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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Blessed Samhain


samhain

And the fires
Shall burn
And the wheel of life
Shall turn
And the dead will come home, on Samhain

And then
The night sky
On a lunar light
midnight
And the dead will come home, on Samhain

Little children
Dress like beasts
In the lamp-lit
Dark streets
And the dead come alive, on Samhain

Come away
From this island earth
Come back to
The moment of your birth
And the dead come alive, on Samhain

Ever since
The dawn of time
This day has been for them
Lay your minds on the line
And await the dead, on Samhain

When the wall
Grows thin
Allows the dead
To come in
So await the dead, on Samhain

I will see you, come Samhain

------------------
Glen Whitman, Gather.com

The Wheel of the year

*Pronounced: SOW-in (as in "cow"), (or sometimes sew-WIN)
For more pagan pronunciations, click here.
**Read about Samhain

Hallowe'en Humour

A woman whose husband often came home drunk decided to cure him of the habit. One Halloween night, she put on a devil suit and hid behind a tree to intercept him on the way home.
When her husband came by, she jumped out and stood before him with her red horns, long tail, and pitchfork.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"I'm the Devil!" she responded.
"Well, come on home with me," he said, "I married your sister!"



Q: What did the really ugly man do for a living?
A: He posed for Halloween masks!



Q: What is a childs's favourite type of Halloween candy?
A: Lots a candy!



A few days after Halloween, Sally came home with a bad report card. Her mother asked why her grades were so low.
Sally answered, "Because everything is marked down after holidays!"



Q: What do ghosts eat for breakfast on Halloween?
A: Shrouded Wheat. Ghost Toasties. Scream of Wheat. Terr-fried eggs. Rice Creepies.



Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Annie.
Annie who?
Annie body home?



Peter: Do you like the vampire?
Jack: Yes, it was love at first bite!



Q: Where does Dracula keep his valuables?
A: In a blood bank.



David: Which ghost is the best dancer?
Joseph: I don’t know.
David: The Boogie Man!



Q: How do monsters tell their future?
A: They read their horrorscope.



Two monsters went to a party. Suddenly one said to the other, “A lady just rolled her eyes at me. What should I do?”
“Be a gentleman and roll them back to her.”



The young ghost went trick or treating.
A nighbor asked her, "Who are your parents?"
"Deady and Mummy," she answered.



Martin: What is a ghost’s favorite Cub Scout event?
Bryan: What?
Martin: Boo and Gold.
Martin: What is a witch’s favorite Cub Scout event?
Bryan: I give up.
Martin: Brew and Gold.
Martin: What is a werewolf’s favorite Cub Scout event?
Bryan: What?
Martin: Pack meetings, of course!



Q: What do you call the ratio of a jack-o-lantern’s circumference to it’s diameter?
A: Pumpkin π.



Q: What do you do when 50 zombies surround your house?
A: Hope it's Halloween...



Q: What did the daddy ghost say to his son?
A: Don't spook until spooken to!



Advice to a witch on a broomstick: "Don't fly off the handle!"



Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Bea.
Bea who?
Bea-ware, tonight is Halloween!



On the morning of Halloween, the teacher told the class, "We'll have only half a day of school this morning."
The children cheered.
Then she said, "And we'll have the second half this afternoon."
This time the children moaned!

Jack-o-lanterns

Bowling for Cats

Bowling for cats!

Bowling for cats! Click here to play
Click above to play - The Wizard scored 117 cats. Record your score! Put your scores in the comments!!

The 411 - Hallowe'en

Halloween or Hallowe'en (/ˌhæləˈwin, -oʊˈin, ˌhɒl-/; a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening") also known as All Hallows' Eve is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) and the day initiating the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.


 According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

 The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word "Halloween" means "hallowed evening" or "holy evening". It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day). In Scots, the word "eve" is even, and this is contracted to e'en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase "All Hallows'" is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), "All Hallows' Eve" is itself not seen until 1556.

Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in Celtic Christianity. Indeed, Jack Santino, an academic folklorist, writes that "the sacred and the religious are a fundamental context for understanding Halloween in Northern Ireland, but there as throughout Ireland an uneasy truce exists between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived." Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of
Halloween in Bangledesh
Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end". Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It was held on or about October 31 – November 1 and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year by the Brittonic Celts; for example Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain and Calan Gaeaf are mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature. The names have been used by historians to refer to Celtic Halloween customs up until the 19th century, and are still the Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween.

Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. Like Beltane/Calan Mai, it was seen as a time when the spirits or fairies (the Sí) could more easily come into our world and were particularly active. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. However, the spirits or fairies could also cause harm, and needed to be propitiated or warded-off. This is thought to have influenced today's Halloween customs. Bonfires, which were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, were lit and sometimes used in divination rituals. At the household festivities in these areas, there were many rituals intended to divine the future of those gathered, especially with regard to death and marriage. Christian minister Eddie J. Smith has suggested that the bonfires have a later Christian origin and were used to scare witches of their awaiting punishment in hell.


Jack-o-lanterns
In modern Ireland, Scotland, Mann and Wales, Halloween was celebrated by mumming and guising, the latter of which goes back at least as far as the 18th century. This involved people going from house to house in costume (or in disguise) reciting songs in exchange for food. It may have come from the Christian custom of souling (see below) or it may have an ancient Celtic origin, with the costumes being a means of imitating, or disguising oneself from, the spirits/fairies. In some places, young people dressed as the opposite gender. In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod. In parts of southern Ireland, the guisers included a hobby horse – a man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) would lead youths house-to-house collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'. Elsewhere in Europe, mumming and hobby horses were a part of other festivals. However, they may have been "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad and could be imitated or warded off by human wanderers". When "imitating malignant spirits it was a very short step from guising to playing pranks". The guisers commonly played pranks in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, and this practice spread to England in the 20th century.

The "traditional illumination for guisers or pranksters abroad on the night in some places was provided by turnips or mangel wurzels, hollowed out to act as lanterns and often carved with grotesque faces to represent spirits or goblins". These were common in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands in 19th century. They were also found in Somerset. In the 20th century they spread to other parts of England and became generally known as jack-o'-lanterns.

Today's Halloween customs are also thought to have been influenced by Christian dogma and practices derived from it. Halloween falls on the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows' Day (also known as All Saints', Hallowmas or Hallowtide) on November 1 and All Souls' Day on November 2, thus giving the holiday on October 31 the full name of All Hallows' Eve. These three days are collectively referred to as Hallowmas and are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on May 13. In 835, it was switched to November 1 (the same date as Samhain) at the behest of Pope Gregory IV, on the "practical grounds that Rome in summer could not accommodate the great number of pilgrims who flocked to it", and perhaps because of public health considerations regarding Roman Fever, a disease that claimed a number of lives during the sultry summers of the region. Some have suggested this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea.

By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing church bells for the souls in purgatory. In addition, "it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls." "Souling", the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls, has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. The custom was found in parts of England and dates back at least as far as the 15th century. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door during Hallowmas, collecting soul cakes, originally as a means of praying for souls in purgatory. Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas." The custom of wearing costumes has been explicated by Prince Sorie Conteh, who wrote: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities". Imagery of the skull, a reference to Golgotha, in the Christian tradition, serves as "a reminder of death and the transitory quality of human life" and is consequently found in memento mori and vanitas compositions; skulls have therefore been commonplace in Halloween, which touches on this theme.


All Hallows Eve at an Episcopalian Church
Traditionally, the back walls of churches are "decorated with a depiction of the Last Judgment, complete with graves opening and the dead rising, with a heaven filled with angels and a hell filled with devils," a motif that has permeated the observance of this triduum. Academic folklorist Kingsley Palmer, in addition to others, has suggested that the carved jack-o'-lantern, a popular symbol of Halloween, originally represented the souls of the dead. On Halloween, in medieval Europe, "fires [were] lit to guide these souls on their way and deflect them from haunting honest Christian folk." In addition, households in Austria, England, Ireland often had "candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes". These were known as “soul lights”

In parts of Britain, these customs came under attack during the Reformation as some Protestants berated purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the notion of predestination. Thus, for some Nonconformist Protestants, the theology of All Hallows’ Eve was redefined; without the doctrine of purgatory, "the returning souls cannot be journeying from Purgatory on their way to Heaven, as Catholics frequently believe and assert. Instead, the so-called ghosts are thought to be in actuality evil spirits. As such they are threatening." Other Protestants maintained belief in an intermediate state, known as Hades (Bosom of Abraham), and continued to observe the original customs, especially candlelit processions and the ringing of church bells in memory of the dead. With regard to the evil spirits, on Halloween, "barns and homes were blessed to protect people and livestock from the effect of witches, who were believed to accompany the malignant spirits as they traveled the earth." In the 19th century, in parts of England, Christian families gathered on hills on the night of All Hallows' Eve. One held a bunch of burning straw on a pitchfork while the rest knelt around him in a circle, praying for the souls of relatives and friends until the flames went out. This was known as teen'lay, derived either from the Old English tendan (meaning to kindle) or a word related to Old Irish tenlach (meaning hearth). The rising popularity of Guy Fawkes Night (5 November) from 1605 onward, saw many Halloween traditions appropriated by that holiday instead, and Halloween's popularity waned in Britain, with the noteworthy exception of Scotland. There and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since at least the early Middle Ages, and the Scottish kirk took a more pragmatic approach to Halloween, seeing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country. In France, Christians, on the night of All Hallows' Eve, prayed beside the graves of their loved ones, setting down dishes full of milk for them. On Halloween, in Italy, families left a large meal out for ghosts of their passed relatives, before they departed for church services. In Spain, women, on this night, made special pastries known as “bones of the holy” (Spanish: Huesos de Santo) and put them on the graves of the churchyard, a practice that continues to this day.

