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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

They found Her!!! Popeye's Mom!


Click above to see her!

Oh, Mona!

It has been said that there has been no other face as recognizable in this world as Mona Lisa's. Here are some other little known facts:

Birthday: 1503-1506
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Current home: The Louvre, Paris, France
Stats: 20 7/8" x 30", oil on poplar wood.
Marital Status: Married to Francesco del Giocondo since 1495
Working On: Being most celebrated painting in the world
I stay home to watch: Singers, musicians, jesters and The Sopranos
Favorite singer: Nat King Cole
Favorite dish: Savino Sorbet
Prized possessions: *Sfumato, *Chiaroscuro, my new room
Personal hero: Leonardo Da Vinci
Nobody knows: Why I’m smiling
If I could do it over: I’d have a contract with royalties
I’d give anything to meet: Madonna
My fantasy is: To model for Versace
The one thing I can’t stand: Paparazzi
If I could change one thing about myself: I’d be larger
My most irrational act: Being stolen in 1911
Most humbling experience: *L.H.O.O.Q.
The words that best describe me: Lisa Gherardini, Mona Lisa, La Gioconda

Below are some of the faces that are never seen, during the times when the museum is closed. Take an exclusive peek, as these were caught on film during the wee hours of the morning at The Louvre:

Mona Lisa Smile Mona Lisa Smile Mona Lisa Smile Mona Lisa Smile Mona Lisa Smile Mona Lisa Smile

*Sfumato is the famous invention of Da Vinci - light and shade that allow one form to blend in with another leaving something to the imagination. He did this to the corners of Mona Lisa' mouth and eyes which explains why she may look different and different times.

*Chiaroscuro the distribution of light and shade in a picture

*L.H.O.O.Q. in 1919 Dada painter Marcel Duchamp put a mustache and goatee on a reproduction of the Mona Lisa. The letters read phonetically in French: Elle a chaud au cul (she has a hot arse.)

***Facts from: Mona Lisa Mania

Free Advice


Read books that you enjoy...

Do whatever you want whenever you want...

Look for affection when you need it...

Get serious once in a while...

Forget about diets...
 Show some affection

Get angry once in a while...
 Change your look...

Be happy, above all,
regardless what your challenges may be.

Have a great week!

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Leave the rest to God!

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet
is fighting some kind of battle."

The Fart Song

 Click here for the fart song

Click above

YAHOO! Easter Egg! - The YAHOO! Yodel

An Easter Egg is a hidden option or program or just a strange bit of code in a program or application, usually placed by the developers (programmers) of the software. Bill Gates has for the most part stopped the use of Easter Eggs in MS products as they can open security holes in otherwise solid applications. Here is one for YAHOO!:

Click here, then click on the Exclamtion Point on the Yahoo! Logo.
Click on the picture above, then click on the Exclamation Point on the YAHOO! Logo on their home page.

Naked TV Star

 Warning! Nudity!

Click here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Mike The Headless Chicken

 The Amazing, true story of this famous fowl dates back to September 10, 1945 when Mike, a young Wyandotte rooster, was about to become the dinner of Fruita, Colorado, farmer Lloyd Olsen.

With a sharp ax in hand, Mr. Olsen firmly held Mike, preparing to make the bird ready for his wife Clara's cooking pot. Mr. Olsen swung the implement, thereby lopping off poor Mike's head. Mike shook off the event, then continued trying to peck for food.

Mike's will to live remains an inspiration. It is a great comfort to know you can live a normal life, even after you have lost your mind.

Click here for more about Mike

Not grossed out yet? Then click above

Speaking Of Etch-A-Sketch... Etch-A-Sketch Tech Support


Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has a distorted display.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create an empty New Document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I Exit without Saving?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same colour?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has lines that prevent me from doing my art project.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I keep from losing my Etch-A-Sketch documents in the middle of my work?
A: Stop shaking it.

*Author unknown



Click Above. When you get the Etch-A-Sketch, use the arrow keys to draw!

For more fantastic sketches, click here.

I'll Take 'Queer Quotables' For $500, Alex...


"What is a straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains."
--Tennesse Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire.

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered."
--Robin Tyler

"Anita Bryant like Anita hole in the head."

