Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Gloved One

I now think I know why the late Michael Jackson wore a glove on just one hand.  Before I get to the part about my newest "theory" let me tell you first, how I arrived at this epiphany of mine.

My Kiddo #1 and I run/walk a 5K every year on Thanksgiving morning.  This is in part because it is for a good cause, in part because it's a nice start to our Thanksgiving Day, and also, we can rationalize eating more as we have negated some calories by doing the run/walk.  NOTE:  We actually can rationalize any behavior as we are creative that way.

So last Thanksgiving we started off fairly strong only to poop out and walk a bit, then finish the race running.  We stayed mostly in the middle of the pack.  The winners of that race came in at with times between 12 to 18  minutes. That was not Kiddo #1 or me.  Not even close. Ouch!  So we have decided to get with it and train to run the whole race.  I mean hard can this be??? We are only talking 3.1 miles.  I walk 5 miles every day so why shouldn't I be able to run under 5 miles???

Therefore, Kiddo #1 and I are on it! This Thanksgiving, no little old ladies will be lapping us.   No, 10 year olds will be leaving us in their dust.  No costumed mascots will be giggling behind their masks.  We are the Rocky Balboas of Overland Park next Turkey Day.

Yep, this is exactly what we will look like.  Both of us...even though Kiddo #1 is 21 years my junior, we will look like identical twins. 

This might even look like how we dress...although last year is was 2 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). 

So...back to the story...Last Friday, I leave the house at 6 AM just like every other morning but now I walk, run, walk run for my 5 miles as my goal is to be running the whole thing by November.  I finish in a fair amount of time, come home and start breakfast.  Routine stuff, just like every other engagement ring is NOT on my finger.  SH***. I had to have lost it during the running.   F***

This is a BIG problem.  I start looking through the rooms I have been in since getting up that morning.  Please, please have come off before I left the house.  It just has to be here.  After sheer panic has all but flattened me, I am crying.

Now this is bad for sure but it isn't the first time I lost an engagement ring.  No, this is time  #2. I am going to have to have a repeat the pathetic apology to hubby just as I did 41 years ago.  If it is any consolation, I guess, I only lose diamond engagement rings once every 41 years.  In the case of the first ring, we were just engaged and I had been cleaning up the house after making supper.  Some time before going to bed that night, I realized the missing ring  wasn't on my finger as it was supposed to be.  After tearing the house apart,  I called my future husband crying and woefully confessed. He came over to help but at some point we gave up the search. 

**A little side note, here...I am the world's worst crier.  Sobbing complete with eye swelling, snot flying is really bad. AND YET he went through with the wedding.

The following day, however, it occurred to me that maybe because I had been cleaning the kitchen prior to the ring going missing, maybe, just maybe the ring had been swept up and put into the burn barrel.  For you younger people, back in the old days of 1970 trash was burned.  Sure enough, after sifting through the ashes, there was my ring.  Good as new. Fire is no match for  gold or diamonds.  (or stupid teenagers, as I was back then)

Back to this Friday's ring loss...this ring isn't my original ring.  Hubby bought me a new ring when we got to a point to afford a ring nicer than the original. To be clear that was his idea.  I was fine with the original. This 2nd ring  I have had it since our 10th anniversary.  Our 40th anniversary is coming up in about 5 weeks. 

So after looking around the house, I decide I might as well retrace my running/walking route on the outside chance, I would see the sparkle of the ring.  The odds of that were so remote but if I didn't at least try, I would always wonder.  So off I go and repeat the 5 miles.  NO RING in sight. 

I call hubby who is in Washington DC to fess up that I am a moron.  (like he doesn't pretty much know this)
He says, don't worry about it, we will get me a new ring for our anniversary. 

Here is the thing...I am so relieved he isn't upset with me but I want my ring.  I want the ring that has been on my finger for 30 years.  I love my ring and not because of the size or cut or clarity but it is MY RING.

Anyway, I retrace every movement of my morning routine and get out my Dyson thinking surely if it is in the house I will find it. 

I found it, I did...It was in a fluffy rug in the hall bathroom.  I had washed my face and hands when I had come in from my walk/run and it must have slid off.


So my original premise is...this is why someone would wear one glove. The glove would keep their rings in place.  I can either buy Michael Jackson's glove (fake) off of Ebay or I can use a ove glove and be ever ready to take things out of the oven. 

