Friday, May 29, 2009

Random Thoughts II - 2009

Time for another round of Random Thoughts. It's been nearly three months since your last episode, and I try to do one about every ten weeks.

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RANDOM ACTS OF THINKING, 2009
Part the Second

I got a check marked "Insufficient Funds" back from my bank ... in these uncertain economic times, I had to call and ask if they were talking about themselves or me.

I Xeroxed a mirror. Now I have an extra Xerox machine.

If I melted a whole lot of dry ice, could I swim in it and not get wet?

I bought a car with seat heaters. At least I think it has them. The owner's manual says there's a button for a "rear defroster."

One of my favorite bookstores went out of business. The owner posted a sign on his door that read, "Words failed me."

Somebody once asked me how many books I've read in my lifetime. I don't know. I'm not dead, yet.

My Dad once bought me a really cheap dictionary. I couldn't find the words to thank him.

Knowledge is power, but it still won't run my appliances.

There are three types of furniture: Antique, modern, and comfortable.

I think I know why cows always look so sad. They've finally figured out they are actually TWO of the four food groups.

I walked three miles this morning. But only because I forgot where I parked.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but an onion a day keeps *everybody* away.

They say you need to listen to what your body is telling you. Mine just points and laughs.


[commandeered, captured, coerced, co-opted, cleaned, and credited to Mikey's Funnies, Charlie's Chuckles, Top Greetings, list member Cliff R., Menards, Shoe, Hallmark's Maxine, and the mind of Mark Raymond]

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My training for the first phase of the new job is done and I now I start working every Saturday. So that's what I'll be doing tomorrow. Oh, and then probably going to the carnival.

I'll see you on Monday.

Mark

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WEB SITE of the WEEK: So you need to hire a professional to get something done ... whether it's a handyman, a pool service, landscaping, roofing, general contracting, new doctor, dentist, pediatrician, or maybe just a good caterer ... but who can you trust? Trust Angie. http://www.angieslist.com/ provides references - by real people, just like yourself - for all those services and much more for service providers in your area.

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Mark's Musings is sent each weekday - usually in the wee hours of the morning (EST) - using Ezine Director and I pay a little extra every day to make sure those folks are certified by Habeas to be a safe sender of e-mail. That means you can trust what I send. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click your day away at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. At times like these, it would certainly help to know what I'm doing. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. These are indoor credits. They wouldn't know what to do on their own out in the great big world without the post. Please don't subject them to that. It's just cruel. Original material and musings © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of my post daily and occasionally with "bonus material" whenever the mood or muse strikes. Hasn't happened for awhile. I blame a lack of sleep. Look for the label that says "bonus" and you can bring it all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. Wayyyy past my bedtime.

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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else." (James M. Barrie)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bad Vacation Bible School

Our annual "Hometown Days" festival starts today and runs through Sunday. We close off a section of the main thoroughfare through town and a carnival sets up. Tilt-A-Whirl, Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, Big Slide, A Fun House, Chair-O-Planes, and Games of Chance and Skill ... all for a shockingly overpriced ticket amount. We also have some county fair type of things ... oh, heck, you can check it all out here. There's a parade, a big name concert on Sunday -- last year we had one of the "American Idol" runner-ups plus national Christian recording artist Mark Schultz (my band was privileged to warm up for him) -- so really, it's just a big party for about four days, and a lot of fun.

It's one clear sign in our little corner of the world that summer is just about here.

And that means that Vacation Bible Schools will be starting before you know it.

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LEAST POPULAR VBS CHARACTERS and PROGRAMS

Samson with the Wet, Hacking Cough

Noah's Incontinent Ark Adventure

Grizzly Gordon's Mountain Top Kids and the Isolated Plane Crash

Bandito Bad Kid and the Hallelujah Hooligans

40 Years in the Hot Desert with Stale Cookies

God Loves Little Four Eyes, Too!

Carnival Kyle, the Clean-the-Empty-Lot Clown

Castaway Bob's Island of Bi-Polar Puppets


[© 2005 by Dave Tippet via Mikey's Funnies; permission to reprint is granted with full attribution, but not commercially]

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WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

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Mark's Musings dresses up in an RSS Feed and can also arrive via e-mail each weekday. Get your own subscription - for free! - by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Chick Flicks"

We enjoy going to the movies. My wife, in particular, enjoys seeing the previews before the main event. If she misses the previews, she feels like she hasn't indulged in the entire movie experience.

