...more or less.

When a British schoolboy was unable to remove a vase that was stuck on his head (don't ask me how or why), his mom took him to the hospital on a city bus for a medically approved removal. Apparently, hospitals have better hammers. In an attempt to make the boy look more normal to the other passengers, she placed a school cap on top of the vase... but, according to reports, refrained from drawing a smiley face... because it might look 'too fakey.'

Best joke I heard in the last 5 minutes...

A tough old Marine told his grandson that if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a little gunpowder on his oatmeal every morning. The grandson did this religiously and lived to the age of 93. When he died, he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and a 15-foot hole in the wall of the crematorium.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Big news!

Belk, a department store in our area (like Bergner's Del), is having a big ONE DAY SALE... with an additional 15% off all other sales. And that ONE DAY is Friday and Saturday. Hmmm. Long day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Interesting statistic

The average cost to treat a bullet wound: $17,000. Life is so unfair... where would a phesant get $17,000?

Elvis died in 1977...or did he?

In looking back, I found something I wrote when "The King's" craze was nearer it's peak:

When Elvis Presley died in 1977, there were 48 Elvis impersonators. In 1996, there were 7,328. If this rate of growth continues, by the year 2012, one person in every four will be an Elvis impersonator. And it will be just our luck that one of those will someday run for President.

Whoa! Was I close or what? Today, there are at least four Elvis impersonator associations: The Professional Elvis Impersonators Association (PEIA), The Association of Professional Elvis Presley Tribute Artists (APEPTA), Elvis Presley Impersonators International Association (EPIIA) and the National Association of Amateur Elvis Impersonators (NAAEI). I'm not kidding.

Now about one of them running for President, the only person I could rule out for sure last election was Dennis Kucinich. He just didn't have the voice.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First, be sure you have read the item below this one...

...now you can read on. The comedians call that, 'the set-up.'

With the universe so unbelievably large, how can we possibly see ourselves as vital, insignificant as we are in the scheme of things. One of my favorite stories:

Two men were walking on the beach, naturally littered with washed-on-the-shore starfish. Every few steps, one of the men would stop, pick up a starfish and throw it back into the sea. After this had happened about half-dozen times, the other man chided him.

"Why are you doing that? There are thousands of starfish on the beach. You really can't make a difference."

First man flipped the starfish he was holding back into the ocean. "I can to that one."

Moral of the story: Everyone can make a difference to someone. So what are you waiting for?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not again til 2052

Unbelievably beautiful! Tonight (Monday, Dec. 1, 2008) the moon, Venus and Jupiter form a close triangle in the rich black sky... like jewels on velvet. This sight will not reoccur until Nov. 18, 2052. Breathtaking!

Is there anything more awesome than the our sky... our universe? The unbelievable enormity. Our earth is so big that it can host 7 billion people and counting. And even though oceans and seas cover two-thirds of its surface, the open space we can see sometimes makes one wonder where all the people are. Yet, in the scheme of things, we are so small that we are almost insignificant in the scale of it all. 

One light second is 192,000 miles... the time it takes light to travel that distance. Our universe is estimated to be 4 to 5 billion light years across. That is, 192,000 miles x 60 seconds x 60 minutes x 24 hour x 365 days x 4 to 5 billion years! 

There are about 10 billion stars in the average galaxy, say the astronomers.  They estimate 10 billion galaxies in the universe. So how many does that make? the easy answer is 100 billion billion stars bigger than our earth. And, percentage-wise, our eyes see almost none of them!

How can that be? I am so humbled.