The Good for the day...I have found my rings both times

The Bad for the Day....I lost them in the first place

The Weird for the day...Mascots can out run me in a 5K

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rock That Body


As a Realtor, I have occasionally come into homes where people are rather inappropriately dressed or undressed as the case maybe but I haven't had the experience of showing a home that had nudists in full view.  Yes, it has happened. I have talked to real estate agents and clients that have gone into houses where people are naked...unabashedly naked.  It happens, I guess as this is a lifestyle for some people. 

I had a friend in Dallas, that went on a first date with a guy that took her to a party that was attended predominately by nudists.  When asked what she did, she said she took her clothes off and had a nice time at the party.

Not my idea of a good time. 

This brings me to the real topic of today's post.  The disparity between how comfortable or uncomfortable people are with their bodies.  Obviously, naked party goer guy that brought his date to nudist party is entirely comfortable with walking around a total stranger and having no inhibitions at all.  My friend was equally fine as she is open to trying new things and calling them great "life experiences". 

Just this past week 400 people in Wales got together to break a new Guinness World record for the largest number of nude people to skinny dip together.  I am definitely not a team player in that sport. 

I am not even up to the level of comfort that would allow me to take part in the annual Ride New York Subway Pantless event.  This year was the 10th year that Improv Everywhere sponsored an event  for 10,000 registered participants to ride the subways of New York City. 

So while, I appreciate the fun that all these folks are having.  Kudos to them for their joie de vivre.  I might add I would be fine if they were naked as long as my own clothes were firmly in place.

So what are your thoughts?? Would these types of events be fun for you to participate in?  Would it matter that the group in Wales did this to raise money for a charity?     What would you do if you went to look at a home and the residents were there naked? 

Would you consider yourself like me "inhibited" or are you totally "uninhibited"?

The Good for the Day....Clearly the people in Wales are having fun while they are freezing to death.  This event by the way was held on June 20th. 

The Bad for the Day...This is the kind of thing people like me have nightmares about....being naked in a crowd.

The Weird for the Day.... Family Portrait...look how happy the cats look  *Sorry to have to go back and edit but I have gotten a few emails and need to clarify.  This is not my family portrait.  I got this on a web site about nudists, of which I am not.  I couldn't have you thinking this is me or my family...yikes.  Next time I will label all pictures.

Today's video is the theme that Barenaked Ladies made for the TV show Big Bang Theory

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Want to Be Betty White When I Grow Up

It has come to my attention and disappointment that I am not aging in the manner that I would have requested had I been given a choice in the matter. I am not embracing the lines that Mother Nature bitch-slapped onto my face.  I am not appreciating the trendy little glasses that I require to read the fine print so I can discern who is trying to rip me off,  and I especially am not loving the achy feet resulting from years of wearing trendy cute high heels.  That high heel issue is a big one as I am now caught in the dilemma of finding sensible shoes that still look trendy.  That, my friends, would take a true miracle.  (Truly if there is someone waiting to be canonized  but they are still  short one miracle, that might be the one to consider ie finding me some sassy shoes that don't kill my feet.)

I think there was a time, I was under the mistaken impression that I would age  ever so gradually and dare I say, gracefully. Not that I specifically recall dwelling on the subject of ageing when I was young.  Young people, I think look at old age as so out of their reach it isn't worth dwelling on.

My perspective, on any given age, changes as I have moved through it and have the advantage of looking  from a "hindsight" point of view.

When I was 38 years old,  Kiddo #1 left for college.  She got in her little Toyota, packed to the hilt with her dorm room prerequisites and off she went.  In my eyes she appeared  to me as a small child.  I could probably actually visualize the pony tails and bows that had long before disappeared.  I felt like a really old lady on that day. The enormity of the chasm between being 17 and 38 was  indescribable.

If I was feeling old at 38, you can pretty much imagine what I am feeling about 58.  To be fair, this is one of the topics that is HUGE on the "things I am conflicted about" list. 

I embrace ageing in others.  I love meeting, talking, getting to know, people that are older than I am. I had mentioned in an earlier post that every Wednesday morning I meet two women that I count as BFF's for coffee. Actually, that might be underselling it.  We meet for coffee, talk the morning away and usually impinge on lunch time.  One of the ladies is 85 and the other is 70.  (and while neither look their age, I don't believe they obsess about it!)  While it is true, that everyone has some interesting stories to be told about themselves. Yes,  EVERYONE has a story.  There are so many more stories for someone that has lived into their 80's or 90's. 

