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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The day I fixed something

We all remember where we were when we heard first reports on 9/11. We remember our first kiss, the moment we proposed to our spouse, the birth of our children, everything special to us... we remember. Well, chalk up another for me.

I will always remember today... the day I fixed something. No, I really did. Honest.

I've been known to be... er, a little unmechanical. I know there is something under that hood in front of the car but I'll be darned if I know what it is. I think it is a big on/off switch that makes the car go, or something like that. I have the perfect tool when an appliance breaks. It is called a telephone.

Sure, I'm handy with my more conventional tools. I do own two of them... a screwdriver that has a reversible tip so I have can do two kinds of screws, a straight one and one that looks like an asterisk... and a squeezer-thing that also serves as my nail pounder. I have a friend who has over 1,000 tools. Are there really 1,000 things to do with them?

But today... ah, today, I am a fixer person. When I checked out our small RV for an upcoming trip, I noted that the outlets did not work... or at least, when I plugged something in, it did not go. So I called the RV factory and reported this. The guy there, thinking I was someone of fixer talent, told me to check the circuit breaker. "The WHAT?" He directed me to a picture in our manual. See? That's what it looked like. I didn't know what it did... however, that didn't matter.

The problem was, he told me after having me perform a few tests (is standing on one's head with a finger in one's ear a regular circuit breaker test or not?), the circuit breaker was broken... it didn't break circuits. I guess it is not broken if it breaks other things. (I'm thinking, who's kidding who?) So he told me how to take it out and where to go buy a new one for only $38 dollars. Now I know it's a joke... but I did it anyhow.

Then, AFTER TURNING OFF THE POWER, he warned me... guess he didn't want an electrocution on his conscience... pull the old one out and put the new one in... being extra cautious to connect all the wires on the new one just like they were on the old one, even though sorting out a plate of spaghetti would have been easier.

Skeptically, I did this, thinking they are all having a good laugh at the RV factory. It took only seven hours... then I turned the power on again and plugged the toaster in. IT WORKED! I DID IT! I FIXED IT ALL BY MYSELF... with his insignificant help, of course.

When I ran home to tell my wife, she was justifiably proud of me... but said she really didn't want all that toast.

My fixer confidence is at an all-time high. So for my birthday, I want 998 more tools and a tool belt to hold them all, just in case I need to have them with me. I want safety goggles and steel toed shoes. I want a real worker-man's hard hat and a plaid shirt and jeans that show the crack of my butt when I bend over. I guess you could say I am hooked now that I know how easy this stuff is.

Note to other fixer-guys... your secret is out. What you do is nothing, do you hear...NOTHING. Next time something breaks, give me a call... I will be driving the truck that says on its side, Jerry, The Home Repair Guy... no job too big or small. And when I bend over, watch out... I'm smokin'.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Number one and number two (Means what you think.)

Re: number one: Ryanair, a European budget airline, in an effort to boost revenue in a way no one would notice, will be charging passengers $1.60 each time they use the plane's bathroom... (for number one and/or number two, I presume). And to create buyers' demand, it will only have one bathroom on each plane. The other two have been converted into extra seating. (Hmmm. I wonder if they were reconfigured or did they just screw down the lid and attach a seat belt?) Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, noting average flight time is only about an hour, says "What the hell do we need three toilets for?"

Re: number two: A Texas man called the police on his neighbor because, he told officers, the neighbor used the S-word for excrement in front of his innnocent (italics mine) 13-year-old daughter. The neighbor has been complaining regularly about the caller's cat which leaves feces all over his yard and the caller refuses to do anything about it. The neighbor admitted he used the S-word for cat excrement out of frustration. He was cited for disorderly conduct but, in a jury trial no less, was acquitted.

Said the cat-owning complaitant, "A little piece of America died today. It's a sad day for morality." (This man must be a saint... with a holy cat that calls the neighbor's yard a litter church.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Werewolf!" "There wolf."

Remember the Gene Wilder/ Marty Feldman exchange from that great Mel Brooks classic, Young Frankenstein? There was a time in folklore that werewolves were feared hiding behind every tree. No more.

A theory by a member of the British Society for the History of Science proposes that the reason werewolves have, for the most part, died out in folklore is because of Charles Darwin. Following his publication of his Origin of Species in 1859, Brian Regal says "the spread of the idea of evolution helped kill off the werewolf because a canid-human hybrid makes no sense from an evolutionary point of view."

Then how in the hell do you explain these two puncture marks on my neck?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rules is rules

Every wonder why we have so many rules telling us to do this, do that, don't spit, touch here, stand erect, etc? It's the damn minority, folks. (No, I'm not talking race, I'm talking numbers.) It's because of the few who do something wrong or thoughtless that there has to be a rule or law to say, don't do that, even though most of us don't.... and wouldn't even think of doing it.

Went to my health club the other morning. Saw a new sign on the desk. "Absolutely no admittance without your club membership card." It used to be that if you forgot your card, you could give them your membership number and they would let you in. Now, 'no ticket, no laundry,' pal. A few abuse the privilege so we make a new rule and everyone pays the price. And some of those rules are downright silly.

