Saturday, September 23, 2017


Gerald and I and our friends frequent a Chinese restaurant so often that we have our "own table" and are greeted effusively by the proprietors and they automatically know our drink preferences.  

Recently our favorite employee there introduced us to her lovely little daughter and we naturally asked the child's name and she answered "Eileen".   Afterward I said, "I am ashamed of myself but I have to tell this "BOB" joke:  

What do you call an Asian girl with one arm and one leg leaning up against a wall?  IRENE!"

I had to refresh the memories of the other couple about "BOB" jokes:  

What do you call a guy with no arms and legs who likes to go swimming?  Of course, the answer is BOB!

On reflection, the "IRENE" bit wasn't the greatest joke, and I was greeted with disdain and groaning, but before judgement, guess what?  They all "got" the "IRENE" reference for "EILEEN/I LEAN" meaning, so they are just as bad, but when I later told my wiseacre brother, he said, "If you gotta explain 'em,..."

If you do not understand WHY that was included by me as a "BOB" jokes, see my article below from 2010:

                               BOB JOKES

OK, I admit, I have sick humor! Many years ago, I heard my first "BOB" joke:

"What do you call a guy with no arms and legs who likes to go swimming? BOB"

Over the years, I have maintained a collection of "BOB" and "BARB" jokes, much to the dismay of family and friends. Just let anyone say, "Hey, remember BOB jokes?" and I'm on a roll. Recently, a friend introduced another generation to BOB jokes and asked me, (dubbing me "the VENERABLE ONE") for my assistance. "Should I or should I not?", I wondered.  How could I disappoint a new generation?

What do you call a guy with no arms and legs who water skis? SKIP
Is in your mailbox? BILL 
Hangs on your wall? ART 
Is in front of your door? MATT 
Is under a car? JACK 
Rakes leaves? RUSSELL 
Was with wild animals? CLAUDE 
Is covered with cement? ROCK 
Was stoned to death? ROCKY 
Plays golf? CHIP 
Is on stage? MIKE 
Is in a vehicle? OTTO 
Is under a microscope? GENE 
Was struck by lightning? ROD 
Is in your spice rack? HERB or BASIL
Is in a flowerbed? PETE 
Flies over a fence? HOMER
Is in a bank vault? RICH 
Is in a hole? PHIL 
Is on 2 wheels? AXEL
Is in a coffee cup? JOE 
Is in a bank? BUCK 
Is covered with sauerkraut? REUBEN 
Is in a fireplace? BERNIE 
Is in a men's room? JOHN 
Is in a grocery bag? CARY 
Has been in collisions? REX 
Loosens Hex screws? ALLEN 
Is buried 6 feet under? DOUG 
Is buried 3 feet under? DOUGLAS 
Was cooked by cannibals? STU 
Is foaming at the mouth? BUD 
Is at a news desk? JUSTIN 
Is covered with glue? ELMER 
Is on a piece of paper? MARK 
Is covered with oil? DEREK 
Is remembered by the deceased? WILL 
Who does his own shaving? NICK
Is between two buildings? ALI 
Is in the end zone? SPIKE 
Whose head is underwater? DUNCAN 
Is an electrician? SPARKY 
Is under a bed? DUSTY 
Is in a lingerie drawer? TEDDY 
Is in a bathtub? DWAYNE

I can't have BOB jokes without including BARB jokes:

What do you call a woman with no arms and legs caught in a fence? BARB

Against a wall? EILEEN 
Floating on a pond? LILY 
In a vase? ROSE 
Who feels worthless? PENNY 
In a stream? BROOKE 
Holding a coat? PEG 
On a beach? SANDY 
With a breaking wind problem? GALE 
In a frying pan? PAM 
In a box of chocolates? CANDY 
Hanging from a chandelier? TIFFANY 
On your dining room table? CRYSTAL 
Between two slices of bread? PATTY

I've saved the self-deprecating one until last:

What do you call a woman with no arms and legs bringing a lawsuit to court? SUE

At least I didn't include HELEN KELLER jokes!