Just one example of that comes to mind. Several years ago I was having lunch in Denton, TX  with some gal pals and one of the women brought her mother along. It turned out that her mother was in town to take part in an exhibit over at TWU. Her mother was one of the  260  living members of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots  (WASP). Frankly, I could have spent days listening to her stories.  Her experience of being one of the first female fighter pilots during the second world war...absolutely riveting. (no pun intended)

NOTE:  If you aren't familiar with this group, it was a group of women pilots during World War II.  There were only 1074 women that made it through training.  (that is out of 25,000ish applications and 1830 that were accepted)  The museum that is dedicated to the WASP's is housed at the Texas Women's University in Denton.  Here is a link to the WASP Museum  if you are interested in reading a little more on the subject.

Really, it's not just older people that have unusual or exceptional histories, but people, in general, that have lived in periods of time that I can't conceptualize because I didn't live it.   I find them interesting and respect their points of view as their opinions were gleaned from life experiences and their unique place in the world.

HOWEVER....AGEING as it pertains to the number of years that you have lived is not the same thing as the number of years you LOOK like you have lived.  Two totally different sports. 
Being old is sort of, kind of,  ACCEPTABLE in our modern world. (This does come with some rules though...another post on another day.) but looking old is UNACCEPTABLE if we are to buy into all the marketing that tells us we must never, never, ever "let ourselves go".

Frankly, looking your age is now so abhorrent, that it is seemingly better to look "unusual" than it is to look your age.

The newer model

the newer model

So here is a pictorial presentation to show some of the fine and not so fine aspects of ageing in today's youth oriented culture.

If we were living in a Disney movie...this is how our world has progressed.....

Remember in Pocahontas, she went to her wise old Grandma that for whatever reason had come back as a tree. I am not sure how that came to be but seemingly Grandma Willow is back as a very well respected older member of the family.

Here is a picture of Pocahontas bringing her boyfriend, John Smith to meet Grandma.

In today's world, Grandma would have had to work out regularly, stayed fit and trim or had some work done so she would look like this.

Because, in today's world, if Grandma Willow didn't look young and vibrant....she would ultimately look like this

Here is my own pictorial of heading toward "the wood pile" of life.
Me as a 6 year old with my friend.
I am on the right, in case your wondering.

Here is a picture that was taken about 8 weeks ago, slightly more than 50 years after the picture of me and my my little friend.  As you may notice there are no longer cute little curls and there are some serious crows feet making their appearance.

Here is what I may look like in the future...who's to say.  It seems I have taken up smoking in my old age (seriously won't happen as the health nut in me would win that battle)  and I have let my hair go gray.  Surely, that can not happen either !!

Because, in today's world physical aging is not accepted, appreciated or even tolerated. I will work hard to stay fit and healthy.  I will try hard to exercise and eat right but ultimately, I will age.

Or perhaps, I will take Anna Nalick's advice.


It seems that there is an exception to this disdain for age in the form of Betty White.  Betty White is 89 and stays above the whole "you are totally too old" fray.  Yes, she has avoided the subtle jabs of "you aren't relative because you are older" and she can still be gainfully employed.  Statistically, that should not be the case.  She pretty much at 89 should be relegated to working at the Burger King or at the Walmart as a greeter.  AND what really sets her apart is she can be funny in an off color sort of way and still be funny...not creepy.  I dare say if most of our grandparents said they had a fling with George Clooney (even in jest) we would be covering our ears going  la la la la la la la  la.    When she said it we all laughed.

That is how I wanted to age.  I wanted to be Betty White.  I have 31 years to perfect it.  The clock is ticking.

The Good for the Day... A lot of people past a certain age have a lot to contribute

The Bad for the Day...The word Ma'am has taken on a new connotation.  It often is a slur.

The Weird for the Day....2 bank robbers, one in North Carolina and one in Kansas City, Mo. dressed up as old ladies to rob the bank.  When caught they were both young women.  Who tries to look old??? Other than bank robbers????

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Around the Water Cooler

This week the news loop went from WTF
 (Weiner, Trial, Floods) to CRAP.

Isn't this the Judge Judy set?

Normally, I go right into the stories you might have missed.  BUT the Caley Anthony trial has progressed into BIZARRE this week. As I am pretty sure you can't be escaping this story because it is on non-stop in the news but is anyone actually following the facts related to this case?  If the case itself isn't  convoluted enough, the crowds of spectators is the final push into the "Twilight Zone".

