Just Jotting

A soreness in my left knee prompted an X-ray by a knee doctor. (What else?) He pointed out something — a spur or bone chip or a fault in the film. I couldn’t tell.
Then he turned and started talking about my meniscus. I thought it really invasive of him to mention my meniscus in our first visit.
Never did Hazel and I ever mention meniscus when we were alone, and certainly not in front of our children.
I even give a double take when the sportscasters talk about some athlete having a torn meniscus, but I excuse it because the players are all multi-millionaires.
What happens between me and my meniscus is meant for only for God.
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Public bathroom spiers (you know the type) report 10 percent of women don’t wash their hands after using restrooms. Non-cleansing spreads flu, diarrhea and other infectious diseases.
A Harris survey found 91 percent insisted they wash in public restrooms. Must have been a women-only survey. 99 percent of men know they neither carry nor can transmit an infectious disease.
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Dockers have long been considered the working man’s denims of choice. They’re for the conservative, materialistic, steady man. That’s why I always chose Wrangler or Lee.
My decision to avoid the brand name has been reinforced by Dockers? recent advertising. They’ve got moleskins blazers for men for $150 and pin-striped trousers for $70.
This shopper’s columnist also praised a Dockers ad that showed a tattoo on a male model. She said, ‘There’s something alluringly dangerous about a man with a single, well-placed tattoo.?
I’m sure some think there’s something alluringly dangerous about a man with an open fly. Trouble is that openness is too closely related to us senior men.
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‘Twas a brilliant cloudless day when I decided to take my 1969 VW convertible for a drive. No sooner had I turned out of my drive when a large, V-formation of geese flew directly overhead.
That’s exciting for convertible drivers.
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Read an article recently about big business? move away from public relations people to the Internet.
Seems PR’s have failed to convince the buying public that their clients? products are best.
I attribute this decline to news releases from agencies that go way out of their vocabulary way to try to put a good name on actions they think the public finds repulsive.
The PR people refuse to print or speak the word ‘fired.? They encourage ‘involuntarily separated.?
A business is not suffering from a downturn in the economy, it’s ‘unfavorably impacted.?
These word artists can’t even use a common sense word for hiring. For an increase in output they allow, ‘adding production associates.?
It’s no wonder corporations are switching to blog, Google and porn sites for buyer attention.
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A few closers:
n If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out and get it.
n A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
n Coca Cola used to contain cocaine when it was introduced. It was also green.
n There are more nutrients in the cornflakes package itself than there are in the actual cornflakes.
n Have your wild oats been turned into shredded wheat?
n Whoever invented table manners wasn’t very hungry.
And a favorite: Bye!

The way things are going in Washington these days your couldn’t even get the Law of Gravity passed.
There’d be one side voting for a right-pull, one side voting for a left-pull, that senator from out east pushing for complete rejection and the president threatening a veto.
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As I look around the collection areas of our house, which includes every room, the garage and outbuildings, I wish I’d been born in this throwaway generation.
Our three kids have all been gone over 25 years, yet their rooms look like they’ll be home tonight. Closets are full, I wouldn’t think of dusting all their collectibles and I’m sure not going to change their sheets.
My basement work area has enough replacement, fix-it stuff hanging from the pegboard to fill three garbage cans and my garage walls look like rejects from a Rube Goldberg cartoon.
My drawers are full of (No-no, desk and closet drawers, you idiot!) forgotten jewelry, stupid looking socks, instruction books from our 1949 wedding gifts and things that must be important or otherwise why would I have saved them.
If I’d been born to this throw-away generation I’d have a new car every year, have no need for a washer and dryer, I’d let my hair grow, wear worn out, holey clothes, shun the English language, overuse obscenities and still be living with my folks.
Ah, well, perhaps that’s just an older generation not giving credit to youth.
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Church bulletin blooper: Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
And: Don’t let worry kill you off: Let the church help.
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The Detroit Lions aren’t a bad team, they are just offensively challenged, as were the Detroit Tigers.
However, how about them Red Wings and Pistons? I guess some cities would be satisfied by having two winning teams and two losers.
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According to Bottom Line Health magazine, most doctors believe in miracles. In a survey of 1,100 physicians of varying religious backgrounds, 74 percent said they believe in medical miracles — and more than half said they’ve witnessed them when treating patients.
The magazine also reports only three percent of Americans follow all four of the main health rules — don’t smoke, get regular exercise, eat fruits and vegetables and maintain a normal weight.
Wait a minute. Is that magazine reporting that three percent of the people don’t smoke, eat fruits and vegetables, get regular exercise and maintain normal weight?
That’s fantastic! I don’t know a single person in that category. Please, let’s display them. We need to see what they look like.
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A friend, no longer in our area, used to tour streets in the fall, picking up paper bags left curbside filled with leaves. He’d spread them on his garden. In the spring he’d plow them under. He claimed a foot of leaves produced an inch of soil. Rich soil.
Horticulturists and avid gardeners say there is no better way to improve your lawn and garden than by adding organic material to the soil.
That’s what leaves are. Precious, cheap fertilizer.
Michigan State University, evaluating the effects of mowing leaves into the lawn, showed no adverse effects or increase in the thatch layer. Chopped leaves added to the lawn also discourage weed growth and lawns require less fertilizer in the spring and green up faster.
Conclusion: Leaves are our friends and should not be distributed in landfills with that other awful stuff.

I have even more proof that you’re never too old to learn, not that any was needed. And it involves my own trade, a preacher and a woman.
It is also an unsavory tale of stealth, smuggling and the King of England.
The first printing press in the United States was financed by the nonconformist clergyman, The Reverend Jose Glover of Sutton, Surry England. He planned to found and control a printery press in New England.
‘On a fog-wrapped London night in 1638, after the harbourmaster had checked the passenger list and cargo, cleared the ship and passed down the gangplank into the darkness, hushed voices could be heard from time to time, calling softly from ship to shore. Large objects were passed into the ship’s hold.?
All this secrecy was because the King did not encourage enlightenment among the colonists. He prohibited presses, paper and anything connected to the black art from coming here.
With the press was a complete font of type and a large supply of paper. The Rev. died enroute, but his wife continued his mission. In on the deed was Stephen Daye, who, thus, became America’s number one printer.
The press was set up in Cambridge, Mass. His first sheet was titled, ‘The Freeman’s Oath,? which every member of the Massachusetts Colony had taken.
The first book ever printed in the U. S was ‘The Whole Book of Psalms.? Only 11 are said to be in existence. If you’ve got one, you’re rich.
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All anyone wants is a warm bed, kind words and unlimited power.
And: Willpower is the ability to resist temptation until you’re sure no-one’s looking.
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Members of the United Nations Security Council get to serve as its presiding officer for one month. The United States? turn came in February when John Bolton took the gavel. Doesn’t seem right that the UN’s hosting country, the country that is its largest financial supporter gets to preside on the shortest month of the year.
On the other hand, to me there’s a whole lot about the United Nations that doesn’t seem right.
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I’ve mentioned before that I write a lot of letters. A few years ago I wrote a brewery (I’m not going to mention its name and give them any publicity) about how the sound of pouring irritates me.
That gurgling sound affects me the way fingernails on blackboards affects others. There’s a too-often-played commercial on now that is nothing but the sight and sound of pouring.
I’m not going to protest in writing to them, knowing I’d get the same answer. Their rep wrote that their survey showed the pouring sound made people thirsty.
If you’ve ever wondered about subliminal advertising, here it is. Hasn’t our gov’ment, or the U.N. passed a law agi’n that?
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Why did the Snowman call the dog Frost? Because Frost bites!
Remember – if everything is going your way, you’re probably in the wrong lane.
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Have you ever noticed that many of the people doing the rioting in the Middle East, Hamasns, El-whatevers, etc. wear their baseball hats backwards?
Is that another American custom they picked up from our youths? That is why hat-bills are turned back isn’t it? To protest something, anything, everything?
We Americans have had a great influence around the world . . . Cowboying, scantily cladding, jeans and tees, fast foods, expensive coffees . . . But, at least in return we got Benny Hill.