"As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children."
--Anita Bryant

"As long as society is anti-gay, then it will seem like being gay is anti-social."
--Joseph Francis

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
--Dr. Seuss

"Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night."
--Woody Allen

"Closets are for clothes."
--Bumper sticker

"Did you hear about the Scottish drag queen? He wore pants."
--Lynn Lavne

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Drag is when a man wears everything a lesbian won't."
--Author Unknown

"Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness."
--Shakti Gawain

"Everybody's journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality."
--James Baldwin

"For a long time I thought I wanted to be a nun. Then I realized that what I really wanted to be was a lesbian."
--Mabel Maney

"Gay and lesbian people fall in love. We settle down. We commit our lives to one another. We raise our children. We protect them. We try to be good citizens."
--California Sen. Sheila Kuehl after California Senate approved gay marriage bill AB849

"Gay people ... were the first to find me, and they get everything, they're so sharp. I'll look out in the audience and I see three or four gay guys right in the front row, or a couple of lesbians, I know it's gonna be a good show."
--Joan Rivers to Denver's Out Front

"Gay people, well, gay people are EVIL, evil right down to their cold black hearts which pump not blood like yours or mine, but rather a thick, vomitous oil that oozes through their rotten veins and clots in their pea-sized brains which becomes the cause of their Nazi-esque patterns of violent behavior. Do you understand?"
--Trey Parker and Matt Stone from South Park, spoken by Mr Garrison

"Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don't are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn't put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a Lesbian."
--Fran Lebowitz

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another."
--William Shakespeare

"Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another."
--Homer (Not Simpson!)

"Homophobia is a social disease."
--Bumper sticker

"Homosexuality is a sickness, just as are baby-rape or wanting to become head of General Motors."
--Eldridge Cleaver "Notes on a Native Son," Soul on Ice, 1968

"Homosexuality is god's way of insuring that the truly gifted aren't burdened with children."
--Sam Austin

"I am reminded of a colleague who reiterated "all my homosexual patients are quite sick" - to which I finally replied "so are all my heterosexual patients."
--Ernest van den Haag, psychotherapist

"I am the love that dare not speak its name."
--Lord Alfred Douglas from poem Two Loves

"I can't help looking gay. I put on a dress and people say, "Who's the dyke in the dress?""
--Karen Ripley

"I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public."
--T-shirt worn by Chicago Bulls transvestite Dennis Rodman during a network-TV interview

"I get sick of listening to straight people complain about, "Well, hey, we don't have a heterosexual-pride day, why do you need a gay-pride day?" I remember when I was a kid I'd always ask my mom: "Why don't we have a Kid's Day? We have a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, but why don't we have a Kid's Day?" My mom would always say, "Every day is Kid's Day." To all those heterosexuals that bitch about gay pride, I say the same thing: Every day is heterosexual-pride day! Can't you people enjoy your banquet and not piss on those of us enjoying our crumbs over here in the corner?"
--Rob Nash

"I just wish more of my fellow queers would come out sometimes. It's nice out here, you know?"
--Elton John accepting Distinguished Achievement Award from Elizabeth Taylor at Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center's 25th anniversary blowout

"I like my beers cold and my homosexuals flaming."
--Homer Simpson (Yes, not "The Iliad" Homer!)

"I think God is a callous bitch not making me a lesbian. I'm deeply disappointed by my sexual interest in men."
--Diamanda Galas

"I'd rather be black than gay because when you're black you don't have to tell your mother."
--Charles Pierce, 1980

"If adjustment is necessary, it should be made primarily with regard to the position the homosexual occupies in present-day society, and society should more often be treated than the homosexual."
--Harry Benjamin

"If gay and lesbian people are given civil rights, then everyone will want them!"
--Author unknown as seen on a button

If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nailbiters.
--Anita Bryant

"If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise."
--Johann von Goethe

"If homosexuality is a disease, let's all call in queer to work: "Hello. Can't work today, still queer.""
--Robin Tyler

"If horse racing is the sport of kings, then drag racing must be the sport of queens.
--Bert R. Sugar

If male homosexuals are called "gay," then female homosexuals should be called "ecstatic.""
--Shelly Roberts

"If time and space are curved, where do all of the straight people come from?"
--Author Unknown

"If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag."
--Author Unknown

"I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant."
--Paul Newman

"I'm not a lesbian but my girlfriend is."
--Bumper sticker

"I'm not gay but my boyfriend is."
--Bumper sticker

"In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis."
--Quentin Crisp The Naked Civil Servant, 1978

"In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation."
--Simone de Beauvoir

"Is life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves."
--Friedrich Nietzsche