Friday, September 22, 2017


I love acronyms.  I have been known to create a few.  However, I knew that I had used the phrase "indelibly etched on my brain" far too often when "IEOMB" appeared on a WIPC (work in process control) board in my area at work because of my complaining about missing components needed for production.

I know that on Facebook and Twitter, that texting phrases, slang, and acronyms are sometimes humorously "abbreviated" and "casual", (e.g.: "u" for "you", "ur" for "you are", "b" for "be", "adr" for "address", "thx" for "thanks", and "cuz" for "because") but I keep noticing that people on Facebook do not grasp when "no" should be "know", "suppose" should be "supposed"; and "its" should be "it's"! ("ITS" is especially problematic because I recently learned that the acronym ITS in texting means "intense text sex"!

But surely people are not so busy that they cannot type "know"! I would think that only Twitter excuses abbreviating, as one is limited to 140 characters per posting.

I do like some of the acronyms: YOLO, CYT, BTW, and WTH.

I don't tweet or text.

I no, I no! (I know, I know!)

Thursday, September 21, 2017


There is a local Aryan Nation group and I am shocked to hear frequent bigoted remarks in my county.   As a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, I am also aware of the frightening increase of hate groups in our country.  I see the results of the encouragement of bigotry, misogyny, and racism from the current resident of the White House.

I was almost ready to give up hope of common decency in my country but when I saw the Reverend Robert Lee IV agreeing about the removal of public monuments which extolled Southerners who seceded from the Union, it gave me hope that change is possible.  Because of the negative backlash from his congregation, the Reverend Lee has resigned from the church.

Part of his statement:  

"My name is Robert Lee IV.  I'm a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was the center of violence in Charlottesville.  We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate.  As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America's original sin." 

I always knew that change is possible.  Below is an article I wrote in 2013:

                        CHANGE IS POSSIBLE

My Facebook friend Mark Kennedy is the leader of the Democratic Party in Alabama. He is married to Peggy WALLACE Kennedy. Peggy is the daughter of George and Lurleen Wallace. Peggy was thirteen years old when her father made the infamous "Stand in the schoolhouse door" speech on June 11, 1963. President Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and James Hood and Vivian Malone entered the University of Alabama.

This year, with Dr. Sharon Malone at her side, Peggy Wallace apologized for what had happened fifty years ago.  I am surprised that it did not receive the media coverage it deserves.

It is heartening to see that change is possible and the sheer beauty of George Wallace's daughter being the instrument of change is especially thrilling. Peggy Wallace has magnanimity and grace as well as being a caring daughter. She said that she hoped that her children had the legacy of their mother and not their grandfather.

A bit of trivia: Vivian Malone's sister is married to Eric Holder.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated in 2017 from sundown on September 20 to nightfall on September 22.. The Hebrew date for Rosh Hashanah is 1 Tishrei 5778.

Though Rosh Hashanah literally means "head of the year," the holiday actually takes place on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. This is because Rosh Hashanah, one of four new years in the Jewish year, is considered the new year of people, animals, and legal contracts. In the Jewish oral tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the completion of the creation of the world.

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, or Yamim Noraim (the "Days of Awe"), and is followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement";  the Mishnah refers to Rosh Hashanah as the "Day of Judgment" and it is believed that God opens the Book of Life on this day and begins to decide who shall live and who shall die. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are viewed as an opportunity for Jews to repent (teshuvah in Hebrew) and ensure a good fate.

The New Year greeting is l'shana tova which means "good New Year".

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Trying to register people to vote, I find it astounding that the most frequent excuse that I hear from people for not voting is that they don't want to be called for jury duty. When I explain how easy it is to be excused from jury duty, they say they still don't want to take the chance. My brother scolded me for telling people that, reminding me of the saying, "Would you like to be tried by a jury with people who were too dumb to get out of jury duty?"