Just jotting
President Bush has said many times, our country should allow immigrants to come here to do ‘an honest day’s labor.?
Since 90 percent of what’s being printed and talked about these past several weeks is the treating of illegal immigrants, they must be the persons Mr. Bush is referring to.
Let’s see now, President Bush suggests they come here illegally to do an honest day’s work.
How do they make that transition?
Seems to me legal and honesty go together, and thus so does illegal and dishonesty. The mere crossing of a border can hardly change a person’s mind-set.
Besides, Mr. Bush has to be assuming all border crossers were honest prior to their crossing.
It’s just a guess, but I think you might be wrong, Mr. President.
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Money talks.
I’ll not deny.
I heard it once.
It said good-bye.
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What men are deficient of in reason, they usually make up in rage.
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Don’t dogs hold a grudge? On the few occasion that I haven’t taken Shayna in the car with me she will linger on the driver’s side of the car as long as she can, looking up into my window, then stare, sadly, at the back of the car until I’m out of sight.
If I interpret her begging looks correctly, she’s really miffed that I didn’t take her. Her heart is broken, her feeling of rejection deep and her love for me has permanently faded.
Yet, when I return, Shayna hops around in sheer joy. Her eyes sparkle, you’d swear her tail would become disjointed from wagging and her smile is miles wide. Maybe grudges are only a human fault.
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I love this saying: Never think of reasoning with a mule, whether it has four legs or only two.
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One more politically tainted political comment. Governor Granholm made about as much to-do about raising the minimum wage for Michigan employees as she possibly could.
It will increase the quality of living, it will increase the quality of living, it will increase the quality of living, etc., etc.
I wonder if these increases in wages might also bring more money into state coffers via the way of the six percent sales tax. Could that have held a deeper meaning for the rules of our deficit ridden state?
Always, and I mean always, we should look at all possible reasons when our electeds get behind a any proposal so strongly.
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At this writing, both houses of Congress are in their Easter recess for two weeks. For what they’ve accomplished this year they shouldn’t have been there at all. However, just a few weeks prior to this break the U. S. House had spent a total of seven days in session.
The House calendar calls for 96 legislative days in 2006. The 435 members get these Easter two weeks, a week for St. Patrick’s Day, a week at Memorial Day, a week around the Fourth of July, all of August and besides, many workweeks call for Mondays or Fridays off.
Not bad for $165,200 a year and some great benefits. Oh yeah, the adjournment date is October 6.
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To get a good night’s sleep, relax before bedtime with soft music, a warm bath and light reading. But if you’re one who watches the late evening news, and can’t get to sleep, you might ask you doctor for a sleeping aid.
Part of this advice is from the ‘Arthritis Advisor.? Part of it is my advice. You can guess which comes from where.

Old farmer’s advice: Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
Good judgement comes from experience, and a lotta??? that comes from bad judgement.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Every path has a few puddles. And every puddle has at least one little one jumping in it. I added that last sentence.
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I’ve found a way to feed ma’dog Shayna for nothing. What I do is shop the grocery advertising circulars finding two for one, or buy one, get two free food items.
Like smoked sausage, diced and cubed ham, ice cream, salami, turkey ham, muffins, potato chips, cereal, peanut butter, oh, there’s a whole bunch of foods Shayna loves that anyone can get by just buying one.
I have yet to see such deals offered for dog food. When I see some bacon flavored dog foods at the buy one, get one free deal I’ll consider that being a way for me to eat for nothing.
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Chuck, an engineer laid-off because his job was outsourced overseas, has this suggestion: Ship our government offshore, maybe to China or Japan, they could run it cheaper and build it better.
Yes, he’s a little bitter.
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A few weeks ago I quoted the letter I wrote to Sunbeam Products about their Oster toaster. I compared its efficiency with my many-years-old Toastmaster toaster.
Then I got a letter from Eric A. Murrell, editor in chief of the Toaster Collector’s Association Newsletter, ‘The Saturday Evening Toast.?
Like every other item ever made, there are collectors for toasters. Eric and his wife have over 250 toasters, and specialize in Toastmaster products. He recommended one we can find in thrift stores for $2 to $5.
His newsletter has an ‘international circulation of about 55,? he says. And, he invited me to their annual ‘Octoasterfest? in Troy over Columbus Day weekend.
Thankfully, Eric didn’t give the location of this celebration, else I might have had to give up my Columbus Day plans of hand sweeping the ramps of I-75.
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Are these quirks or habits? I like to drink all my juices, milk and beverages (except beer) from pint-size jars.
I also make sure my sandwich bread slices are matched as they come out of the wrapper, whether plain or toasted.
I also put the lid down, though I live alone.
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For all you people who play golf for the exercise, here’s a downer. Someone (obviously lacking a goal in life) has timed golfers? swings. They concluded, on average, a golfer will spend just 90 seconds during 18 holes swinging a golf club.
Well, of course, there’s more exercise related activity in golf than swinging that stick. One has to walk to and from the cart, get up and down and walk around to eye their putt, there’s all that elbow bending, jawing and body adjustments before and after a swing, depending on whether it’s a good shot or bad.
Golfing really can be tiring, even exhausting, depending a little on whom you’re playing with.
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Why do dogs turn away, leaving their tail end closest? Dog lovers have told me pooches want that end patted. OK, but they also like having their ears and eyes rubbed, bellies scratched and muzzle stroked.
? Successful dieters might win the Nobelly prize.
? True fact: One out of every five restaurant meals is purchased from a car.
? Newspapers: Dead trees with information smeared on them.

Got ‘The World’s Best Clean Jokes? book for Christmas. Hope you haven’t heard these.
? What do you have if you’ve got 20 rabbits all in a row and they all back up one step?
A receding hare line.
? If at first you don’t succeed, stay away from sky diving. – Milton Berle
? You shouldn’t eat natural foods because most people die of natural causes.
? Why does a chicken coop have two doors? Because if it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.
Can I get a drum roll, please . . .Oh, well!
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I’ll probably always be amazed at what those seeking political office say during a campaign and what they do once elected.
Most recent case in point — Jennifer Granholm.
During her successful run to be our state’s governor she promised we citizens would be ‘blown away in the next five years.?
A week after she was elected she told us Michigan was $2 billion further in debt than she admitted to a week before the election. At that time the shortfall was only $1 billion.
Before the elections our governor had solutions for every state problem. Now she seems to be asking us to help her make decisions so she won’t lose popularity.
Michigan is headed for cuts in services (spending) or an increase in taxes.
Which will Governor Jennifer Granholm choose, or did she mention that pre-November 7 while I had the tube on mute?
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Last March I leased a Ford Freestar mini-van.
I dumbly assumed (a word not found in a reporter’s typewriter) it had all the great features that my Chrysler Town and Country had.
Alas, as I sought a switch to turn the heat on ma? dog Shayna’s seat, I found none. She prefers my seat, thus I wasn’t concerned for myself.
Now comes word of some features on coming models that seem ridiculous now, but will be have-to-haves in a short time.
Like:
? Heated and cooled cup holders.
? Heated windshield washer fluid.
? Jacks to connect iPods and other auxiliary musical sources.
‘Triple windshield wipers.
I wish the car makers would all install an automatic engine shut-off when a telephone is used from a moving vehicle. Seeing so many one-handed, preoccupied drivers turning corners is scary.
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‘Tis the time of year when promises and resolutions have been made to one’s self concerning front and back additions brought on during holiday feasting.
Few actually practice the best reduction program — pushing their chair back from the table after mini-helpings. It’s an elbow exercise.
So, let me offer these tips to controlling appetite before you get to the dinner table:
? Smell foods before eating them and during preparations. This increases satisfaction before you eat.
? Eat slowly, chew well and savor every flavor and aroma. Odor molecules make their way to the satiety center of the brain.
? Consume hot foods and beverages prior to meals. Natural aromas are more efficiently released when food is hot. Also, green tea has been known to burn fat.
? Add hot sauces, salsas and hot spices to food regularly. Spicy foods increase metabolisms for several hours after they are eaten and impart stronger aromas and flavors for greater satiety.
These suggestions are from Natural Awakening magazine.
P.S. I looked up the meaning of satiety to save you the trouble: Satiety: The revulsion or disgust with overindulgence or excess.