Well, if you're of a mind, you can view 25 of the trailers for upcoming summer movies here. Most you've probably heard of, some you haven't. A few of the previews are for movies we won't even bother with, but some we will definitely be watching up on the big screen.

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IF HOLLYWOOD ONLY MADE MOVIES FOR WOMEN

"Four Weddings and Another Wedding"

"Laughter, Tears, and Haagen-Dazs"

"Shoes: The Musical"

"The Godiva Chocolate Story" (free samples with every paid ticket)

"Hugh Jackman Does Housework with His Shirt Off ... While Reciting Poetry"

"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants That Never Make Your Butt Look Big"

"Cuddle, The Movie"

"The Year of Living Fashionably"

"Raiders of the Lost Heart"

"Pillow Fight Club"

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless House"


[Chris White's Top Five on Movies w/additional material by Mark Raymond]

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WONDER for YOUR WEEK: You know, we never see a pack of wolves in that Kevin Costner movie. Shouldn't it have been called "Dances With Wolf"?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Remote Battery


There has been a breakthrough in battery technology that may make the electric car actually feasible for everyday use.

Scientists in the U.K. have replaced the lithium cobalt oxide in a battery with a porous carbon substance and use the oxygen from the air around it as the reactant to provide a recharging effect.

So yes, you read correctly, it's a battery that runs on air.

This means two things: 1) the battery can be quite a bit lighter and, 2) the battery can be quite a bit larger, holding more of a charge.

Probably won't work in space, though. I'm just saying.

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I recently saw a distraught young lady standing beside her car. I stopped and climbed out of my own vehicle.

"Do you need some help?" I asked.

"I knew I should have replaced the battery in this remote key thingy," she explained, exasperated. "Now I can't get into my car. Do you think they would have this size battery?" She pointed to a convenience store a couple of blocks away.

"Hmmmm. I don't know. Let me see your remote."

She handed it over to me and I looked at it for a moment, then I walked over to the door and used her key to manually unlock the vehicle.

"Why don't you drive down there and ask them if they've got the right size?"

The look on her face was priceless.


[Joe's Clean Laffs; reworked by Mark Raymond]

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WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Everything in Life is somewhere else, and you can get there in a car." (E.B. White)

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Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed or to your Inbox via e-mail each weekday. Get your own subscription by clicking here. It's easy, and it's free.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Military Moustache

Memorial Day, 2009. The unofficial start of summer.

My friend and list member Marsha S., also known as "Da Mouse," has been featuring in her own e-mail post (a lovely eclectic collection of jokes, photos, trivia, and recipes) a link to something called "Pizza for Patriots."

Your donations will help deliver a couple thousand pizzas from Chicago to our service people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Short and baby-faced, my buddy Wiggins had trouble being taken seriously in the Army, due to his youthful appearance. A moustache, he assumed, would fix that.

He was wrong.

"Wiggins!" bellowed our drill sergeant, after spotting the growth during inspection one day. "What's so special about your nose that it's got to be underlined??!"


[with thanks to Reader's Digest Online]

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WORD for YOUR WEEK: In Latin, "quadrum" meant a square, four-sided thing. The Italians soon modified it to "quadro" which was used to describe a framework. The French took the word and turned it into "cadre," which they used to describe a picture frame. Sir Walter Scott used the word in his 1830 "Lay of the Last Minstrel" and shortly thereafter the word "cadre" began to be used to describe a group of people who worked within a specific frame of reference, or specific organization. That definition has since been enhanced to add layers of meaning so that "cadre" now describes not only a group of people working in a specific field, but a highly-trained and close-knit group, as well.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Late Night Jokes

Time for a quick sweep of what the late-night talking heads have been making jokes about, since I don't get to stay up and watch them anymore.

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"President Obama found a quick way to close Guantanamo Bay ... he's going to turn it into a Pontiac dealership."

"The Somali pirate on trial in Manhattan was indicted on ten charges of piracy yesterday. His bail was set at 100 doubloons."