I think it's my patriotic duty to serve on juries and over the years, I have served on Municipal, Grand, and Petit juries. Defense attorneys usually excuse me and I think it's because I have terminated people. That is rather ironic as I think I would be a juror who would be very sympathetic of the rights of defendants. At one voir dire, a defense attorney asked me how many people I had fired and I answered that I hadn't counted the notches on my gun belt that morning. Yes, I knew that being a smart-aleck would get me excused, but I didn't want to serve on that particular case.

One time when I served on a Breaking and Entering case, I believed that the prosecutor did not meet the burden of proof and I voted for acquittal. One of the male jurors also voted to acquit, thus the vote was 10 to 2 for conviction. The jurors agreed to discuss the case and the man who voted with me for acquittal said that he would never believe a word a cop said and he wouldn't vote for conviction. I told him that he had to be removed. He told me I was crazy because he had voted with me. I told him that I had arrived at my decision based on the evidence and that I wasn't prejudiced and he was. He was removed when I notified the judge. When the alternate juror was seated the vote was 11 to 1. Yes, I hung the jury!

After the trial, I went to the prosecutor and told him I'd like to give him a suggestion. He was immediately interested and asked how the jury voted.  I told him it was 11 to 1.  He asked who was the lone holdout and I told him it was I.  He said, very surprised, "YOU, I didn't think it was you! You were so attentive!"   I told him that I knew that attorneys think they can "read" juries and it was my job to be attentive.

The Prosecutor asked why I had voted for acquittal and I told him that he hadn't met the burden of proof;  he asked me for examples which I provided. He asked about the juror who'd been replaced and I told him that he had also voted to acquit. He said he couldn't believe that I went to the judge about the one who was voting with me. I answered, "He was prejudiced; I wasn't." I then asked him, "You know how the defense always asks the question whether we would believe a police officer more than other people?" He nodded and I said, "You should ask if we would believe a police officer LESS." I said, "You know if we answer yes to the defense on the first question, we'll be excused, and if we answer yes on the second question, you'll remove us!" I continued, "I think that guy would have been excused from jury duty if you had asked that question."

At the second trial, the defendant obviously had a better lawyer because he was acquitted.

At a drunk driving case, I was in the venire waiting to be questioned and six jurors had already been seated. One of my former teachers was called for voie dire and I knew that she was near my mother's age and she could have been excused because of her age. She sat down and immediately turned to the judge and announced, "Your Honor, I need to tell you that I think drinking is a sin!" The defense attorney immediately jumped up and said that he wanted to poll the jury because she had corrupted the jury pool. He was then allowed to ask questions about the beliefs and drinking habits of the jurors and prospective jurors and two who had been seated were excused. When it was my turn to be qizzed, the defense attorney asked if I thought drinking was a sin and I answered, "No, merely foolish!" I was excused.

Monday, September 18, 2017


CHUTZPAH: Dictionary definition: noun, Yiddish
shameless audacity, utter nerve, gall, effrontery, impudent rudeness, lack of respect, supreme self-confidence.  

My favorite definition for chutzpah is from Leo Rosten: a man, who, having killed his parents, threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan.

Last night, on Facebook, I read someone's posting about unsatisfactory service he had received by AAA. When I inquired this was his complete story:

He had run out of gas and he called AAA to bring gas. When AAA asked for his membership information, he told AAA that THEY needed to call his GREAT-GRANDMOTHER and she would give permission to use her membership card.  Of course AAA refused to do that. He said he told AAA that he couldn't understand why they wouldn't help him because his grandfather had used his great-grandmother's membership and didn't have his own card.

I asked, "Are you crazy; why do you think you should be able to use it?" He said, "She pays $100 a year, so why shouldn't I be able to use it?" I said, "Well, because you are not on her plan and if you were she would have to pay extra." He posited that that wasn't fair because he is family.  I asked, "So you think that $100 membership should cover her, her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren, and in-laws?" He said that he did because AAA was supposed to help people. I said, "AAA is supposed to take care of the people who have PAID to have that coverage--it's not a charity!"