"Isn't it a violation of the Georgia sodomy law for the Supreme Court to have its head up its ass?"
--Letter to Playboy magazine, February 1987

"It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It's like disapproving of rain."
--Francis Maude

"It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses."
--Daphne Fielding The Duchess of Jermyn Street

"It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere."
--Agnes Repplier

"It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy."
--Lucille Ball

"For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed."
--Clifton Fadiman

"It's hard enough to be taken seriously in the struggle for gay rights without having a bunch of straight girls running around kissing each other to get the attention of boys and videocameras."
--M. Robin D'Antan, 2002

"I've wondered what my sexuality might be, but I've never wondered whether it was acceptable or not. Anyway, who really cares whether I'm gay or straight?""
--George Michael to Britain's Big Issue magazine

"Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich were shaking hands congratulating themselves on the introduction of an antigay bill in Congress. If it passes, they won't be able to shake hands, because it will then be illegal for a prick to touch an asshole."
--Judy Carte

"Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people."
--Martina Navratilova

"Lesbianism has always seemed to me an extremely inventive response to a shortage of men, but otherwise not worth the trouble."
--Nora Ephron Heartburn, 1983

"Let my lusts be my ruin, then, since all else is a fake and a mockery."
--Hart Crane

"Let's get one thing straight, I'm not."
--Bumper sticker

Mouldy Food - Is It SAFE To Eat?

 Mouldy CheeseMy partner will readily eat foods that have had mould on them, bread, cheese, fruit etc, while The Wizard has always followed the "When in doubt, throw it out!" saying. So I decided to do a bit of research on this topic and decided to share it with my readers:

Q. Can you still eat food once you chop the mould off?

A. It is risky to eat food that is already contaminated with visible mould. As mould grows it tends to produce by-products (secondary metabolites) that permeate into the food or material it is growing on. Some strains of moulds such as those belonging to Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium produce metabolites that are highly toxic.

Q. If there are foods you can eat after chopping mould off, what are they?

A. I would not recommend eating of any food that has previously been contaminated with mould because the person eating the food may not be knowing which mould is contaminating the food and whether the mould has produced toxins.

Q. What kind of moulds are unsafe to eat? Why?

A. All moulds are generally unsafe to eat. However, the risk is higher if one is to eat those moulds known to produce toxins (the so called toxigenic moulds). Some examples of toxigenic moulds commonly found on food are species of Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium. Some species of these moulds are known to produce highly toxic metabolites. A good example is Aspergillus flavus which produces Aflatoxin. Recently aflatoxin killed 125 people in Kenya after eating contaminated maize.

Q. What are the conditions that are best for producing the toxins in toxigenic moulds?

A. The conditions that trigger toxin production by moulds are not well understood. However, genetic and growth conditions are known to influence toxin production. Growth conditions that may influence toxins production are food nutrient composition, pH of the food, moisture content and temperature.

Q. If mould is present on food, does this necessarily mean that bacteria causing food poisoning is also present?

A. If mould is present on food, this does not necessarily mean that bacteria causing food poisoning are also present.

Q. What are some of the symptoms that can be caused by eating toxigenic moulds? Are any fatal?

A. Symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning may depend on the root of entry into the body.

Inhalation symptoms may include: nose and throat pain, nasal discharge, itching and Mouldy Breadsneezing, cough, wheezing, difficult breathing, chest pain and bloody sputum.
Ingestion symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting, and watery or bloody diarrhea with abdominal pain.
Contact Symptoms: burning skin pain, redness, and blurred vision (if the eyes are affected).
Severe poisoning can lead to death. Some Mycotoxins such Aflatoxin can also trigger cancer.

Q. Are there any ‘safe’ moulds that you can eat? Are there any moulds that may improve health by eating them?

A. There are no ‘safe’ moulds to eat. However, some moulds including some that are known to produce toxins have been used for many years in production of fermented food. Quorn is a high protein fungal product produced from a species of Fusarium. It is used as an alternative to animal protein.

Q. Can you mistake bacteria for mould? ie. do any look similar to the naked eye?

A. Bacteria and moulds are totally different organisms. Their cell structures are different. Their mode of growth is different and therefore easy to differentiate.

*Jackson Kung'u, Indoor Mould & Bacteria

So as far as mouldy cheese goes: If a piece of cheese has mold on it, should I throw the cheese away or can I cut off the moldy part and eat the rest of it?