"And according to a Rasmussen poll, when asked if English should be America's official language, 85% of the people said, 'Si'."

"President Obama appointed Utah's Republican Governor Jon Huntsman to be the ambassador to China, part of the president's strategy to get every Republican out of the country by 2010."

"Last week the FDA scolded General Mills for claiming that Cheerios lowers your cholesterol by 10%. Well, they're not stopping there. Today, under pressure, Captain Crunch admitted that he lied about his military record."

"On Saturday, President Obama went to Malia and Sasha's soccer games. He rode to the games on Minivan One."

"A Georgia man is recovering in Pittsburgh after becoming the first U.S. recipient of a double hand transplant. Got two hands transplanted from another guy. He used them for the first time today to grab his heart when he saw the bill."

"The government is now recommending that schools stay open even if they have a confirmed case of swine flu. I love it. In one week, the swine flu has gone from the end of the world to not as bad as snow."


[stolen politely from Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, and David Letterman]

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Have a good, long weekend. I'll see you on Monday with a Memorial Day post.

Mark

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WEB SITE of the WEEK: Get an easy primer on something for the kids and grandkids to do: collect stamps. Check out http://www.learnaboutstamps.com/. The language is plain, the hobby is inexpensive, and if you don't make too big a deal about it, it can be downright educational.

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Mark's Musings is sent each weekday - at some point during that 24 hour period - using Ezine Director and I pay a little extra every day to make sure those folks are certified by Habeas to be a safe sender of e-mail. That means you can trust what I send. I wouldn't lie to you. No spam. Ever. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click your day away at my web site. (There are years of archival jokes and links, for instance, and at least three years of "Web Sites of the Week" to browse. More to come, one day.) To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. Your newest American Idol, Kris Allen, is the nephew of a friend of mine. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Removing my credits may expose you to public ridicule. Original material and musings © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of my post daily and occasionally with "bonus material" whenever the mood or muse strikes. Look for the label that says "bonus" and you can bring it all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. I'm hoping to see my folks this weekend ... get out the tools to tune up my mower, Dad! (Umm, please?)

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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "We put our best foot forward, but it's the other one that needs the attention." (Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Junior)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

High Tech Groceries

Did you know you have about 350 to 400 sense receptors in your nose, as compared with four in your eyes? That could be one reason why aromas get so deeply ingrained into our memories.

Well, a French fragrance designer has worked for two years developing 23 fragrances that will last for just half an hour ... to be used in conjunction with an orchestra and a "scent opera" called "Green Aria." The concept for all of this has been in the making for at least five years.

I'll give them points for a unique idea on this one. Merging music with aroma will make for one remarkable evening. Or a complete disaster.

How will things turn out? Nobody nose.

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The new supermarket near our house uses all the cutting edge grocery technology. There's an automatic mister in the produce section ... but just before it comes on, you hear the low rumble of distant thunder and an aroma like fresh rain fills that corner of the store.

As you approach the dairy case, you hear cows softly lowing and you can smell freshly cut hay.

Down the canned vegetable aisle you can hear a hoe overturning the dirt and smell a good, earthy loam as you gaze at the corn and carrots and beans.

Down the bread aisle you get the aroma of freshly baked bread and can hear the sounds of a bakery hard at work.

I don't buy toilet paper there anymore.


[adapted from Charlie's Chuckles and Net 153s Smile A Day by Mark Raymond]

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WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." (2 Corinthians 2:15)

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Mark's Musings arrives on your RSS Feed Reader or in your Inbox via e-mail each weekday. Sniff out your own subscription - for free! - by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fast Flight


My wife loves to travel. When we were first married she thought she would fill her traveling yen as I was pursuing a career in the Christian music industry ... but alas, that wasn't to be. Then I became an official for our local postal worker's union and we did, indeed, get to travel as I would go to various conventions around the country. Then I gave that up to take a part-time job on staff at our church, and again we would travel - though not as extensively - to seminars and workshops and conferences. Then I got involved doing special projects within the Postal Service and was off to various parts of the U.S. but did most of that traveling solo, but every now and again she would get to come with me. Now most of our traveling is local, though we do make an effort to go someplace new and relatively exciting every few years.