I asked him, "Do you realize that you could cause your great-grandmother to lose her coverage by telling about your grandfather using it illegally?" He countered with, "They can't do that." I said, "If she had committed fraud by letting unauthorized people use her service, then they most certainly could--why would they want such a risky person?" He said, "There's no fraud, I'm family." I said, "But you're not on HER Family Plan!" I asked him, "In what universe do you think this wouldn't be considered fraud?"


Sunday, September 17, 2017


Mona Lisa sent this to me. I don't know why she wrote that it reminded her of me.


Yesterday I was at the local Costco, buying a large bag of Purina Dog Chow for my loyal pet, Owen, the Wonder Dog, and I was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

Because I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse, I told her no, that I didn't have a dog but I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time I tried it, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is: load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two each time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete (certified), so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I must mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Obviously horrified, the woman asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me.

I told her no--I had stopped to pee on a fire hydrant--and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.


Costco won't let me shop there anymore.

People better watch what they ask retired people because they have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


After becoming a Manager at Rockwell, each morning I met with a Quality Engineer who had been assigned to the Department.  Because of the serious condition of the Department, a very seasoned Engineer had been assigned to the Department.

After our Department's Quality improved dramatically, the Engineering Department assigned a different, young Engineer to review the NDRs (the write-ups which would require Engineering consultation and approval) with me to "triage" to aid the Department.

Each day, the young Engineer, Ron, was prompt and very business-like. He always brought along a cup of coffee and I had my Coke setting on the desk.  He was deferential, calling me "Mrs.". The only personal conversations we'd had were about movies and we were both cineastes! One Monday, Ron asked, "Did you have a nice weekend? I understand it was your anniversary." I had taken a vacation day and Ron had to confer with my boss, who took my place in the Department that day.  I said, "Yes, thank you, we went out to dinner with my brother and his wife as we share the same wedding anniversary day." I also mentioned that we had gone to see a movie. He inquired which movie. I answered, "Aurora Encounter."  Ron said he hadn't heard of the movie; I knew he expected it to be an intellectual movie.  I said, "We were so lucky to see my favorite actor in a tour de force performance." "Who is that?", Ron asked.   I said, very deadpan, "Jack Elam."

At that moment, Ron had taken a drink of coffee; he began laughing and choking and he spit the coffee on the desk, the documents, and on us! We jumped up, trying to clean up the coffee. I knocked over my Coke.

When we regained our composure, he said, "You WERE kidding about Jack Elam, weren't you?" I said, "Oh, no, my brothers and I have loved him ever since we saw him in old TV shows like Cheyenne and Sugarfoot."

I did an imitation of Elam, reciting this line from the movie Hawmps!: "I'm ready, I'm loose, I'm walking death and destruction!"

Ron asked, "Isn't he the one in Cannonball Run?" I exclaimed, "Another bravura performance."

Ron said, "No number of French and Italian words can convince me!" "I'm walking death and destruction!" became our inside joke.

After that, Ron and I became friends--as close friends as a 20-something and a 40-something could be. Nearing the end of the Contract, Ron accepted a position with another company.   I was invited to his going-away party and I was the only Management--and I might add--the only OLD person there. Several people there commented about those facts and Ron lifted a glass and toasted, "To the only person who loves Fellini AND Jack Elam!"

Of course I responded, "I'm walking death and destruction!"

Friday, September 15, 2017


When I was in high school, Rocky And Bullwinkle was popular; it was on television prior to American Bandstand; we watched both daily after coming home from school. I loved the characters, the segments with The Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody, Fractured Fairy Tales, Mr. Know-It-All, and Dudley Do-Right, but my favorite part was at the end of each episode, which was always a cliff-hanger, where the announcer [I later learned was William Conrad] would intone dramatically about the next episode.  E.G.: one about Rocky being trapped on a mountain: "Be with us next time for AVALANCHE IS BETTER THAN NONE--OR--SNOW'S YOUR OLD MAN!" I loved the puns.