Last year I hired a window washer. When he was finished he asked if I knew our house needed a paint job. I hired a painter. When he was finished he asked if I knew we needed a new roof. When the roofer was finished he asked if I knew we needed a new roof on our support building. When that was about to be finished I left town.
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A couple decades ago our state highway road- guards had wooden posts with a metal shield that rusted. We were told rusting improved strength. Then the steel lobbyist, or someone, convinced our road engineers/politicians that steel posts with galvanized railings are better. The only thing the wood people got out of it was the spacing blocks between the rail and post. I suppose it was a compromise, but why is the spacing needed at all?
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Our Governor Jennifer went on a two week tour of our glorious state to get Michiganders? ideas on rearranging the state budget. She wanted to hear how $920 million could be cut. Does anyone other than President Bush, his cabinet and other DC’ers know how much money $920 million is? Lost in my reading was the figure for the total budget. If we need to cut nearly a billion dollars . . . what is it cut from? Not that many of us can even imagine what $1 million is, but Miz Granholm probably got a lot of great ideas on her visits to Ishpeming and the Soo.
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Hardware stores should brace for a big run on plumber’s pipe wrenches this holiday season. That trade has obviously attracted a great many young women in recent years. Our 15-year-old granddaughter appears headed for that field, or so it seems with the ever-lower belt-line in back.
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Columnist Dave Barry (Miami Herald and Freep) writes, ‘Men — because of a tragic genetic flaw — cannot see dirt until there is enough of it to support agriculture. This puts men at a huge disadvantage against women, who can detect a single dirt molecule 20 feet away.? Boy, can I relate to that. Hazel could spot dust mites in the upstairs bedroom while vacuuming the basement. She went after them the same way she’d go after an indoor mouse. With killer determination. Though I’d never seen one, I believe Hazel thought both were food seeking depositors, whose intent was to drive her crazy. Well, a few months after Hazel passed away I wondered to daughter Luan what those fuzzy things were on our bedroom floor. She hired a couple lady cleaners to save me from having to decide which was more frightening, a mite or mouse.
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John Patrell, while on his way to having his second annual going out of business sale, said, ‘Show me a clean newspaper and I’ll show you a parakeet with a problem.?
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Here’s some things I learned while watching too much tv:
To sell Woolite you need to have m’lady’s skirt blowing up, though cartoonish style.
There’s such a thing as a fertility check instrument.
I almost wish I had an allergy – there are so many things I can take to cure it – Allevert, Allegra and Clarinex to name three.
Clorox makes a non-stick toilet bowl cleaner. Why?
Someone is offering reruns of football games for $99. Some marketer is taking advantage of our Jock Society.
John Basedow, the semi-nude promoter of bodybuilding and Bowflex, needs a bra.

Some months ago I experienced a bout of depression. It was short-lived and apparently treatable. During that time I learned Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln also had this ailment. It was not comforting.
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When I see a newspaper headline ‘Numbers,? I read it. Did you know the U. N. needs $40 million a year to provide for the world’s poor, that Americans spend that much on diet products each year and Europeans spend that much on cigarettes every 10 months?
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During my recent flight to California I was again disturbed by airlines that let people bring life-size stuffed buffalo, cedar chests, queen-sized mattresses and 72-inch, plasma screen televisions on board as carry-ons.
Palm Springs airport has a putting green in the waiting area, and the stinkingest toilets I’ve used in airports internationally.
Security at Metro airport reassures your confidence in flying safely. I’m just glad my pants didn’t fall down when I had to put my belt on the conveyor.
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Here are some numbers from the San Diego Union-Tribune: 86 – days of below-freezing in Hell, Mich., 6 – inches by which the Eiffel Tower shrinks in winter, 17,000 – number of different strains of tuberculosis whose DNA has been catalogued by a New Jersey microbiologist.
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This is a very old note: Years after Jim Fitzgerald retired as a Detroit newspaper back page columnist, an editor called to ask him to write guest columns. His refusal went something like, ‘If I was a ditch digger would you ask me to come back and dig a guest ditch??
Then there’s this old note about a WWII veteran who volunteered as a starter at a golf course in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. A foursome of Japanese golfers asked him which way to the tenth tee. He said, ‘You didn’t have any trouble finding Pearl Harbor, so go find it yourself!?
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Jottings readers, all — please don’t quit reading this column because you’ve heard enough about bacon!! Give it nine more months, then my bacon-of-the month club subscription will expire.
Anyway, my February bacon was from Swiss, Missouri. You’ll surely want to know Bill Sloan owns Swiss Meats, and that he has an imaginative promoter who writes: ‘The bacon is made from carefully selected, trimmed meat, cured in the method traditional to the Ozark region: hand-rubbed in a mixture of salt and sugar, which is crucial for the beautiful balanced flavor, as the extra sugar ameliorates the saltiness and produces a subtle, sweeter character.? Sort of makes you want to bury your sausage.
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Are you like me in wondering why we just have to visit Mars? Columnist Dave Barry has this insight: ‘As long as humanity has been human, it has looked toward the heavens and dreamed that someday, some way, there would be giant federal contracts involved.?
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Here’s a project for the persons who invented Velcro, closeable plastic bags or never-go-flat tires. Invent a coating for pills, half-inch screws, buttons and dimes that when dropped don’t disappear. Think of all the energy that would be saved and tempers controlled.
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Speaking of airports, at least 20 years ago I bought a new golf putter to take on vacation. Inside the Detroit terminal a uniformed man told me I couldn’t take it on the plane (even though canes were allowed) because it could be used as a weapon. He offered to box it for shipping. Naive me gave him the putter. Dumb move.
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One last airport story. Son Jim and his wife flew to Mexico last month. At Metro they asked for proof of citizenship. Jim had no birth certificate, like he should have. So, he took out his billfold and showed his driver’s license. More: he showed his VISA card. More: he showed his fishing license. More: his lifetime small game license. That did it. Getting on the plane in Mexico to come home the only thing he had to show was his smile.

Remember the crying, venom spewing and insults hurled at Governor Engler when he proposed a cut in grants to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, museums and other so-called cultural organizations?
Engler was depicted as the lowest form of life, a man crueler than cruel, wicked, unmoral, without feeling and hater of the arts.
Now comes Governor Jennifer. She proposes the same cuts as her predecessor, but the reaction is the opposite. It’s like, ‘if she makes the cuts they must be necessary.’ The Democrats blasted Engler, but now praise Granholm. The Republicans are silent, and probably feeling smug, because they are getting the Engler cuts they supported.
Ain’t politics wonderful?
Which brings us to the environment vs recreation money Lansing sold us on supporting. We voters favored a bond issue 2-1, believing contaminated land and waters would be cleaned up.
Of course it didn’t happen, except ‘in very few cases. Communities of all sizes saw this money and found uses for it like shopping malls, parks, youth centers, pools, tennis courts, senior centers and rest rooms.
It has always been thus. We are a here-now collection of people, rather than safer-later reasoners. Future generations be-damned.
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I made reading the ‘Morning Friendly’ Detroit Free Press a habit when Jim Fitzgerald became their back-page columnist over a quarter century ago, 1976.
He retired just before the big newspaper strike, but I continued to take the paper, though finding fewer and fewer opinions I could agree with.
A few months ago I gave up reading Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead and became a fan of Billy in The Family Circus and Hocus-Pocus. I can relate to Billy when he says to his mother, “I have my sweater on now. Am I warm enough?”
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Recently the dreaded St. Louis Blues hockey team was at Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings were blasting the Blues 6-0 when announcer Mickey Redman said something like, “Yeah, things are going very right tonight, but sometimes you can’t put the puck in the ocean from the pier. “
We can all relate to that. Sometimes it seems like things are just never going to go right.
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Owners of car washes don’t like you putting your car in drive as they wave you through. But at least they called me “sir” as they pounded on my car and yelled STOP several times.
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I’d never heard of Wednesday being called the “hump” day of the week until a disc Jockey said it on a Kentucky radio station during my Florida trip.
I know about “Thank goodness it’s Friday,” Monday blues, Saturday night being the loneliest night of the week and Sunday being a day of rest, but the week having a ‘hump’ day escaped me.
It makes sense that Sunday would be a day of starting anew, since you’re all rested, but it being up hill from there?
And, if Saturday is the bottom of the hill, wouldn’t it be a lush valley or meadow, thus contradicting the ‘lonely night’ refrain?
Me thinks I’ve given this way too much thought.

Many times I’ve told our son Jim to not spend a lot of money on my funeral. Keep it short and simple, I say. There won’t be many people there and don’t bore them. Don’t spend a lot of money to put me away.
Well, I think Jim got a little tired hearing it. Recently he responded, ‘Okay, Dad, if it works out right, and you’re available on a Thursday, we’ll just set you out by the curb!?
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More questions that bother me:
Why do I continue to take scrambled eggs at a buffet? No matter how good they look they are never cooked in butter, properly seasoned or soft enough.
Why do ducks walk to my bird feeder, but fly away? The action they have while walking can’t be comfortable, and flying is faster and safer.
What’s with all this campus rioting? Maybe it’s understandable in Minnesota, like when they won the hockey title, ’cause except for the ice fishing and ice carving competitions there ain’t a whole lot to get excited about up there.
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Had to go to Crittenton Hospital in Rochester for some nerve tests recently. While there I picked up their in-house magazine, Wellness.
Crittenton is undergoing major expansions, front and back. $86 million worth. They started it all last year and will complete it next year.
What caught my interest was that in the many, many thousand square foot additions there are no new beds. They had 290 licensed beds before the addition and none will be added.
I asked my doctor, Edward Tashjian about it. He said, ‘That’s the way it is today. Fewer and fewer overnight stays and more and more outpatient treating.?
I remember that our Governor Jennifer said recently one of her priorities (Ms. Granholm has an extraordinary number of priorities) is to reduce overnight hospital stays.
We’ve all seen the huge increase in the number of medical clinics in our communities. And, we’ve all read about the many new diagnostics machines, many portable. And, we’ve become accustomed to having specialists schedule patients in numerous locations.
Dr. Tashjian is only available at Crittenton part of Wednesdays. Otherwise, he’s at other hospitals, clinics and offices. Kinda stretches doctor/patient relationships.
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I have a dollar bill with the following writing: ‘If you want to buy an 1986 Mojave for $1,500 e-mail me at . . . ? No I’m not giving you his address. For a little bit more he could probably have gotten better results from a classified ad in this newspaper.
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Caught part of comedian Adele Given’s act on the Comedy Channel recently. She asked her audience, ‘Where was the emergency broadcast on 9/11? Must be it doesn’t work, because 9/11 was certainly the time to use the test.?
She was referring, of course, to all the radio interruptions that begin with a horn or whistle, followed by an announcer saying, ‘This is only a test. If there was a real emergency you would be notified.?
I’m a major radio listener, and I, like Adele, didn’t hear the emergency broadcast system break in to my program on 9/11.
* * *
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