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween, and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.


Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. The practice is said to have roots in the medieval practice of mumming, which is closely related to souling (discussed above). John Pymm writes that "many of the feast days associated with the presentation of mumming plays were celebrated by the Christian Church." These feast days included All Hallows' Eve, Christmas, Twelfth Night and Shrove Tuesday. Mumming, practised in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, involved masked persons in fancy dress who "paraded the streets and entered houses to dance or play dice in silence." Their "basic narrative framework is the story of St. George and the Seven Champions of Christendom."

In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.

American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America":

The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now.

*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Proverbs and Quotes

Proverbs
If the rich could hire other people to die for them, the poor could make a wonderful living.
--Yiddish Proverb

The wise man, even when he holds his tongue, says more than the fool when he speaks.
--Yiddish Proverb

What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth.
--Yiddish proverb

A hero is someone who can keep his mouth shut when he is right.
--Yiddish Proverb

One old friend is better than two new ones.
--Yiddish Proverb

One of life's greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn't good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.
--Jewish Proverb

A wise man hears one word and understands two.
--Yiddish Proverb

"Don't be so humble - you are not that great."
--Golda Meir (1898-1978) to a visiting diplomat

Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself.
--Golda Meir

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
--Albert Einstein

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
--Albert Einstein

Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.
--Albert Einstein

You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.
--Yiddish proverb

I don't want to become immortal through my work. I want to become Immortal through not dying.
--Woody Allen

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
--Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
--Albert Einstein

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Phantom Hag - A Halloween Tale

The Phantom Hag - A Halloween Story

Click above to read the story. (PDF)

Oil change: Women vs Men


Gender Symbols

Oil Change instructions for Women:

1) Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 miles since the last oil change.
2) Drink a cup of coffee.
3) 15 minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.

Money spent:
Oil Change: $20.00
Coffee: $1.00
Total: $21.00

Oil Change instructions for Men:

1) Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner
and a scented tree, write a check for $50.00.
2) Stop by 7/11 and buy a case of beer, write a check for $20, drive home.
3) Open a beer and drink it.
4) Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
5) Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
6) In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
7) Place drain pan under engine.
8) Look for 9/16 box end wrench.
9) Give up and use Crescent wrench.
10) Unscrew drain plug.
11) Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil: splash hot oil on you in process. Cuss.
12) Crawl out from under car to wipe hot oil off of face and arms. Throw kitty litter on spilled oil.
13) Have another beer while watching oil drain.
14) Spend 30 minutes looking for oil filter wrench.
15) Give up; crawl under car and hammer a screwdriver through oil filter and twist off.
16) Crawl out from under car with dripping oil filter splashing oil everywhere from holes.
Cleverly hide old oil filter among trash in trash can to avoid environmental penalties. Drink a beer.
17) Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to gasket surface.
18) Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.
19) Remember drain plug from step 11.
20) Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
21) Drink beer.
22) Discover that first quart of fresh oil is now on the floor. Throw kitty litter on oil spill.
23) Get drain plug back in with only a minor spill. Drink beer.
24) Crawl under car getting kitty litter into eyes. Wipe eyes with oily rag used to clean drain plug.
25) Slip with stupid Crescent wrench tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame removing any
excess skin between knuckles and frame.
26) Begin cussing fit.
27) Throw stupid Crescent wrench.
28) Cuss for additional 5 minutes because wrench hit bowling trophy.
29) Beer.
30) Clean up hands and bandage as required to stop blood flow.
31) Beer.
32) Dump in five fresh quarts of oil.
33) Beer.
34) Lower car from jack stands.
35) Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during any missed steps.
36) Beer.
37) Test drive car.
38) Get pulled over: arrested for driving under the influence.
39) Car gets impounded.
40) Call loving wife, make bail.
41) 12 hours later, get car from impound yard.

Money spent:
Parts: $50.00
DUI: $2500.00
Impound fee: $75.00
Bail: $1500.00
Beer: $20.00
Total: $4,145.00
But, you know the job was done right!

Meanwhile in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada...