The answer depends on the type of cheese. Moulds are microscopic organisms that have thread-like roots that burrow into the foods they grow on. Most moulds are harmless. Moulds are even used to make some kinds of cheese, such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, brie and Camembert. These moulds are safe to eat.

But mould on cheese that's not part of the manufacturing process can also harbor harmful bacteria, such as listeria, brucella, salmonella and E. coli. With hard and semisoft cheese, you can cut away the mouldy part and eat the rest of the cheese. But soft cheeses should be discarded.

Mouldy cheese? What to do:

Hard Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, Romano, Gruyere Safe to eat if the mould is removed. Cut off at least one inch around and below the mould spot. Keep the knife out of the mould itself so that it doesn't cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese. Cover the cheese in fresh wrap.

Semisoft American, Asiago, baby Swiss, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Muenster, Gorgonzola Safe to eat if the mould is removed. Cut off at least one inch around and below the mould spot. Keep the knife out of the mould itself so that it doesn't cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese. Cover the cheese in fresh wrap.

Soft Brie, blue cheese, Camembert, cottage cheese, Neufchatel, feta, ricotta, shredded and sliced cheeses Discard the cheese.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2006

Dangers that lurk in your fridge

Ever been blown away by foul-smelling, mould-growing leftovers when you open your fridge?

Urgh. Time for a clean-up. But before you park the rubbish bin in front of the fridge, find out what you can keep and what you should definitely throw away.

Mouldy foods
There's no need to worry too much about the mouldy patch on that block of Cheddar cheese. If you're not too grossed out about it, you can simply cut off the mouldy section and still enjoy the rest of the cheese.

But if the cheese is actually covered in mouldy patches, it's probably best to just cut your losses, chuck it in the bin and add "cheese" to your shopping list. The same goes for firm fruits, vegetables and hard salami.

However, if mould has grown on other foods, such as luncheon meats, leftover meat and poultry, cooked pasta, casseroles, soft cheese, yoghurt, jams, bread or nuts, it's time to say goodbye.

Some moulds may cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems (that's why it's never a good idea to sniff mouldy foods). In the right conditions, a few moulds also produce so-called “mycotoxins” – poisonous substances that can make you sick. It's hard to tell just by looking at a mould whether it has produced toxins or not.

When a food shows heavy mould growth, chances are that the roots of the mould have penetrated the food deeply. More allergy-causing moulds could be present than meets the eye and it might be unsafe to eat.

Also, if dangerous toxins are indeed present, chances are that they've spread throughout the food. It's difficult for mould to penetrate dense foods – that's why hard cheese, hard salami and firm fruits and vegetables are generally safer.

Sour milk and yoghurt
It's pretty easy to tell when milk has gone sour: simply sniff at it. Another tell-tale sign is little flakes floating around in it.

While the pungent smell and the changed consistency is good enough reason for most people to ditch the milk, you might be wondering whether it's still okay to use.

If milk is a day or two past its sell-by date, it can still be safely consumed and it can still be used in milk-based recipes, such as pancakes. But as soon as you get that sour smell, it's better to just throw it away. Milk is just such an ideal growth medium for dangerous bacteria that one can never be too safe.

Also, if a yoghurt tub hasn't been opened, yoghurt past its sell-by date might also still be safe to eat. Note, however, that the yoghurt will gradually start to lose flavour, texture and nutrients. Eventually, it might also become unsafe to eat.

So, if it's one or two days past the sell-by date, have a go at it. But if it starts pushing a week or two, chuck the yoghurt in the bin. You'll be better off buying a fresh tub or two.

Smelly fish
You bought the fillet of kingklip, but just haven't had time to eat it. Is it still Luncheon Meatokay?

Fresh, uncooked fish is only good for one or two days in the fridge. If it's cooked, it should be okay for three to four days, but only if you heat it thoroughly before eating it.

But what if you can't remember when you bought it?

Well, then it's probably a good idea to get rid of the fish anyway. But if you need more confirmation, a strong "fishy" odour in your fridge is a tell-tale sign that fish has gone off.

Here's the important thing: meat might still look, smell and even taste fine, but it doesn't mean that it's safe to eat.

Always check expiry dates and don't use raw minced meat that's been in the fridge for more than two days and steaks or chops that have been in there for more than four. If the minced meat has been cooked, it should be okay for about four days.

If you can detect a slime layer on luncheon meat, if meat has an odour or has changed colour, it's a definite no-no. But long before these changes occur, the meat might already be shaky.