Lines of  people who are being referred to as "fans" of the trial are fighting for spots to sit in the proceedings.  What really puts this over the top is the cheerful faces and people saying things like "I  can't miss an episode of this.    OK, is any one else finding this creepy.


Just to get a sense of how weird this is getting this is one of the many clips of the lines. I can't actually post the videos at they are not available for reposting but they do allow us to link them.  So you can  CLICK HERE

The Immaculate Intoxication
Lindsay Lohan is back in the news today.  You thought you had a 120 days of a reprieve while she was serving "time" in the Malibu Beach, didn't you??? Well, not so fast. She has been a busy,busy girl.  She had a roof top party, that she was quick to point out wasn't really a party.  No, was a Barbecue.   Then she shot a commercial for Beezid Auction for reportedly somewhere north of $25,000 dollars plus another $10,000  in ecommerce credit.  Not bad money while serving time in the joint, huh? 

But, then the news breaks....there is an IMMACULATE INTOXICATION. That's right.   She is saying that none of her party friends brought in any booze, she has had no alcohol in the house and one of her mandated tox screens shows poor maligned Lindsay has alcohol in her system.  It must be a miracle. 

This morning (as I am writing this on Thursday) our little convict is back before the same judge that sentenced her to her beachy abode to serve out her 120 days.   AND this is what the judge had to say....Lindsay can't have more than one friend at a time to her house but that does not apply to family members. This means no more parties. She is to have no more tox screens, so she is free to drink but can't drive. this really even a punishment???  None of us is supposed to drink and drive and we aren't even under house arrest.  (I'm not at least...hopefully, you aren't)

Does an age difference in Hollywood make a difference?

Last week we had the big breakup news of Crystal Harris  from Hugh Hefner.  How unexpected that a 25 year old would back out of a wedding with an 85 year old.  Such a heartbreak ending of a relationship that fairy tales are made of, but never fear my romantic-minded cyber friends, we have another "true love" story.

Doug Hutchinson, age 51,  best known for his roles as a guard in the movie Green Mile, as well as roles on  Lost and the X-Files, has taken a new bride.
Doug's new wife is sixteen year old Courtney Alexis Stodden. Courtney is a former beauty pageant queen that ran in Miss Teen Washington USA last year and has been trying to break into a career as a pop star. 

Courtney's parents say they are pleased with this union.  Her dad says he is so happy that his daughter has a man like this behind his daughter.  OK, Dad, time to shut up....really...don't talk.

I guess that Courtney didn't realize Hugh is available again.

Flying First Crass

The San Francisco Chronicle reports a story and picture this week of a traveler on  a June 9th flight. This traveler was boarded on a flight leaving San Francisco six days prior to the arrest of DeShon Marman.  DeShon was arrested on a US Airways flight for refusing to pull up his pants.  Seems the pants...well technically his pajama bottoms were "inappropriately" low on his body. 

A spokesman for US Airways, told the Chronicle that they have a dress policy.  The policy states that clothing has to cover your private parts.  In DeShon's case they believe that  his pants were leaving "parts of his parts" in plain view.  DeShon did not take this critique of his wardrobe well and made quite a ruckus.  He supposedly, injured an officer while being taken into custody. 

Now word comes out compete with pictorial backup that 6 days prior to DeShon's fashion woes we have a gentleman (and I use that word loosely) who was boarded, seated and flew out on a US Airways flight.  This picture was taken by a fellow passenger, Jill Tarow.  (I wonder if she has a blog?)

NOTE:  This is the kind of person, that I would get seated next to had I been on that flight.  I'm lucky like that.

One more for the day...

My Home is Away from Home

Last week, police in Dundalk, Ontario, a community located north of Toronto, had a man from Brampton, file a report that someone stole his home.  He claimed that he came home to his $30,000, 1000 sq. ft. home and it was missing. 

It didn't take police long to find the missing house.  It was resting comfortably  10 kilometers north on a plot of land in Proton Station, Ontario. 

A 43 year old  Southgate man has been charged with the theft.  He tried proving the home was his with documents that were proven to be fraudulent.

The Good for the Day.... I wasn't on the US Airways flight and didn't have to sit next to underwear man.

The Bad for the Day....One I was seated on a plane next to a homeless man.  The man had been given a ticket to get home to his family.  (that part is nice, actually)  The bad part was that I had paid for a First Class ticket and the guy had, had an to put this delicately... a stinky poo accident and I was so nauseated by the smell.  I didn't want to say anything though because really...poor guy was in bad shape.  So I stuck it out for a 3 hour flight.  Oh shit...literally..oh shit.