A friend and I would constantly be using "OR" references much to the irritation of family, friends and teachers and I sometimes do it today.  Algebra was my first class of the day and my friend and I would be chattering animatedly about the previous day's Rocky episode. After tiring of hearing us, the Algebra teacher, Mr. White, said, "Great minds run in the same channel OR fools think alike." Touche, Mr. White!

Mr. White did not have a pleasant smell about him and I think that he wore the same clothes all week long. He wore different ties occasionally but his white shirt was dingy and his trousers were always shiny on the rear and one could see chalk residue on them from the previous day. [It just dawned on me that they were from a suit which, of course, was not washable and needed to be dry-cleaned; he probably couldn't afford to have them dry-cleaned] He would also have little bits of toilet paper stuck to his face where he'd nicked himself shaving. I thought about giving him one of my father's styptic pencils.

I did well in Algebra--with the help of my brothers--and although I do NOT remember Algebraic formulas today--I DO remember Rocky And Bullwinkle and especially all of the "inside" references which were usually Yiddish.  It's interesting that the term, Wayback Machine  is now an internet colloquialism for past events.

HOKEY SMOKE, Bullwinkle! You're still relevant!

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Recently, in conversation, a friend, who is a "millennial", said, "That's really janky!"

"That's a new word for me;  is it slang?", I asked.

"I don't think so;  I've used it for a long time."

Oxford Dictionary:  janky:  of extremely poor or unreliable quality.  Informal.  Unknown origin. First usage from the 1990s.

The Urban Dictionary:  janky:  inferior quality;  held in low social regard;  old and dilapidated; refers almost exclusively to inanimate objects, not to people.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


A friend is battling cancer and we are considering ways to help him and his family.

Occasionally I become disheartened by the behavior of people and I conclude that there isn't much hope for the human race. Whenever I think about contributions to humanity, I think of Jonas Salk who refused all profit from the polio vaccine.

Each time I am grousing about people, my husband will ask, "How about Tim?"

Tim is a friend who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I told Tim, "If you need anything, you know you can depend on us." He said, "I know that, and thank you, but I'm OK." As the weeks went by, he needed to have an operation and he had to be off work and use his disability insurance. His wife had been injured at work and she was attending college to prepare for a different career. Occcasionally,  I would call to ask how they were doing and he would continue to tell me that his disability checks were covering their expenses and he wanted to make sure his wife continued her schooling, but they were OK.

After a couple of months, I received a call and he said, "You know you told me that if I needed help, you knew some resources." I learned that he had used all of their savings; taken out all of his 401K investments; the 66 % payment he received from disability was not covering their expenses; he was in debt $2,500 for doctor and hospital bills; he needed to start a round of 35 chemotherapy visits and he wouldn't have funds for the co-payments.

I asked him to let me make some phone calls and I would call him the next day. I also asked him to let me help him write an appeal to his insurance company. He said he didn't think it would do any good, but I reminded him that I had written an appeal for my mother and they had reconsidered. We wrote the appeal and I mailed it.

I took him to Community Action to inquire about any benefits available.

Weeks before Tim called me I had been to the Medical Arts Building for therapy on my shoulder and I'd noticed a cookbook being offered for sale at the Receptionist's desk; I asked what group it was to benefit, and the Receptionist told me it was for The Tree Of Life and its mission was to help cancer patients. I called the Tree Of Life and told Tim's story and I was told to have him write a letter telling what was needed and submit it and they would consider his case. I typed a letter, took it to him for his signature, and mailed it the same day.

I recalled that when I'd gone to a Candidate's Forum before the last election, one of the candidates told that she belonged to a sorority with a charitable mission to help cancer patients. I got in touch with her and she told me they were meeting that very next night to decide where to allot their funds. She told me to have him write a letter and get it to the Secretary. I immediately typed a letter, took it to him to sign, and I hand-delivered it to the Secretary at her place of business.