It's no big thing, really. But it got me to thinking... how many rules must we have now? Literally billions, no doubt, both great and small. Have any ever been rescinded after they have served their purpose or gone out of style? A few, maybe, but not many.

Rules are like drops of water... one drop by one drop and before you know it, we have an ocean. Drip, drip, drip.

Some examples of silly: A circus clown in England was ordered not to wear his big, size 23 clown shoes because he could trip and injure someone. Think of how 'Shaq' must feel since he is a 23-natural. Elsewhere, while making a documentary, the first person to sail solo around the world non-stop and face death every day was ordered not to light a portable stove unless a 'safety advisor' was on the set to watch over things.

Drip, drip, drip.

In Alabama it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving. In California, animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school or place of worship. In Florida, if an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle. And it is illegal there to have sexual relations with a porcupine. Hmmm. I wonder if that applies to other porcupines too? Louisiana says it is illegal to rob a bank and then shoot at the bank teller with a water pistol. What fun is that?

Drip, drip, drip.

We started with no rules at all... or rather just one... "Don't eat the apple."

Drip, drip, drip.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

That has everything

"It looked like Armageddon," said the paralegal who snapped this bizarre cloud photo in Cedar Rapids, IA. What was it really? "Don't know," said weather authorities... it is a newly discovered cloud formation yet unnamed.

Now you know cumulus and nimbus and and cirrus and stratocumulus,
And cirrostratus and cumolo-nimbus and fractostratus and nimbostratus,
But do you know, the most famous cloud formation of all...
It's Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer...

er, excuse me... it's really the one pictured above... which we haven't yet named. I do think Rudolph would be a great name though because it fits the rhythm of the clouds... and it just might make a new hit Christmas song. Heck, we already have the melody. (That groan you hear is Gene Autry, moaning in his grave.)

Elsewhere in the state that has it all... the umpire working a high school baseball game in West Burlington, IA got so agitated at the unruly, yelling, arguing crowd that he threw all of them out of the game. Really. He had the police evacuate the stands for (figuratively) kicking dirt on the ump's shoes. Now that's calling 'em as he sees 'em.

Must have been a slow news day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hey Mr/Mrs Big Shot...

Now I know we are all pretty important... at least to ourselves if no-one else. But let's face it... we sometimes think we are more critical to the world than we really are. So exactly how big are you. Check out this 2 1/2 minute video to get a better perspective. (I love this stuff.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's nuts out there: More undisputible evidence

Example 1: A man in Ohio was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Why? He was caught mowing the overgrown grass in a public park. Park officials had asked him to stop since budget cutbacks had caused the elimination of mowing... and I guess, if the city can't pay for the mowing, they won't allow anyone to mow for free either. The good citizen/alleged criminal was subsequently taken into custody. The park, the misguided potential criminal says, had become an eyesore. "I was only trying to save the city some money." I say, if you don't nip such criminal acts at the bud, where will it all end?

Example 2: As reported in Sports Illustrated, A bodybuilding competition in the Netherlands was canceled after all of the competitors fled when drug testers arrived.

Example 3: In China, after traffic was held up for five hours because a man was threatening to jump off a bridge, an irate motorist finally pushed him off. "Jumpers like that are very selfish," said the motorist.

Example 4: New York City, according to FBI crime statistics, is the safest big city in the country. It had the lowest crime rate of the 25 largest cities and came in at 246th of 261 cities rated. If that isn't nuts out there, I don't know what is.

Example 5: The Guinness Book of World Records just named Jonathan Lee Riches as the most litigious man in history for having filed more than 4,000 lawsuits against, among others, George W. Bush, Britney Spears and Nostradamus. To celebrate this honor, Riches sued the Guinness Book of World Records.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Betty or Veronica? Archie, don't be a Jughead.

Can you believe it? Archie Andrews is getting married. Well, maybe that's not the most surprising thing. The eternal teen-ager and his pals should be about ready to collect social security in human years.

It is who he is marrying that is the shocker. VERONICA LODGE!

Arch, are you crazy? Betty Cooper has loved you forever and you never saw it. She is the one who has carried your books, covered for you whenever necessary and done everything you ever asked. Even though you have broken her heart dozens of times, she is nuts about you. I even see little hearts floating in the air when she looks at you.

You fell for the flirt, you sap. Veronica is conceited and fickle. She uses you like a puppet. And, of course, she is rich... which never seemed to affect you one way or another. Betty is like your puppy... loyal and loving through thick and thin. You are Veronica's man-servant. She waves a finger, you come. Don't you get it?

Oh well... not my life.

Arch will ask Jughead Jones to be his best man. Veronica, in an ironic twist of human nature, will ask Betty to be her Maid of Honor. At least, that is the way it is laid out for Archie Comics issue number 600, on sale Sept. 1.

But that is just the tease. The question still remains: will Archie come to his senses in time? Want more? Check it out at