When police officers are talking among themselves do you think they use the same choices of words they do when talking to reporters?
Hard to believe one cop would say to another, ‘We used tire deflation devices to apprehend the suspect,? when they shot out the tires or threw nails on the road to catch somebody.
* * *
We human beings, and maybe all animals for all I know, lose height as we age. A doctor told me recently that we shrink days and gain it back at night. So that’s why my 34-inch inseam pants are fine in the morning and drag on the ground at bedtime.
* * *
Jackie Mason includes a skit on Starbucks in his nightclub acts. This comes to me from Joe Seelig’s column in the Highlands Today, Florida newspaper, via Jottings reader Fran Bertram.
Quoting Mason, ‘If I said to you, I have a great idea for a business. I’ll open a whole new type of coffee shop. Instead of charging 60 cents for coffee I’ll charge $2.50, $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50.
‘Not only that, I’ll have no chairs, no water, no free refills, no waiters, no busboys, serve it in cardboard cups and have the customer clean it up for 20 minutes after they’re finished.
‘Would you say to me, ‘That’s the greatest idea for a business I ever heard? We can open a chain of these all over the world!?
‘No, you would put me right into a sanitarium.?
Mason also says each French word at Starbucks (Latte, etc.) adds another four dollars.
The comedian might be right. I wouldn’t know. Just the coffee cost comments have kept me out of them.
* * *
Television commercials can be so enlightening. I don’t remember the product, but the ad shows that women and men have similar urgings when hearing running water.
An ad H & R Block airs says the average American has 14 credit cards. FOURTEEN! H&R wants to makes some money by helping people regain control of their debt. I can see why a customer would apply for a credit card to get 15 percent off their initial purchase, but certainly they don’t continue using them. Do they?
* * *
The weather, in rhyme, for June in The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2003:
June 1-8: Not half bad for Dad and grad.
June 9-21: Father of the bride should march her inside, lest showers interrupt the nuptials!
June 22-30: Lower necklines, higher degrees; raindrops rustle in the trees.
* * *
There’s a tv commercial being aired (I watch too much tv) where a wife says to her sofa-sitting husband as she leaves the house, ‘Would you do (some internet thing) while I’m gone??
The camera shows the guy wasting the whole day watching the tube, then as he hears his wife pull into the drive he jumps onto the computer and completes his job before she gets into the house.
It reminds me of so many things Hazel asked me to do, especially during our early-married years, and I would stall and forget.
Aging (and maybe some urgings) brought reasoning. So very few jobs I was asked to do took longer than changing a light bulb.
* * *
What has four legs and an arm?? A happy pit bull!

Every once in a while we see something that makes us smile and feel comfortable. A scene that erases all other images and makes us think for a moment all is right with the world.
A young mother laughing and cooing, face to face with her baby does that for me. Grandmas making a fuss over grandchildren, intense family huggings when service people return home and children, standing at attention, saluting our flag are also time stoppers for me.
So, too, was the scene in our back yard on a recent morning. I sat at the table sipping my morning coffee when I saw a slight movement in the grass in the shadow of a tree.
It was a still-spotted fawn, twitching an ear. I watched and smiled. After a few minutes I saw another movement. Lying a few yards from the first fawn was its twin.
One would get up, look around for a while, then lay back down. Then the other would get up. This went on for quite a few minutes, and I kept wondering where their mother was.
But I didn’t want to go look out another window, lest I lose this moment.
Suddenly they darted into the woods, apparently spooked, but not by me. At the edge of the woods one stopped, looked back, and gave me one last look, then disappeared.
For a few minutes that Sunday morning, life was just fine.
* * *
One or two readers of this column asked recently how my bacon frying was coming. I’m still frying, about five slices at a time, in my square electric frypan.
I average a pound a week, and tell my doctor I have oatmeal for breakfast every morning.
As I said, my frypan is square, yet every time I cook bacon in it, I think I can get more slices in if I lay them down the other way.
* * *
Does Attorney General John Ashcroft scare you as much as he does me?
His continuing press for broader powers to “fight terrorism,” his too-blatent pressing of his Christian beliefs, his ordering of holding people “of interest” and just his facial expressions, as few as they are, disturb me. Congresses have given the Justice Department enough powers. We should not grant any of the extraordinary new powers Atty. Gen. Ashcroft seeks.
* * *
I’m not going back to look at my last year’s calendar, but it seems I have had many more doctor’s appointments this golf season than last.
My golfing schedule hasn’t changed. I only play Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Well, maybe an occasional Monday. Obviously, these are also the days doctors are likely to be practicing. (Practicing medicine or golf, I don’t know.)
So, I have to be very particular about appointments. We all have to have our prorities.
What’s been so pleasing in setting up these dates is the reception of the receptionists. Whether it was the trauma center in Grand Blanc, St. Joseph Hospital in Pontiac, Crittenton in Rochester, my back-man or urologist, every one accomodated my schedule.
In some cases the ‘see me in two weeks’ became four weeks, but never was there a hint that my life-plan shouldn’t come first.
* * *
I’ll close with this advice: Never test the depth of the water with both feet..

Many years ago I asked Lake Orion’s eminent guru and handyman Bud Schaar to hook up a building to the town’s sewers. Some weeks went by with no action. I called Bud to ask why.
He said, ‘I’m like the government. First you have to name a committee then appropriate some funds.?
He started right after I gave him some up-front money.
Recently Governor Jennifer said she was going to fix the state’s mental health. She named a committee and appropriated some funds.
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The Citizens Research Council of Michigan says many local governments are raising fees to offset cuts in state funding and increased operating costs.
Getting taxpayers to pay more for garbage pickup, building permits and licenses helps avoid cutting services and laying off people, they say.
Methinks a whole lot more thought ought to go into reviewing services that perhaps shouldn’t have been offered in the first place because they involve so few people, and maybe the elected people could buckle down and get by on fewer assistants.
Yes, that includes Washington, Lansing and this community.
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Our 15-year-old granddaughter overuses the word ‘like? to the point of nausea. She makes a five word sentence into ten with her additional likes. She’s been the only 15-year-old I’ve come into contact with until recently.
I met two of her friends and as the three talked, I listened. I heard, ‘It’s like, you know, like, he’s, like, awesome.? I would have overlooked their speaking flaw if they had been referring to me.
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I offered this same granddaughter, Karen, a glass of milk. She said, ‘I don’t like milk!? I offered butter. She said, ‘I don’t like butter!?
I suggested she write down all the things she didn’t like. To my surprise, she took my pen and paper and started listing.
She filled both sides of a 6 x 9 sheet with 197 dislikes. Besides mice, etc. she named Hitler, Kleenex, Advil, stop signs, Geico, Saddam, specific people, toe rings, geraniums and athlete’s foot.
I’ve got to get her to write down what she likes. Since I didn’t make her hate list, maybe, like, I’ll make the like list.
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Whenever a waitress would say, ‘What would you guys like?? when addressing my wife and I, Hazel would fume. She was not a ‘guy.? Hazel also wondered to me if management gave any training to their new-hires.
The use of the word ‘guy? is spreading. Recently a female reporter in Iraq signed off by saying, ‘Back to you guys in the studio.?
One of the anchors back at the studio was no ‘guy.? Real guys don’t have their shirts open that far.
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One more grandchild comment and I’ll sign off for the week. Karen’s brother, Dan, was graduated and turned 18 within a couple days of each.
He presented me with his gift list. It was gobbledygook to me. He said it was computer games. I said, handing back the list, ‘I’m not going to buy all this stuff. Just put an asterisk next to what you want.?
A few minutes later he handed back the list. At the top he put an asterisk. Next to it was a $ sign.