The Weird for the Day....On Fridays the news round up is weird. 

Here is a little diversion for Friday...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just Tell Me Where To Go

Today's post is one of my random little ramblings.  As most of you are sadly aware of my propensity to come up with some  totally useless idea and spends hours wasting my time pondering the "what ifs" and "why nots" of it. 

So the other day, I am having coffee with some friends and they get started at how annoying the "recalculating" phrase on their GPS is.  This tells me two things.  They drive in the wrong direction a lot of the time or they aren't having fun pretending the following scenarios exist.

For those of you that need help in thinking totally useless, mindless, nonsensical thoughts, here is a post dedicated to you.

I know a lot of you are probably using GPS systems to get you where you want to go but there seems to be a lot of individual preferences that go with these little gadgets.  My hubby's GPS has a lot of voice options such as the choice between a female voice and a male voice.  There are options of different accents such as a British accent, Australian accent  or a Midwestern dialect.  You can even download voices such as Homer Simpson,  Mr. T, Burt Reynolds or Gary Busey. (I am at a total loss why someone would take the advice of Gary Busey even in the form of a GPS.)   The problem with downloading new voices to your GPS, the rhetoric is still the same.  The machine is still going to say "Recalculating" when you make a wrong turn.

I have a suggestion or two to keep things interesting.


Now some of you may have gotten accustomed of having a family member tell us how and where to drive.  If you are driving by yourself perhaps the "quiet" is throwing you off kilter.  My idea would be to have the ability for your GPS to say things like"
In point 5 miles turn left at Main Street...but if I were you I would go up to Broadway.  There is less traffic there.  You are going kind of fast aren't you?"

Another feature of this voice would acknowledge when you approach intersections by saying:
"Are you gonna stop or what?" or "Gosh, you about put me through the windshield."

Instead of Recalculating this voice says:
"You never listen to a word I say"

Bonus feature: This one has the ability to "gasp" every once in awhile.


*Note: the voice on this one has a rapper kind of quality, so keep that in mind when you read it.

This voice would say things like:
Yo, dog, we'll be hangin left at the next corner.

When approaching intersections  this one will say"
Come on bro, let's do it, go through it  (bonus feature..on the little screen their will be hands doing the raise the roof motion)

Instead of recalculating
Come On, dude, really??? Or the female voice might say "Oh, no you dihn't"


For your upcoming turn left it would say something like this:
If you really wanted to be nice you would turn left at the next light.  After all I have done for you it is the least you could do for me.

Instead of recalculating it would say:
You're just intent on breaking my heart. I was in labor with you for 72 hours and this is the thanks I get.


If you are just used to being yelled at and abused and this is what you are comfortable with, perhaps this is the voice that would  motivate you. (Clearly some of you respond to this or you wouldn't be with the jerk you are with)

For upcoming turns it would say something like this:
Listen you dumb a**, you need to get over in the right lane, now.  Turn right, are such an idiot.

If you make a wrong turn with this voice, instead of recalculating it says:
You are such a freakin' moron.

I will tell you that both hubby and I like having GPS in our cars and most of the time they are quite handy.  I like the feature on mine that tells me what the current speed limit is and what I am actually driving.  I always find the disparity surprising, alarming,  interesting.

One in a while, I will say that my as-of-yet-to-be-named co-driver has let me down a time or two.  Not long ago I was in a strip mall having just gone to the grocery store.  I was on the hunt of a certain type of vitamin which the Price Chopper didn't carry so I went out to the car and asked yet-to-be-named where there might be a GNC.  So she told me to leave the parking lot  going west

As I pulled out of the lot, she told me to take an immediate right hand turn......Go two miles to 127th St.

At 127th Street take a right....go two miles .......

At Antioch Road take a right and go 1.8 miles

Are you seeing what is happening here?  Right, right, right,  Turns out the GNC is just to the east of  the Price Chopper.  If I would have gone east out of the parking lot, I would have already been THERE.

Does this piano have a GPS on it? 

The Good for the Day....all the gadgets that are fun and usually help us.

The Bad for the Day... When they don't

The Weird for the Day...Both hubby and I happen to buy Garmin GPS's.  The Garmin International Headquarters is just down the street from where we live.  I always find it amusing when I call in for some reason or another and they ask me what the weather is doing where I am.  So much for small talk.