I called several people to ask their churches to donate and I imposed on a friend to ask her St. Vincent de Paul group to donate. I called my brother and told him that the Catholics were giving $200; of course, the Pentecostal had to match that. I sent out a letter to friends and family. I had a yard sale.

Gerald told him that he would drive him to Wilmington for the five-times-a-week, 7-week chemotherapy treatments.

Because of the generosity of family, friends, churches, and the charitable groups, we were able to raise the $2,500 to be able to have him out of debt.

He recovered wonderfully well; he returned to work and his wife completed college and was working in her new field. Several months later, Tim called me and said, "You're not going to believe it, I just got a check from the insurance company and I want to re-pay you and Gerald for all you've done."

I said, "NO, NO, we don't want that!" I did NOT say what I was actually thinking, which that he might need the money in the future. He said, "Well, I'll call your brother and the others." Several people reported to me how he'd tried to re-pay them, but each had refused.

He could have so easily kept that money, and nobody would have known, and of course, he had every right to keep the money, but he instead wanted to re-pay those who had helped him.

A couple of weeks later, I was attending a funeral and a woman who worked at Community Action beckoned for me to come to sit with her. She said, "You know, I've been working there for 30 years and NOBODY has ever returned money to us until your friend came in and gave us the money!"

I asked, "Kinda restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?"


Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Gerald says that I "interview" everyone with whom I come in contact. While that is not entirely accurate, I do, oftentimes, inquire about people and their backgrounds interests when first meeting them.

Today, I wanted to talk to a firefighter, not about any Fire Department issue, but I had a personal question.

After introducing myself and finding out what I wanted to know, I asked the firefighter about his background and how he'd decided on firefighting as a vocation.  

He said he had been an EMS member and also a volunteer firefighter in his small town and he said, "I guess I just got hooked on it."  I replied, "Or, in your case, you could've gotten hooked and laddered on it."

He said, "I like that;  I think I'll use it."  I laughed and said, "Go ahead;  no charge."

Monday, September 11, 2017


In past years I have participated in organized activities for the National Day Of Service. Wearily, a  friend asked, "What are we going to be involved with this year?",  because I usually "drag" her along with me.  I told her I was going to do some "small" things such as spending time with a friend who is at a nursing home for rehabilitation;  shopping for an elderly friend; sorting and organizing books to take to Half Price Books for a fundraiser;  taking donations to Goodwill.

She said, "That doesn't seem to be very important."   Who's to say "what" is important?

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Gerald and I went into a local restaurant and the hostess asked, "Table or booth?"

Gerald said, "John Wilkes."

The young woman said, "Hunh?  I don't understand."

Gerald said, "You know, John Wilkes BOOTHE?"

She answered, "I don't know who that is."

I said, "You know, the one who assassinated President Lincoln."

She said, "Oh, I don't know anything about that."

I said, "It was in all the papers."  Obviously unaware that I was striving for humor, she answered, "Really?"

Oh, please tell me, HOW could a person old enough to serve liquor NOT know who the Hell John Wilkes Boothe was?

Saturday, September 9, 2017


I remember, sometime in the 1970s, when my company issued a memorandum that "employe" would be used in all Company correspondence rather than "employee" and stated that it would save the company millions of dollars by deleting ONE "e".  Nowadays, as a stockholder, whenever I receive literature from the Company and I see the word "employe" used, I wonder how much it actually benefited the company. 

By 1979, the Company had eliminated Department Secretary positions and created a "secretarial pool" and any correspondence from us in Production Management would be submitted--hand-written or dictated-- and after being typed by a pool typist, the materials would be returned to us for distribution.  