If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t more people happy?
Confucius say: ‘Man who sit on jelly roll have rear end in jam.?
Sign at propane filling station: ‘Thank heaven for little grills.?
* * *
Job descriptions, or titles, can make even a common everyday job sound important and even give stature to that worker.
Like the job Charlie Stilwell used to have with Oxford Schools. He was a ‘Vegetation Elevation Control Engineer.? He said it was a 1-year college course that took him eight years.
Practical Charlie also said, ‘I mowed lawns.?.
* * *
Dorethea Foley sent me this: Noah’s Ark & Life, ‘Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark . . .?
One: Don’t miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four: Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.
Seven: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you’re stressed out, float a while.
Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals!
Eleven: No matter the storm, there’s always a rainbow waiting.
* * *
What did the fish say when it hit a concrete wall? Dam!
When you’re driving and looking for an address, why do you turn down the radio?
If a turtle doesn’t have a shell is he homeless or naked?
When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane going the wrong way.
* * *
Bud Guest had a talk show (what else?) on WJR radio years ago. A topic one day was habits. One habit of man, he said, is to always start shaving (blade) at the left temple if you’re right handed.
I’ve been trying to break myself of that habit for over 20 years. It was easier to quit smoking and to lose weight.
Of course, habits aren’t necessarily bad things. Like always approach a dining room chair from the same side, put on your left shoe first (hopefully, after you’ve put your left foot first into your pant leg), put sugar in your coffee before the cream, start up stairs left foot first and always put the seat up.
* * *
I have a typewriter at home for envelope addressing. Some of the great advantages of a typewriter over a computer are they don’t lose copy, don’t crash, aren’t subject to viruses and have no boot-up time. But, you knew that.
* * *
Sometimes what we care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.
So, while we have it, it’s best we love it, and care for it, and fix it when it’s broken, and heal it when it’s sick.
This is true for marriage, old radios, and old cars, and children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips and aging parents and grandparents.

Gleaned from a newsletter from St. Augustine’s Lutheran monastery in Oxford: ‘New windows have been installed in the bedrooms of the retreat house. Through the summer months guests appreciated larger windows and the ease with which they could be opened and closed. The better widows should also make the rooms warmer in the winter.?
Maybe you’d like to re-read that last sentence.
* * *
I’ll never figure out how tap dancers get in so many taps.
I did figure out something else this week. Looking in a mirror I noticed my belt buckle was not in its usual position, a worn area by the fifth hole. The buckle tine was in the fourth hole.
I figure the hole change was made because the cold weather forced me into winter clothes, thus there had been no weight gain.
We humans are great figurers.
* * *
An oft-repeated commercial has the saying, ‘If you can find a better price elsewhere, we’ll match it.? Most of us, if we find a better price elsewhere, that’s where we’ll continue to shop.
Along the same line, Merrill Lynch stock brokers push the saying, they serve ‘one investor at a time.? Do they mean to infer other stock salespeople serve two of more investors at a time?
I know. I watch way too much tv.
* * *
One of the features of The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the monthly listings of dates, feasts, fasts, aspects and tide heights. Also included are 2 or 3 short advice offerings.
I’ve picked one from each month of 2004:
Jan.: Button up to the chin ’til May comes in.
Feb.: It is bad luck to fall out of a 13th story window on Friday.
Mar.: A good teacher is worth two books.
Apr.: It does not always rain when a pig squeals.
May: It is not common for hens to have pillows.
June: The talker sows, the silent reap.
July: Luck is like having a rice dumpling fly into your mouth.
Aug.: Dry bread is better with love than fried chicken with fear and trembling.
Sept.: Never cut what can be untied.
Oct.: Many a man’s tongue has broken his nose.
Nov.: Don’t argue with your bread and butter.
Dec.: The worst bug in your head is humbug.
* * *
Need some putdowns to completely ruin a relationship?
He has a magnetic personality. Everything he has is charged.
At her wedding, everyone kissed the groom.
He’s living proof of reincarnation. No one could be as dumb as he is in one lifetime.
She’s pretty well reared, she doesn’t look so good from the front either.
The shape he is in, his insurance agent is demanding his calendar back.
Her once dangerous curves have become extended detours.
He boasts about his family tree – he comes from the shady side.
Let’s play horse. I’ll be the front end – you just be yourself.

It crossed my mind while watching a Detroit Lions (professional?) football game that vendors in the stadium food booths would probably like to sell as many hot dogs as there are down on the field in Honolulu Blue and White.
The gyrations some of the million-dollar-a-game guys display after they catch a pass, tackle a carrier or make some other routine play is nauseating.
Bring back Barry Sanders. When he scored a touchdown he’d hand the ball to the referee and trot off the field. No belly flops, shoulder shakes or undulating hip movements.
Of course, I don’t remember seeing a current Lion making a touchdown this year.
* * *
Complaints are many and often by property owners along the Great Lakes, especially those on Saginaw Bay.
The Montmorency County Tribune’s Gordon Charles writes that, 40 years ago a research vessel working out of Grand Traverse Bay retrieved bottom samples from the northern portions of Lake Michigan.
They found an old cedar swamp at depths of 50 feet. Cedar swamps, Charles points out, require abundant moisture, but they grow on top of the ground, not underneath deep water.
Two years ago a research vessel in Lake Huron probed its bottom and also found remains of cedars.
The waters may be low today, but yesterday they were lower. Now all you Great Lakes property owners feel better, right?
* * *
‘The Clothesline,? from Mary McGregor’s Mature Citizen in the U.P.
A clothesline was a news forecast to neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep when clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, for neighbors always new,
If company had stopped on by to spend a night or two.
For then you’d see the fancy sheets and towels upon the line;
You’d see the company tablecloths with intricate design.
The line announced a baby’s birth to folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes where hung so carefully with pride.
The ages of the children could so readily be known,
By watching how sizes changed, you’d know how much they’d grown.
It also told when illness struck. As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes and a bathrobe too, haphazardly were strung.
It said, ‘Gone on vacation now,? when lines hung limp and bare,
It told, ‘We’re back!? when full line sagged with not an inch to spare.
But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work less,
Now what goes on inside a home is anybody’s guess.
I really miss that way of life, it was a friendly sign,
When neighbors knew each other best, by what hung on the line. Author ? ? ?

Not many weeks pass without someone’s dog being featured in a news story about how they cared for a family member while they are suffering.
Ma’dog Shayna isn’t a headline seeker, witness her recent reaction to my suffering body.
I had, to me, a severe stomachache. Whatever relief I could bring, didn’t last long. As I lay on the sofa Shayna didn’t come to me and didn’t even pretend to care.
She loves playing with a big, knotted rope. During my recovery she nudged it against my arm, leg and face. I continued to ask her for kindness, to try to show some sympathy, to act like the caring dogs in the stories.
She went on and on, obviously caring more about herself than me. She wanted to play. I wanted mourning.
That darn dog acts like me. Me first. We’ll play when I want to play. Don’t bother me now. In this house we live on my terms.
Well, she may not have learned to sit, lay and come to my command, but she did pick up on my very large ego.
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One doesn’t have to be a football fan to know there are 14,000 championship games being played this year. At the beginning of each game some players from each team meet a referee, the president of the game’s sponsor and 16 camera men at the edge of the gridiron.
Then the ref makes a big deal out of showing each side of a large coin, preparatory to the toss.
That’s the part I want to talk about. There’s no trust there. We have become a nation of untrusting people anyway, then comes Bernard (the media likes to call him Bernie, like a dear friend) Madoff.
Remember, he’s being credited with making $50 billion off a Ponzi scheme. Several charities who invested with Bernard lost millions. The notoriety he has achieved has generated even more untrusting people.
I believe that’s why the coin toss has become so dramatized. The ref goes to extremes to show each person present, including each camera, each side to the coin. Then he doesn’t flip it. No. He wants to continue appearing untainted.
So, he hands it to a designated flipper who has been screened by the FBI, CIA, the head of the Federal Reserve, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and a rest room attendant.
Finally, each person has to look at the coin on the ground to make sure it didn’t land on an edge.
Thus an honest game of football can start.
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* I’m sure you’ve noticed with the introductions of the 2009 and 2010 cars that horsepower is still being promoted. Despite the Greenies? push for midget cars with long extension cords, the buyers still want power, baby.
? On a recent Friday evening get-together one lady asked if any of us noticed that Dial soap, which used to have a rounded top, is now indented. The next week radio’s Paul Harvey asked a similar question. He suggested eaters of yogurt check the contents level in the container. He said many makers of foods are using the same size package, but putting in less food. If we buy by package size and not weight, they win.
? And, this year-end comment from my columnist friend Dick Milliman of Lansing: ‘We may want to look past 2009, but like other bad economic years, babies will be born, students will be graduated from college, the sun will come up and the shores inviting. We can put optimism in the forefront and look for that sunrise of 2010.?
? The first president to shake hands in greeting was Thomas Jefferson. Earlier presidents bowed.
? At least 8,000 human-made objects are orbiting the earth.
? There are 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of human feet.