Do you use a GPS?  If so do you find it annoying? or helpful?  Do you use a GPS on your phone instead of your car?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Little Bit of Heaven

Two Thoughts for Tuesday

Thought Number One:  When did crossing the Mississippi lose it's thrill?

My childhood was spent living in two distinctly different regions of the U.S. To understand this "two region" existence, you would have to know the background of my family.

My father was born and raised in Arkansas.  The farthest he would have ever been away from home up until his adulthood,  would be the 30 miles or so across the line into southern Missouri. He was part of an enormous extended family made up of 15 aunts and uncles and "god-only-knows" how many cousins he had. Like the rest of his family he thought Arkansas was the most beautiful place on earth.  The problem was in the late 1940's and early 50's  he realized you couldn't make a decent living working in the cotton gins of the south.  There were union jobs to be had in Chicago as the nation was booming in the post World War economy.

My mother's family were all born and raised Chicagoans.  My mother's parents had always lived in the urban areas around Chicago and would have (and did) think that the my dad's people were hicks.  Well, technically, they considered them "hillbillies" which today would not be considered politically correct.

Never the less, my dad moved to Chicago and met my mother, married and had two kids. It was not a marriage that was "made in heaven" as their worlds were just too far apart. 

My father was always an Arkansas son and we drove the 9 hours to Arkansas dozens of times any given year and on a couple of occassions we moved back to live for a period of time. My dad was devoted to his family and called his parents momma and daddy right up until the time he passed away in 1995. My grandfather passed away a few years after that,  but my grandma remains in the state she was born and has lived for all of  her 98 years. There was a time that she would take little trips to see other parts of the world but no more.  She doesn't want to get far from home.

My grandma still believes that Arkansas is really the only state worth being in and she wouldn't want to take a chance being elsewhere in case she would die.  These are her thoughts not mine. I will tell you that you might try to argue the point that there are other lovely areas of the country but as far as arguing with this cute little 98 year old woman, you are sure to lose. 

So anyway back to my point of  my first thought of today's post.... as a little girl I was quite familiar with the route between southern Chicago and northern Arkansas. The highlight of the trip was always crossing the Mississippi bridge at Cairo, Illinois. It didn't matter what time of day or night we came to the bridge, my brother and I would watch with awe as we made our way over that bridge. In those days, in the eyes of a child that was the most magnificent river on the planet. AND that bridge was something to behold.

I have since crossed the Mississippi thousands of times.  We have lived in the Quad Cities, Hannibal, Mo., St. Louis, Mo  and Collinsville, Il. which all sit on or near the banks of the Mississippi. On any given day we would have driven over the river to get to our jobs, to shop, to run errands and it became routine.  No awe, no thrill, just a way to get where we needed to be.  Somewhere between my childhood and my life as a grown up, the excitement of crossing that bridge (or other bridges like it) vanished.

Now on to Thought number Two: The Views of My Childhood in Photographs

Even as a little girl, I realized the vast difference in the topography of the Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.  I used to bombard my dad with questions like "why is the dirt red instead of black here?" ( while in the south) or "why is there corn in all the fields instead of cotton?" ( while in the north) The answer is always the same.  That is the difference between the Ozarks and every where else.

So a couple of months ago, I started seeing pictures posted over at Really?! Wait! What? of areas that look just like the areas I played as a child.  Areas where the mineral springs bubbled out of the ground and made wonderful swimming holes or little creeks that wound through the yards.  These photographs reflect an area that time has hardly touched  in the 50 years or so since I made those trips so my dad could see his momma and daddy. 

There were other pictures as well that capture the very essence of the Ozarks.  I think Jewell has about 200 or so of the most extraordinary pictures of the area that it has ever been my pleasure to see. I encourage you to jump over to her blog and take a peek.  Even if you don't have a historical need to see the tin roof of a shotgun house, you will surely find some pictures that move you.

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This house is in the Ozark area of Ark.

The Good for the Day....The ability that some people (like Jewell) have to capture pieces of art in the lense of a camera.

The Bad for the Day...losing the wonder and awe that we experienced as children.

The Weird for the Day...As a kid, I thought the little shotgun houses were so cute. I had a great aunt that had a double shotgun house and thought she must be rich.  Today the thought of living in a house with this floor plan gives me the shakes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Being Funny a Good Thing?