One time, after I had submitted a hand-written letter to be typed, when I received the typewritten material from the secretarial pool, I noticed that my wording had been changed.  I returned it to the typist and told her she would need to retype it.  She asked why and I explained that her typing made it ungrammatical.  Obviously miffed, she stated that she had "simplified" it for me.  I replied that it was now incorrect and I could not possibly issue the letter.   She replied that she was sure the person receiving it wouldn't know the difference.  I asked, "You're sure?  Then obviously you know this employe."  She replied, "He's just a factory worker."  I said, in a very condescending tone, that the intended recipient held a master's degree and would definitely notice the error;   I reiterated that I could not present it with the mistake and that I, myself, was perfectly capable of typing the response if I could use her typewriter.  She told me that I wasn't "allowed" to do that.  I was, of course, offended that I, as a member of Management, even needed to have the conversation with her.  

I told her that I needed to talk to her Supervisor.  Unbelievably, rather than just agreeing to re-type the letter, the Supervisor said that the employe wouldn't be able to tell the difference.   I told her that was "very patronizing" and I would wager that the intended recipient was far more educated than the members of her department.  I also said that it could have been re-typed in the amount of time we had wasted discussing it and that I obviously needed to speak to her Manager.

Only then did the Supervisor ask the nature of the problem.  I stated that I had properly used a transitive verb and the typist had changed it to an intransitive verb.   The Supervisor yanked the paperwork from my hand and said she would re-type it.  After that, my submissions were typed exactly as I presented them.

Within a few years, the secretarial pool was gone, we all had computers on our desks, and we all had to type our own responses.  

Ah, progress!


Friday, September 8, 2017



WHY should we care about ampersands?

1.  I like to say the word.

2.  It's a glyph

3.  The sign is aesthetically pleasing to me.

4.  It's a ligature of "e" and "t" (that's "et" in Latin;  et means "and").

WHY was September 8 chosen as Ampersand Day? Chaz DeSimone, founder of Ampersand Day, chose the date because several of the characters can be cleverly disguised as ampersands, when the right fonts are used:

Thursday, September 7, 2017


During our recent trip to Graceland, we decided that we also wanted to visit B.B. King's Blues Club on Beale Street in Memphis.  We stayed there five delightful hours, enjoying the music of two separate musical groups.  The first group featured "The King of Beale Street" Preston Shannon.  I enjoyed a meal of fried catfish, onion hush puppies, and okra. 

At a table next to us, the group was comprised of an Asian-descent woman, an Hispanic-descent man, a young African American woman, a middle-aged African American man, a young African American male, an elderly Caucasian man, and a middle-aged Caucasian male.  I was fascinated by the group, wondering if they were family or co-workers, but, of course I could not eavesdrop because of the noise level in the club.  I told Gerald, "That's what America looks like!"

When the waitress brought out a birthday cake to the group, people began singing, and we joined in;  I used the opportunity to engage in conversation with the woman nearest to me and inquire about the group.  I learned that they were celebrating a co-worker's birthday and that they were all employed by ABM Air and they were from different parts of the country and all were in Memphis for a conference.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


My best friend called.  

"What were you doing?"
"Wrestling With His Angel."
"Oh, yeah, that new book about Lincoln."
"I liked his last one too."
"What's he trying to do;  be the Robert Caro of Lincoln?"
"Now THAT was really good!
"I have a good line now and then."

There's no need to identify who said WHAT to WHOM because we typically read the same kind of books, finish each other's sentences, and somewhere in the conversation, she will ask, "What new thing did you learn today?" because years ago, I condescendingly told someone that I learn something new every day, and she has never let me forget it!

"So, what new thing did you learn today?"
"That CAVEATING  is a word."
"I was listening to Meet The Press and one of the pundits said 'caveating' and I screaked at Les, but when I looked online it IS acceptable!"

Tuesday, September 5, 2017



MONA LISA:  "Do you have flood insurance?"

SUE:                  "We're not eligible."

MONA LISA:   "Why?"

SUE:                   "We're not on a flood plain."

MONA LISA:    "What'a a flood plain?"

SUE:                    "It's low-lying land adjacent to a river and is subject to flooding."

MONA LISA:    "Has there ever been a flood here?"

SUE:                   "I remember one in 1962."