Not many weeks pass without someone’s dog being featured in a news story about how they cared for a family member while they are suffering.
Ma’dog Shayna isn’t a headline seeker, witness her recent reaction to my suffering body.
I had, to me, a severe stomachache. Whatever relief I could bring, didn’t last long. As I lay on the sofa Shayna didn’t come to me and didn’t even pretend to care.
She loves playing with a big, knotted rope. During my recovery she nudged it against my arm, leg and face. I continued to ask her for kindness, to try to show some sympathy, to act like the caring dogs in the stories.
She went on and on, obviously caring more about herself than me. She wanted to play. I wanted mourning.
That darn dog acts like me. Me first. We’ll play when I want to play. Don’t bother me now. In this house we live on my terms.
Well, she may not have learned to sit, lay and come to my command, but she did pick up on my very large ego.
– – – 0 – – –
One doesn’t have to be a football fan to know there are 14,000 championship games being played this year. At the beginning of each game some players from each team meet a referee, the president of the game’s sponsor and 16 camera men at the edge of the gridiron.
Then the ref makes a big deal out of showing each side of a large coin, preparatory to the toss.
That’s the part I want to talk about. There’s no trust there. We have become a nation of untrusting people anyway, then comes Bernard (the media likes to call him Bernie, like a dear friend) Madoff.
Remember, he’s being credited with making $50 billion off a Ponzi scheme. Several charities who invested with Bernard lost millions. The notoriety he has achieved has generated even more untrusting people.
I believe that’s why the coin toss has become so dramatized. The ref goes to extremes to show each person present, including each camera, each side to the coin. Then he doesn’t flip it. No. He wants to continue appearing untainted.
So, he hands it to a designated flipper who has been screened by the FBI, CIA, the head of the Federal Reserve, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and a rest room attendant.
Finally, each person has to look at the coin on the ground to make sure it didn’t land on an edge.
Thus an honest game of football can start.
– – – 0 – – –
* I’m sure you’ve noticed with the introductions of the 2009 and 2010 cars that horsepower is still being promoted. Despite the Greenies? push for midget cars with long extension cords, the buyers still want power, baby.
? On a recent Friday evening get-together one lady asked if any of us noticed that Dial soap, which used to have a rounded top, is now indented. The next week radio’s Paul Harvey asked a similar question. He suggested eaters of yogurt check the contents level in the container. He said many makers of foods are using the same size package, but putting in less food. If we buy by package size and not weight, they win.
? And, this year-end comment from my columnist friend Dick Milliman of Lansing: ‘We may want to look past 2009, but like other bad economic years, babies will be born, students will be graduated from college, the sun will come up and the shores inviting. We can put optimism in the forefront and look for that sunrise of 2010.?
? The first president to shake hands in greeting was Thomas Jefferson. Earlier presidents bowed.
? At least 8,000 human-made objects are orbiting the earth.
? There are 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of human feet.

I love those offers on television that end with the product pusher yelling, ‘If you order right now I’ll send you Great Britain, the Suez Canal and Oahu. I’ll even pay the shipping and handling.? Or something like that.
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It’s good that we have these 22-month-long national political campaigns. It gives us time to learn there is no direct answer to any question, there is likely some truth somewhere in their messages and there is no way they can convince us beyond any doubt one is any better than the other.
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I watch a lot of football on television. Part of this is because nothing attracts me in the other listings. As part of my selection process I go for teams I’ve had drawn to my attention through the years.
Like I’ll watch Cincinnati, West Virginia, any Michigan college, Alabama, Marshall and some others. I will not root for colleges from Florida, Texas and California.
I was particularly pleased while watching the Cincinnati vs Florida South game, recently. Oh, by the way, I don’t root for any player wearing number 1, for ego reasons.
However, on this play Cinncy’s number 1 raced through the end zone trying to catch a pass. His momentum carried him into the stands, where he hit a lad, maybe six years old.
No. 1 picked that boy up, gave him a heartwarming hug, sat him down and raced back onto the field. The camera stayed on the boy as the gal sideline reporter came to talk to him.
He was happy as could be. Abruptly, several youngsters of equal age, programs in hand, started yelling for his autograph.
The boy tediously wrote his name, twisting his face with each curved letter. Were I a sports program director I’d have ordered that scene to play on all networks. It was nice.
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In case you didn’t know it, the world’s leading democracy is also the world’s biggest jailer with more than 2 million people — or 1 in every 100 adults — behind bars. The social budgetary costs are huge.
Though I didn’t hear a solution to this expensive problem during the campaign, I’m sure there’ll be a program offered that will be paid for by the top one percent of wage earners.
By the way, the middle class is always referred to by politicos as the ‘hard working? middle class.
We are left to assume the upper income people aren’t hard working.
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Food for thought: ‘The young do not know enough to be prudent, and so they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.? — Pearl S. Buck, Nobel Prize winner.
– – – 0 – – –
Another case of ‘no one’s at fault.?
Voting day, November 4 many precincts across America did not receive members of the armed services absentee voters ballots until after the deadline. Some states decided to wait 10 days, then count them, maybe.
Then it was announced the Pentagon failed to send the ballots overseas in proper time for returning.
No one at the Pentagon offered an explanation that I heard. The Washington D.C. area is a wonderful place. No one is responsible. Not the White House, Congress, Courts or, it seems, the Pentagon.
Reminds me of a pillow in my house. It has a picture of a puppy and the words, ‘It wasn’t me.?
When sat on, it makes a phart sound, which is what we get out of Washington, only their sound smells worse.

Time is running out on our Detroit Tigers, and not just in the race for the American League pennant. The Tigers have had a night for the Latinos and a night recognizing Negro league teams. There are many nationalities among the nines who deserve a night. So, let’s salute the Italians, Irish and even the French. Well, maybe not the French.
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This garden harvest time should get recognition in all our calendars. I’m partial to tomatoes and sweet corn, but I’m told the string beans, squash and other aboveground growing things are great, too. I’ve got to the hunger point that I’ll nuke an ear of corn for a couple minutes ’cause I don’t want to wait for the water to boil.
The method of eating corn off the cob has been a no-brainer since time began. Hold the cob between your hands and gnaw east and west, or vice versa, through the rows.
God and Mother Nature put the kernels in a row to be eaten in a row.
I only found out recently some less educated, who lack respect and social graces, eat the kernel ‘around? the cob. I watched son-in-law Bob do this recently.
I didn’t watch for long. It’s gross. He makes it even grosser by lathering the ear, salting and peppering it profusely and making noises like the hog he is.
He must have got this habit from some of his boyhood friends in urban Detroit. While I was born and reared in central lower Michigan, where all our locals ate their ears of corn the American way. You know, civilized, left to right, quietly.
But, this son-in-law is always doing something to upset me (besides marrying our daughter), so maybe that was his recent trick.
By the way, sweet corn is sweet. There’s no need to add stuff to the surface. Go by the palate test, not habit.
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Recently, (I use that word often because I can’t remember specific dates) I know I heard a grocery chain spokesman say, ‘If it wasn’t for getting paid for shelving space, we wouldn’t make money.?
That put a couple recall cells in motion. I remember a local grocer telling me years ago a cereal maker paid for space on the rack.
I brought this topic up at an after-golf soup. A retired grocer and a former vending machine operator involved themselves. Some of the first producers to offer payment of some kind were baby food makers.
An ice cream (dairy) company bought the store’s first freezer, some vendors bought the actual shelving section and bug spray pushers were early space buyers.
My cigarette vending machine friend said tobacco makers would give him slotting fees. Like, he said, Marlboro might make it worth his while to give them three slots.
I guess it proves all is fair in love and war and in attacking competition any way you can.
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I haven’t given you a limerick lately, so:
I once thought a lot of a friend
Who turned out to be in the end
The southernmost part
(As I’d feared at the start)
Of a horse with a northerly trend.
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Besides this being a great year for veggies, it’s been an outstanding late summer of clouds. Maybe because of my aging I’m looking up more, but others have mentioned the formation, the billowing, fluff and peacefulness they bring.
Another bright spot in nature’s realm this year, are the geraniums, pansies, lilies, sunflowers, marigold, black eyed Susans, Asters and all the rest bringing joy to all who view and grow them.
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Opportunity knocks just once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.