I am sure that most of you have heard the good (or is it??) news that Americans are considered the funniest people on the planet according to Badoo, the largest social network with 118 million users worldwide did a poll  that emcompassed 30,000 people across 15 countries to find out who they thought were funny or not. 

Here are the results:

1.   American
2.   Spanish
3.   Italian
4.   Brazillian
5.   French
6.   Mexican
7.   British
8.   Dutch
9.   Russian
10. Belgian

I have some questions, Badoo...(picture me having my hand up..waving..Call on me)

1.  Because this was ranked by enthnicity, how does this work?  If you are Dutch but live in America are you really funny or are you sorta funny but get to hang around some really funny people? I am wondering this and really would like an answer as all my in-laws are Dutch.  AM I FUNNIER THAN THEY ARE?  I need you to respond as I have money riding on this.

2.  Where are the Canadians??? I don't see them on the list and frankly, I think I have some really side- slapping funny Canadian friends. What's that aboot, eh?

3.  How exactly were the questions posed?  Did you phrase it "Who do you consider terribly witty and smart while being funny?  OR did you pose it as "Who are the biggest dumbasses in the entire world? 

4. Still on that subject.  Was this based on clever comedians that make money being funny or are you looking at things on the Internet such as the Walmart People or Dumb Criminals?

5.  So right to the point, Badoo...are we considered funny as in "hhaaaa hhhaaaa" those Americans are comic geniuses OR  did you get a sense from the answers that they were laughing AT us not WITH us?

6.  I realize that Americans won this poll and I don't want to appear ungrateful.  It is not my intention to look a gift horse in the mouth....oops...not that I am comparing you to any part of a horse..but the numbers concern me a bit.

For example:  There are 311,542,058 ...59...60  (a new one is born every second) Americans. The second place winners are the Spaniards and Spain has 45,957,671.  Frankly, if we were all put on a football team, and we were all allowed to play at the same time,  we would win that too.  Doesn't seem like fair odds.  How could we not, we would have 265.5 Million more people on the field.  (I get that would have to be one heck of a field)

5.  The German's came in last.  Now what is that about?  Are the Germans just not funny or do we not "get" their form of humor?  Is it a perception of what is funny? 

I mean really...isn't humor subjective???  Occassionally...ok, very often...I find humor in a situation that may in fact be a serious topic but if I contort it enough I can find some humor in it.  Judgeing from some of the comments, I have gotten, I suspect my form of humor isn't exactly on par with some of you.  Each to his own, I suppose. 

I will admit that I don't always find humor in other people either.  I, for example, don't understand America's Funniest Videos when they do the ball (or whatever flying object) into the man's crotch.  Why is that funny?  Not being a man, I am assuming it hurts.  I wouldn't laugh if a flying object doubled over a woman that was hit in her lady parts either.  Still not funny to me.

I might have to take up the "what is funny" question on another post at some point as it is a complicated topic.  For today, I would appreciate hearing from you. 

What do you consider funny? 

Who are your favorite comedians, or your favorite books, magazines etc?.  (humor based, of course)

How politically correct does something have to be? 

Do you find more humor if it isn't politically correct? 

Do you offend easily?

Time dot com (as in the Time magazine folks) thought these were two of the funniest videos of 2010.  What do you think?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Taking to the Trails

First let me say

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and grandfathers...
           Have a special day with your family!

Today, blogee friends, I am taking a little diversion away from my usual ramblings and taking a road trip of sorts.  Well, actually a trail as opposed to a road, I suppose.  As some of you know I am an avid walker/hiker and I love trails. So today, I am walking a trail with all of you. 

A couple of days ago, Mike from  We Work For Cheese  had a post called  How Not to Die While Cycling.  In his post he was talking about  the ease/difficulty of cycling around Montreal.  He went on to mention that he went two years without brakes on his bike which might have increased the difficulty level somewhat.  Dare I say, that probably edged him more toward the DIE side of things.

Kansas City like a lot of other U.S. cities doesn't have an inordinate amount of bike traffic.  I am sure,  in part, that is because the infrastructure isn't designed for bicycles and probably the other part is that isn't what people are accustomed to. Which brings up the fact that because cyclists and motorists aren't used to sharing the same roads, they tend not to share "nicely".  On any given day, you can read some "letter to the editor"  with one side or the other finger pointing at the other. (sometimes that finger is pointing straight upward)  So the rule of thumb here is, unless you are a REALLY experienced cyclist OR if you have a death wish, you really need to take your tight little biker's butt over to one of the hundreds of bike paths.