MONA LISA:    "Then why couldn't it happen again and why wouldn't there be insurance?"

SUE:                    "Insurance actuaries determine those things."

MONA LISA:    "With global warming, things might change and we could have a flood."

SUE:                   "I hope there will still be FEMA!"

Monday, September 4, 2017


With the probability that the so-called "Right To Work" issue will be foisted upon Ohio voters, it is important to remember that RIGHT TO WORK IS WRONG!  With America's working families being under unprecedented attack, it is important to remember what unions have provided for all of us, not just union members.  From the eight-hour work day, child labor laws, pay equity, safe working conditions, sick leave, and numerous other benefits, unions have always stood for the rights of working people.


Sunday, September 3, 2017


My friend Mona Lisa sent the following article and the accompanying chart and wrote, "Aren't you glad that tomatoes are ALSO healthful?"

A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

A sliced carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris, and radiating lines look like the human eye and yes, science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, eggplant and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female; they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Was John Keats gazing on a "love apple" when he penned his immortal words "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."?

Today, as I was gazing on the object of my affection--a perfect tomato--I sighed, and quoted Keats.  My ever-witty brother asked, "How's it gonna be forever if you eat it?"

No photograph can perfectly capture the essence.  Ah, this Big Boy was delicious, but I do prefer the lovely Rutgers.

As I have written previously, the way I feel about tomatoes is immoral:  I lust after them. I have had enablers all my life: Mother always allowed me to have the first tomato of the season; my brother shares his first tomato of the season with me and, of course, I have friends who reward me with their bounty.

Tomatoes are indigenous to the New World; Aztecs cultivated and ate them. When the Spaniards took them to Europe in the sixteenth century, many thought they were poisonous. Tomatoes are in the same family as tobacco and the deadly mandrake. Some thought they were an aphrodisiac.

The French named tomatoes pommes d'amour--LOVE APPLES--and the French are always so succinct because I love tomatoes.

I want them hot from the garden; I will wash the dirt off--with hot water--and grab the salt shaker. As I say, "I never met a tomato I didn't like.", and this season has been splendid with family, and friends enabling my addiction.  I carry a salt shaker in the console of my car;  one never knows when one might encounter the object of one's obsession!

Oh, sadly, the season is nearly over and soon I will be cursing those "plastic" tomatoes in the grocery!

Friday, September 1, 2017


I have had problems with my feet for years. After pounding concrete floors at work for more than forty years, I guess that should not be surprising.  I have been wearing "orthotics" and trying to find the "perfect shoe" all my life!

With a wedding to attend in September, I want to be able to wear a pretty pair of dress shoes rather than my omnipresent Mary Janes.   As my podiatrist had retired I decided to try a new podiatrist.   After discussing my issues, the new doctor said, "Roll up your pants and show me how you walk."  Naturally I thought about Monty Python's skit The Ministry Of Funny Walks (click on the YouTube sample) but  I resisted doing my best John Cleese impression.  

The doctor asked, "Have you always walked on your tippy-toes?"  I stifled a giggle at his use of the "tippy-toes" term, but answered, "I didn't know I was;  maybe I'm compensating for being short." He continued, "You are contracting your toes;  that's probably what's causing your pain."  I told him that my left foot hurt more than the right foot.

After the doctor's reviewing X-rays, his taping pads to my left foot, giving advice to roll both my feet on a frozen water bottle twice a day, and scheduling a return visit to probably measure for new orthotics, I left the office having some hope of relief. 

At home, whining about my feet, my brother quipped, "OK, Christy Brown.", which effectively put MY left foot problem in its proper perspective.

See Christy Brown posing with his self-portrait.  Brown, the Irish writer and artist, was afflicted with cerebral palsy, and was able to write, type, and paint ONLY with the toe on his LEFT FOOT.  If you have not seen the quintessential Daniel Day-Lewis' Academy Award-winning portrayal of Brown in the movie My Left Foot, I suggest you rent it from Netflix or borrow it from me.