Dinosaurs Alive!® is NOW OPEN
THE BEASTS ARE BACK AND THEY BROUGHT A FRIEND!
This year, the Zoo welcomed a new dinosaur with a Manitoba connection to the exhibit for a total of 16 life-sized animatronic giants.

Tylosaurus (TIE-low-SAUR-us) pembinensis was a ferocious beast that ruled the waters that covered Manitoba during the Cretaceous Period. Turtles, fish, sharks, ammonites, plesiosaurs and even flightless diving birds swam through the shallow interior seaway. Stalking all of them was Tylosaurus.

With the addition of the Tylosaurus, the exhibit now features all three categories of apex
predators – land, air and sea. Learn more about these giants from our prehistoric past on your next visit to the Zoo!

Dinosaurs Alive!® provides visitors with an opportunity to step back in time to the prehistoric era as the lifelike dinosaurs move and roar demonstrating how they may have looked and moved in a natural environment millions of years ago. In addition to the dinosaurs themselves, the exhibit features a dig site and excavation site where children of all ages can discover what it’s like to be a paleontologist.

Dinosaurs Alive!® is included with Zoo admission and will be here until October 9. Don't miss it!

Dinosaurs Alive!® is made possible through support from presenting sponsor Artis REIT as well as numerous supporting partners and sponsors.

Tylosaurus Pembinensis
Tylosaurus Pembinensis
Dinosaurs Alive® at The Winnipeg Zoo! Click here to visit their site.

Riddles

What is the favorite health insurance for Goblins, Ghosts and Monsters?

Medi-Scare


What do goblins and ghosts drink when they're hot and thirsty on Halloween?

Ghoul-aid!!!


What is a Mummie's favorite type of music?

Wrap!!!!!


Why do demons and ghouls hang out together?

Because demons are a ghouls best friend!


What's a monster's favorite bean?

A human bean.


What do you call a witch who lives at the beach?

A sand-witch.


Where does a ghost go on Saturday night?

Anywhere where he can boo-gie.


What do ghosts say when something is really neat?

Ghooooul-ly


Why did the game warden arrest the ghost?

He didn't have a haunting license.


Why didn't the skeleton dance at the party?

He had no body to dance with.


Where does Count Dracula usually eat his lunch?

At the casketeria.


What happens when a ghost gets lost in the fog?

He is mist.


Where did the goblin throw the football?

Over the ghoul line.


Why is a ghost such a messy eater?

Because he is always a goblin.


What do you call a goblin who gets too close to a bonfire?

A toasty ghosty.


What tops off a ghost's ice cream sundae?

Whipped scream.


What do you give a skeleton for valentine's day?

Bone-bones in a heart shaped box.


What is a vampires favorite holiday?

Fangsgiving


What kind of makeup do ghosts wear?

Mas-scare-a.


Who was the most famous ghost detective?

Sherlock Moans.


Who was the most famous witch detective?

Warlock Holmes


Who was the most famous skeleton detective?

Sherlock Bones.


Who was the most famous French skeleton?

Napoleon bone-apart


Which building does Dracula visit in New York?

The Vampire State Building.


Where do most werewolves live?

In Howllywood, California


Where do most goblins live?

In North and South Scarolina.


Where does a ghost refuel his Porche'?

At a ghastly station.


What do you call a little monsters parents

Mummy and deady


What do you get when you cross a black cat with a lemon.

A sour-puss


How do you scare a mummy

With a yummy dummy in a crash test crummy.


What do you get when you cross a pumpkin with a squash?

A squashed pumpkin pie.


Why do ghosts shiver and moan?

It's drafty under that sheet.


What instrument do skeletons play?

Trom-BONE.


Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?

He had no guts.


Why do vampires scare people?

They are bored to death!


How can you tell a vampire likes baseball?

Every night he turns into a bat.


What's it like to be kissed by a vampire?

It's a pain in the neck.


How can you tell when a vampire has been in a bakery?

All the jelly has been sucked out of the jelly doughnuts.


What song does Dracula hate?

"You Are My Sunshine" and "Sunshine on my Shoulders.


How does a girl vampire flirt?

She bats her eyes.


What's it called when a vampire has trouble with his house?

A grave problem.


Why doesn't anybody like Dracula?

He has a bat temper.


Why did Dracula go to the dentist?

He had a fang-ache.


Why are vampires like false teeth?

They all come out at night.


Who does Dracula get letters from?

His fang club.


Why did Dracula take cold medicine?

To stop his coffin.


Why does Dracula wear paten leather shoes?

Sandals don't look good with his tuxedo.


How do you keep a monster from biting his nails?

Give him screws.


What can't you give the headless horseman?

A headache.


Why did the headless horseman go into business?

He wanted to get ahead in life.