 Kansas and Missouri  have wonderful trails.  Miles and miles of them cut all through the the 4 counties that comprise most of Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO.  I can't get an accurate count of the number of trails or the miles of trails because they tend to be maintained by different cities, different counties, different states and they go by different names.    So for the purpose of today's post I started at mile marker 13 in Olathe, KS at the Trail Head for the Indian Creek Trail.  I will be walking today.  To really do this post justice I should be riding my bike.   So, Mike and Nicky, here is my excuse.  Hubby isn't here to help get my bike off of the hook that it lives on when not in use.  Oh, and I might point out, I walk better than I cycle. 

So let's take a walk on the bike/hike path....

  I am entering the trail head here at Mile Marker 13.  I am now in Olathe, KS

 At  this part of the trail there are  little wooden boxes up in the trees.  What are those, I hear you asking?
Those are to allow a place for Little Brown Bats to nest.   EEKK, I hear you say.  First of all you won't ever see them unless you are out here walking in the dead of night. (which would also be creepy).  AND there is a reason they are there.

Here is a little sign that tells us why the city is creating habitats for the bats.  A single brown bat can catch 1200 mosquitoes/insects in just ONE HOUR.  They often eat 1/4 to 1/3 their own body weight each night. If you weighed 160 pounds and ate 1/4 of your body weight in cheeseburgers, you would have eaten 40 pounds of food or 160 cheeseburgers.  So Olathe is doing it's bit to take a "bite out of" the mosquito population.

The first Mile Marker I come to is 12.5

  Quite a bit of the trail is heavily wooded and fairly level.

A lot of the trail follows a creek that winds all through the county, so there are a number of bridges to cross.

 When I first started walking this trail, I lived in Texas and was here on business trips.  Back then when I came to these forks in the trail it was a 50/50 chance that I end up where I wanted to be.  I have managed not to get lost in quite a while.

This is around Mile Marker 7.  I am leaving Olathe and entering Overland Park, KS

  In order to keep the paths from being impacted my any auto traffic the paths dip under the roadways.  On my walk today, I will go under six major streets.

These condos sit right next the trail.  A couple of units went into foreclosure last year and sold for less than half  of their value.  I think it would have been a beautiful place to sit up on the balcony.  I have been in some of these units and the view is pretty awesome.

Queen Anne's Lace...Some of the best parts of the trail are the wildflowers.  I wish I could send out the smells and the sounds to you.

  In this part of the trail some of the neighborhoods back right up to the trail. This is the neighborhood that Kiddo #1 lives in.  I have been known to take a little pit stop at her place.  Today I didn't but I am around Mile marker 5 here

I love this person's hammock that sits maybe 5 yards off of the trail.  Talk about a nice place to laze around a bit. Wonder what the owners would do, if a hiker/biker just laid down to rest a bit. Maybe that was their intention.

Going under another street.


In a lot of areas their are little signs at the base of the trees to let you know the species.

This morning there were mostly bikers and walkers but here was a rollerblader leaving me in the dust.

Not all of the trail is level.  There are several places in the section I walked this morning that are fairly steep.
I am at Mile Marker 2.5 which means I could walk to the Missouri state line in 2.5 miles.  BUT, I am turning around.  I have to go back to Mile Marker 13 to retrieve my car.

The Kansas trails hook up with the Missouri trails and if one would be so inclined, a person could walk/bike to St. Louis. (which is  about 248 miles) Most of the way you would be walking/riding on the Katy Trail.   The Katy Trail is over 200 miles long and is part of the 8000+ miles of Rails to Trails.  

 The Good for the Day....It's a VERY NICE DAY

The Bad for the Day...Walking back the same distance as you just came.

The weird for the day.

Actually, I have 2 weirds today....

 One of the real estate offices I work from is located near the trail. The Realtors can never find a parking spot because the bikers and hikers use it like a trail head parking lot.

The other weird for the day is that the Katy Trail was named because the trail is actually the old  Missouri, Kansas, Texas Railroad rail bed that was turned into biking/hiking paths. So where did the M go for Missouri???

With the name Katy Trail, you would suppose that part of the trail is in Kansas.   There are plenty of trails  in KS but none that are part of the Katy Trail.  Missouri  (who is left out of the name) on the other hand has the most developed part of the Katy Trail.  Maybe someone should push for a new name.  Kamoty Trail???

Mike and Nicky, I hope you enjoyed the bike trail, even though I am not riding my bike.