‘For what seems like a couple lifetimes, we’ve been exposed to thoughts of two men seeking the highest office in our land. Both seem unqualified for the title they seek. Each gives conflicting, even opposite statements on numerous topics, such as an energy plan, economic goals, illegal immigration, Social Security, offshore drilling, etc., etc. We really don’t know where either stands, except in front of a microphone with their hand out.?
My name is Sick N. Tired,
and I approve this message.
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? If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place it in the freezer for and hour or two. It will unseal easily.
? Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.
? Pretty much all the truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.
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Don’t you love the disclaimers (warnings) given by product pushers. First, we’re told a pill will solve all your problems including hair loss, fat, runny everything, then we get, ‘Don’t take this pill if . . .
. . .You inhale or exhale
. . .Drink
. . .Stand
. . .Marry or divorce
‘If you have the urge to do any of these things consult your physician, pawnbroker and pastor. If the urge continues, call your mortician.?
After hearing these warnings, I can think of only four reasons to take the medication.
1. I want to hurry dying.
2. My sign is right.
3. I believe in my invincibility.
4. They don’t mean me.
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Our choice of candidates put up by the two political parties has really gotten to me.
Months ago, when we were going into the primaries, did the G.O.P. leaders (because of Mr. Bush’s poor ratings) conclude they couldn’t win?
And, months ago, when we were going into the primaries, did leaders of the Democrats conclude (knowing anybody could beat any Republican) it was time to put African Americans forever in their camp by backing Obama?
Did the GOP pick (allow) McCain, knowing it was a sacrificial act to enter the fray because he was a good guy, war hero, honorable and needed remembrance?
Were the Dems enthralled by Obama’s delivery, his charisma, appearance and energy?
How were the two presidential candidates picked?
Did either political party look for the most important quality . . . can you trust him?
In the voting booth, that’s what will determine which lever is pulled. Can you trust him? Can you believe him? Can he lead us to greater good?
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? In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.
? You’re not yourself today. I noticed the improvement right away.
? The Professional Golfers Association raises more money for charity in one year than the National Football League does in two.
? And, at a golf tournament, (unlike a taxpayer-funded sports stadiums and arenas) you won’t hear a steady stream of four letter words and nasty name calling while you’re hoping that no one spills beer on you.

It seems to this English-speaking American that automatic answering devices should, by law, be required to say: ‘Touch one for other than English.? Either that or require companies using such requests to do so in person so we can tell them what we think of their service.
? Daughter Susan asked if I wanted to go to see Buffet at Pine Knob. I enthusiastically replied, ‘Yes. I’d go anywhere to see hear the Oracle of Omaha.? Susan said, ‘This is Jimmy Buffet not Warren Buffet.? Oh! And by the way, they call it the DTE Theater now.
? Someone on the tube told viewers, ‘Your waistline should be half your height.? If that’s true I have to grow 16 more inches taller.
? Grandson and twin Trevor, 8, recently asked his mother for a dog. Their present dog has been in the family for seven years. Mother Susan asked, ‘We can’t have two dogs, so what are we going to do with Amber?? Without hesitation he said, ‘Sell her!? Don’t you love the sentimental attachment, and love?
? Question for other seniors: At what age do we remember not to wear an unbuttoned shirt when frying bacon? I did it again last week.
? I was standing in line behind a man at Subway when he asked for extra tomatoes on his sandwich. The waiter lad said, ‘We don’t have tomatoes. They have syphilis!? His manager overheard the comment and dashed out to tell the lad, ‘It’s salmonella, not syphilis!?
? On a recent weekend the Detroit Tigers were playing the Chicago White Sox. Both teams had a Cabrera playing for them. At the same time two Cabreras, Angel and Miguel were playing golf on the PGA tour. This prompted me to ask one of my computer whiz friends to see if Cabrera was the most popular hispanic name. His research showed Cabrera isn’t even in the top 50 hispanic names. The top five are Garcia, Martinez, Rodriguez, Lopez and Hernandez. Interestingly the surname Rodriguez is ranked third, but when a ‘Q? is substituted for the ‘G? it ranks 38th Touch one if you want E’spaniol.
? Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it’s called golf.
? Limerick time:
There was a young driver named Jake
Who made a terrible mistake:
He drove through the wall
And into the hall,
When he mixed up the gas and the brake.
? Must be I missed the ceremony that gave an official end to the necktie. I guess I should have seen it coming when President Bush was shown greeting visitors tieless.
And, of course our present presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, are frequently seen with unbuttoned collars.
Even when it seems to me formality calls for the politically correct red or blue tie, these two campaigners go without.
I think it’s a combination of laziness, forgetfulness, disrespect, or just plain don’t-care-what-you-think attitude.
The tie is gone, at least for now. Since I have over 200 neckties (if you haven’t guessed, I love neckties) I hope they will be saved for the rebirth.
At a formal wedding I attended recently, I noted some men were tieless. Then I saw a picture of four men being installed into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. Two wore ties. The other two had that other look.
The tied looked appreciative of the honor bestowed on them. The other two looked like they wanted to get back on the golf course.
? At the wedding I noted the number of young women dancing in their bare feet. When I mentioned that to another man he said, ‘If you think the ties are rare, check out the number of sockless women.?
Whether it’s the flip-flops, lack of dressing time or just wanting to be different and ‘in,? the gals are opting for uncovered feet.
I’ll probably never get used to, or like, seeing bared navels, butt cracks, bare necks, bare feet and too much facial hair and long hair on men — and I won’t even try.

We’re going to ramble all over the map this week..
We all have friends and/or relatives who think Florida is the place to be sometime in winters, if not all the time. The sun alters some of their thinking. Like my friend Nick. He’s going to play golf this morning (Jan 19) starting at 8:30. The temperature is 52F. He wouldn’t think of playing golf in Michigan if it was that cold.
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Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can’t have you kayak and heat it, too.
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Rejected nursery rhyme:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Had scrambled eggs for breakfast again.
And,
Hey diddle, diddle, the cat did piddle, all over the electric clock.
The little dog laughed to see such fun when it died of electric shock.
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Christian humor #1.
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him.
Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. ‘Reverend,? said the young man, ‘I’m so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.?
The minister, chuckled, ‘I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.?
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I’ve had this note to myself since the presidential campaign of 1990. Candidates were crisscrossing America in buses and planes.
It reminded me of our grade school class being taken to Durand’s depot in 1936 to see President Franklin D. Roosevelt wave from the back end of the train as it slowed on its trip from Lansing to Port Huron. Our parents took us — no school busses for Garrison’s 1-room school.
By the way, when did they start calling grade schools elementaries?
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Wanna use some putdowns?
* He’s so tight, when he winks his kneecaps move.
* She could add years to her life by simply telling the truth.
* He’s dark and handsome. When it’s dark he’s handsome.
* She brought her cosmetics for a make-up exam.
* He got into the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t watching.
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Christian humor #2.
The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation for more money because cost for repairs to the church building were higher than expected. Therefore, he was annoyed to find the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute.
The substitute wanted to know what to play. ‘Here’s a copy of the service,? the minister said impatiently. ‘But, you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about finances.?
During the service, the minister paused and said, ‘Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.?
At that moment, the substitute organist played The Star Spangled Banner. And that, my friends, is how the substitute became the regular organist!