Grimy greens
At last, some good news: fruit and veggies that aren't in a perfect, plump condition any more can still be used.

The best is to use the fruit/vegetables in cooked food, such as stews, soup or "potjiekos". The greens have merely lost their shape as a result of dehydration and natural enzymatic ageing.

By the time fruit and vegetables pose a health risk – in other words, when dangerous bacteria are present or when there's substantial mould growth – you wouldn't be keen to eat them anyway. - (Carine van Rooyen, updated November 2007)

- Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education (www.canfightbac.org)

Bumper Snickers (part2)


Monday, October 26, 2020


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

2. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).

3. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes.

6. She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.

7. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

8. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.

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

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

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

12. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

13. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

14. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

15. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

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

17. Every calendar's days are numbered.

18. A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and 'taint mine.

19. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

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

21. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

22. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

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

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

25. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

26. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.

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

28. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

29. Acupuncture is a jab well done.

30. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.

Famous People Players

Famous PEOPLE Players was born with the aim to reverse this limiting approach and replace it with hope and achievement. It was difficult at first, but we believed in ourselves; and soon created something incredible. If Famous PEOPLE Players had failed we would have confirmed for the disbelievers that people with disabilities can not succeed. History has unfolded differently. Famous PEOPLE Players has enabled the public, governments and corporations worldwide to look at people with disabilities in a respectful, new light. Segregation has been replaced by integration and normalization.

When you think about it, everyone has some kind of handicap -and that's what Famous PEOPLE Players is all about - overcoming obstacles and reaching for our dreams. *

*Famous People Players (http://www.fpp.org)

Boy - OH - Dough - Boy!


I already knew I was dumber than the fifth graders, now it's the preschoolers' turn!!??


Which way is the bus below traveling?
To the left or to the right?

Can't make up your mind?
Look carefully at the picture again.

Still don't know?
Pre-schoolers all over the United States were shown this picture asked the same question. 90% of the pre-schoolers gave this answer.

'The bus is traveling to the left.'

When asked, 'Why do you think the bus is traveling to the left?'

They answered:

'Because you can't see the door to get on the bus.'

How do you feel now ???
I know, me too..

What we have here is a complete lack of respect for our war Veterans...

Poppy Art

I am disappointed at the retail industry. Halloween not even over, we look towards the next major holiday - Christmas. However, I always held the belief that there is one very important day that falls between Halloween and Christmas - Remembrance Day - November 11th.

You go into any retail store today and they are all displaying some kind of Christmas motif. Some VERY tacky decorations at that (Superstore and Westfair comes to mind here). I find this insulting to those that gave their lives in the various wars so that we could be free and live in a free world.

My belief is that there should be NO CHRISTMAS decorations of ANY kind (including lights on private houses), PRIOR to the end of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Sure, folks are wearing poppies, but do they stop to think of why they are wearing them? It's not to glamorize the war - nor that war is the way to peace, but rather to HONOUR fellow citizens that gave the ultimate sacrifice - they gave their lives so that WE CAN be free.

Lets start a movement - It's easy - go into the store, ask to see the management and tell them of your displeasure of the decorations/Christmas stock set up prior to Remembrance Day.

Say No To Christmas decorations Before November 11th
Say NO to Christmas decorations prior to November 11th!

It's time we taught them a lesson. Without the Veterans, the stores themselves may not even exist!

I salute our war dead. That is why I shall wear my poppy and why I will remain displeased about decorating stores PRIOR to November 11th.


Heavenly Hilarious Huggable Hip Harmonic Horses...

Play a tune! Click on the horses for 'ON' and 'OFF'! You will get the hang of it!

The home of The Brave

Click above

Sunday, October 25, 2020

No left turns...

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed.

My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.

He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:

"Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse."
"Well," my father said, "there was that, too."

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.

But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.
Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother.

So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.

(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.

If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"

"I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.
"No left turns," he said
"What?" I asked.
"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.
As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."
"What?" I said again.
"No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."
"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support" No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."
I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.
"Loses count?" I asked.
"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."
I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.
"No," he said " If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.

They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."
"You're probably right," I said.
"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.
"Because you're 102 years old," I said.
"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.
That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.

He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said:
"I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet"
An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:
"I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have."
A short time later, he died.
I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.
I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, Or because he quit taking left turns. "

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Forget about those who don't.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance, take it.
If it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy,
they just promised it would most likely be worth it.

CBC: Winnipeg's Secret Code
(Manitoba's Masonic Legislature building)

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