It seems to this English-speaking American that automatic answering devices should, by law, be required to say: ‘Touch one for other than English.? Either that or require companies using such requests to do so in person so we can tell them what we think of their service.
? Daughter Susan asked if I wanted to go to see Buffet at Pine Knob. I enthusiastically replied, ‘Yes. I’d go anywhere to see hear the Oracle of Omaha.? Susan said, ‘This is Jimmy Buffet not Warren Buffet.? Oh! And by the way, they call it the DTE Theater now.
? Someone on the tube told viewers, ‘Your waistline should be half your height.? If that’s true I have to grow 16 more inches taller.
? Grandson and twin Trevor, 8, recently asked his mother for a dog. Their present dog has been in the family for seven years. Mother Susan asked, ‘We can’t have two dogs, so what are we going to do with Amber?? Without hesitation he said, ‘Sell her!? Don’t you love the sentimental attachment, and love?
? Question for other seniors: At what age do we remember not to wear an unbuttoned shirt when frying bacon? I did it again last week.
? I was standing in line behind a man at Subway when he asked for extra tomatoes on his sandwich. The waiter lad said, ‘We don’t have tomatoes. They have syphilis!? His manager overheard the comment and dashed out to tell the lad, ‘It’s salmonella, not syphilis!?
? On a recent weekend the Detroit Tigers were playing the Chicago White Sox. Both teams had a Cabrera playing for them. At the same time two Cabreras, Angel and Miguel, were playing golf on the PGA tour. This prompted me to ask one of my computer whiz friends to see if Cabrera was the most popular Hispanic name. His research showed Cabrera isn’t even in the top 50 Hispanic names. The top five are Garcia, Martinez, Rodriguez, Lopez and Hernandez. Interestingly, the surname Rodriguez is ranked third, but when a ‘Q? is substituted for the ‘G? it ranks 38th. Touch one if you want Espa’ol.
? Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it’s called golf.
? Limerick time:
There was a young driver named Jake
Who made a terrible mistake:
He drove through the wall
And into the hall,
When he mixed up the gas and the brake.
? Must be I missed the ceremony that gave an official end to the necktie. I guess I should have seen it coming when President Bush was shown greeting visitors tieless.
And, of course our present presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, are frequently seen with unbuttoned collars.
Even when it seems to me formality calls for the politically correct red or blue tie, these two campaigners go without.
I think it’s a combination of laziness, forgetfulness, disrespect, or just plain don’t-care-what-you-think attitude.
The tie is gone, at least for now. Since I have over 200 neckties (if you haven’t guessed, I love neckties) I hope they will be saved for the rebirth.
At a formal wedding I attended recently, I noted some men were tieless. Then I saw a picture of four men being installed into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. Two wore ties. The other two had that other look.
The tied looked appreciative of the honor bestowed on them. The other two looked like they wanted to get back on the golf course.
? At the wedding I noted the number of young women dancing in their bare feet. When I mentioned that to another man he said, ‘If you think the ties are rare, check out the number of sockless women.?
Whether it’s the flip-flops, lack of dressing time or just wanting to be different and ‘in,? the gals are opting for uncovered feet.
I’ll probably never get used to, or like, seeing bared navels, butt cracks, bare necks, bare feet and too much facial hair and long hair on men — and I won’t even try.

Here’s the philosophy of the Michigan Lottery boosters: Make a bet every day, otherwise you might walk around lucky and never know it. Bet high, it’s for your kids education ya? know!
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My friend John Patrell is a self-made man, which shows what can happen if you don’t follow directions.
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Perhaps you heard the following on a Paul Harvey program or read it somewhere:
‘When minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,? but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
‘We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call it pluralism.
‘We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
‘We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
‘We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
‘We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
‘We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
‘We have abused power and called it politics.
‘We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
‘We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
‘We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
‘Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
‘Amen!?
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Daughter Susan brought this item back from a photo album cutting session in Midland via a Soo attendee. Working on the Mackinaw bridge has become a year-round, often boring job. According to the attendee some young men were under the center screen section, horsing around, without their safety straps.
And, as will happen, one lost his balance and fell to what should have been certain death from that height.
Didn’t happen. The lad went under the waves, came up head first, raised his arms and shouted, ‘It takes more than that to kill an Irishman!?
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Susan’s daughter Savannah is about to turn nine. By family rule she has to make a wish list. To make her point she printed the letters on the computer an inch high.
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Do you suppose this can be true?
The famous Olympic skier Picabo Street (pronounced Peek-A-Boo) is not just an athlete, she is a nurse. She currently works at the Intensive Care Unit of a large metropolitan hospital. She is not permitted to answer the telephone, however, as it caused simply too much confusion when she would answer the phone and say, ‘Picabo, ICU.?

Under my government advertisements that promote ‘absorbency? would not be allowed to be aired.
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It amazes me and disgusts me how often commercials are being played at the same time on all tv channels as I try to avoid them by switching from sports to drama to specials to comedy.
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Daughter Luan came back from a tanning session. (Another dumb thing a couple recent generations have taken to that further proves they have too much money, vanity and insanity.) Anyway, as she stood there describing the sessions to me she lifted her sweater to show me a rash. As I stared, she remarked, ‘You should see my back!? I said, ‘Heck, I didn’t even want to see your front!? By the way, don’t women wear slips any more?
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Shayna, she’s m’dog, licks the water that seeps from my shower door. Thus she is there when I open it. I’ve thought up to now that the look she gives me at the door opening is that of affection. I now believe it’s more the look of an undertaker.
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Perhaps the most overused phrase politicos use is: ‘The fact of the matter is . . .? Often, to me, it is only a fact in their own mind. Another phrase question answerers use too often is: ‘That’s a good question.? Such a response may praise the questioner but it irritates the devil out of me.
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Makers of dog drinking dishes should (maybe they do) shape their dishes like toilet stools. At least Shayna seems to think that drinking station has the best water.
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I’ve made coffee every morning for over three years with a ratio of a quarter cup of grounds to two cups of water, and it’s never tasted really good. I’m a man, thus I don’t need to ask how to make coffee. It dawned on me recently that perhaps my ratio was wrong, and I needed less grounds or more water or both.
Not bad, eh, 3 1/2 years?
I also do laundry and balance a check book. Sometimes my dark clothes bleed into the whites and sometimes I’m overdrawn.
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Twisters on bread got my attention a few weeks ago. I wondered if all bread makers twisted the little wires the same way. While waiting for a government grant to research this practice I spent some time at a grocery bread display. I found most twisted wires to the right, but at least two bakers twisted theirs to the left. In one case, Aunt Millie twisted Italian one way and regular white another.
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How often does a man living alone wash a dish-rag? (Editor’s Note: Only after wiping down the table, counter, sink, stove, the little spill on the floor, his hands and his face will a man think about washing his dish-rag.)
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Senator Debbie Stabenow said, ‘I know a lot of Americans that would jump at a $15 to $16 an hour job.? Really? Name two, who are not on your payroll, Debbie. I don’t believe our Washington reps actually know lower income people.
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I was in a coney island-type restaurant recently where the waitress, when she bent to take an order, showed her thong strap. Is that redundant? The taste of the coney offset the non-appetite-pleasing sight.
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Why are so many doghouses built and painted to look like barns? Dogs are housed, not barned. Does it make suburbanite dog owners feel rural to put their doggie in a barn?
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When someone asked Dean Martin if he needed glasses, he said, ‘Only when I drink!?

During the televised funeral services for President Reagan last Wednesday night, a telemarketer called to tell me about a great carpet cleaning deal. What a country!
Another dog lover sent this quote: ‘It’s impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more puppies.?
The Detroit News headed many of its stories on President Reagan by using his signature. It is a very readable signature. I’ve often wondered why more people don’t show they like who they are by signing their name legibly.
My dog Shayna likes Tabasco sauce, but doesn’t care for beer. Don’t get riled up now. The only reason I had beer in the house was to follow a batter recipe. The mixing didn’t take the entire can of beer, so I offered it to Shayna. She gave it a good taste test, for a dog. Maybe three laps, and gave me another ‘where’s my treat? look.
A few weeks prior to popular graduation dates one of the cell phone pushers ran a page ad shouting: ‘The Perfect Gift For Your Grad is a Cell Phone!? First I thought they were trying to reach parents of high school seniors, but the more I thought of it I realized they must be trying to convince parents of elementary school graduates. Then, no, those going from third to fourth grade had to be the targets. I mean, like, how can you live without, ya’know, a cell phone.
Let’s have a dog hearing contest. Shayna can hear my cookie jar lid being opened and me opening a candy wrapper from the limits of her 90-foot radius outside our house.
Love country & western songs with some humor in them. Like old-timers Homer and Jethro who have one with these words about a cow, ‘She was bitten on the udder by an adder.? They just don’t write good music like that anymore.
I know cat lovers think they make the best pets, but dogs can do things cats can’t. F’instance, because of their nosey curiosity dogs can tell you if your fly is open, and enjoy doing it.
Are any of you old enough to remember tying a string around a loose tooth and tying the other end of the string to an open door, then slamming it shut? Out came the tooth, thus saving trips to the dreaded dentist.
Recently I grabbed the dining table pepper shaker, shook it and the top came off. When you live alone, who do you blame?
One last Shayna story, at least for this column. Many of you know I have a subscription to the Bacon of the Month Club. FedEx delivers a box to the door, rings the bell and leaves each month. I didn’t hear the latest delivery.
I guess Shayna did. Anyway this particular pound came from Nodine’s Smokehouse, Goshen, Connecticut. ‘It stands out in The Grateful Palate bacon portfolio for their mastery of flavors,? says the accompanying info.
The bacon is in a thick plastic bag with another bag of dry ice all inside a corrugated box.
I looked out the window one day and saw a box, opened, and wondered where Shayna got it. I wondered several minutes before I went out to investigate.
My timing couldn’t have been better. Shayna had just broken the sealed bacon cover.
Numerous thoughts have followed that episode. When you have two main loves, bacon and dog, and it gets to the point of eliminating one, do you chose to keep the one you’ve loved longest?
A person cannot always chose the one with lowered head and upcast pleading eyes.