If you enjoy travel, you might enjoy this article from the folks at Real Simple magazine. The author has been to places around the globe I will almost certainly never see, but several good points are raised. It's worth a read for the next time you're packing a suitcase for a new destination.

Thanks and a tip o'the Mark's Musings cap to Mark Hurst over at Good Experience.

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Unaware that there was a one-hour time difference between Indianapolis and Chicago, Bob inquired at the Indy airport about a flight to Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

"The next plane leaves at 1:00 p.m. and arrives in Chicago at 1:01 p.m."

"Would you repeat that, please?" Bob inquired.

The ticket agent did and then asked, "Would you like a reservation for that flight?"

"No," Bob replied, "but I think I'll stick around and watch it take off!"


[Good Clean Funnies List, with thanks to Pastor Tim]

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WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Why do we say we're getting on a plane? Aren't we actually getting *in* a plane?

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Mark's Musings zooms your way on an RSS Feed and via e-mail each weekday. Jet your way to your own subscription with one quick click here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Online Newbie (Geekspeak: "Noobs")

You know they say we're running out of servers and bandwidth to keep the Web running, right? I think I posted about this a while back (November 2007, to be exact).

This might be the reason why the Internet is so stuffed.

175,000 movies ... 64,000 concerts ... 344,000 audio recordings ... 1 million books ... plus a history of every web page that ever existed.

I am O. Ver. Whelmed.

On the other hand, the next time you get a "404-Page Not Found" error, head over to the "Wayback Machine" located here and bang! There it is!

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REQUIRED COURSES FOR NEW INTERNET USERS

An Introduction to Things Everyone Else Has Already Seen
Sub-Title: Don't Forward This!

Two Paragraphs or Less: Writing An Email People Will Actually Read

The Economic Improbabilities of Nigerian Princes

Origins and Proper Use of the Caps Lock Key

Should I Forward This Email? Three Questions to Ask Yourself

Lose vs. Loose: The Eternal Struggle

Links You Should Never Click: The Advanced Class

You Are Not the 1,000,000,000 Visitor - Why You Didn't Win

The Psychology of Web Page Design, or "Don't Click That Ad!"


[BB Spot's Top 11 Archive; edits and additional material by Mark Raymond]

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WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "The Internet is the world's largest library. It's just that all the books are scattered on the floor." (John Allen Paulos)

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Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed or through your Inbox each weekday. Get your own subscription by clicking here. You know how to click, don't you? Put your hand on the mouse device and flex your index finger. Now say that in a Mae West kind of way and you'll kind of have the effect I was going for. Hmmm. Maybe not.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Groaners

At first glance, you'll see a Norman church, two pubs, a shop, a school, a village hall, a huge manor with landscaped gardens, an entire village, in fact.

And then, upon closer inspection, you'll see it's all been knitted from wool.

All courtesy of the Mersham Afternoon Club, which began this project a whopping 23 years ago.

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YOUR MONDAY GROANERS

If someone is pregnant, do they have an ingrown heir?

My brother is very set in his ways, but always look great. He's clothes-minded.

I was going to give my wife one of those heart balloons for her birthday, but she said she didn't need angioplasty.

What do you call a calf after it's six months old?
Seven months old.

At the North Pole they say goodbye with a cold wave.

A shepherd drove his flock through town and got a ticket for making a ewe turn.

I need acupuncture like I need another hole in my head.

I called my plumber about a leak in my kitchen sink. He sighed and said he was always at my disposal.

A radical segment of the woodworker's union broke off and formed a splinter group.

I looked up "diet" in my thesaurus and found myself at words for a loss.


[mostly from Jokemaster with some rewording and editorial massage by Mark Raymond]

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WORD for YOUR WEEK: Here's a word that's easy to remember, handy to slip in to any number of conversational situations, and will make you sound smarter: "eclectic." Combining the Greek "ek," which means "out" or "out of," and "legein," which was to gather or choose. You got "eklegion," which described what a group of ancient philosophers did when they selected doctrines from a multitude of belief systems. It arrived here in English as the word at the start of this paragraph and we use it in its broader sense, which is to describe something composed of elements drawn together from various sources. Yes, you could, in a very real sense, describe Mark's Musings as "an eclectic humor and trivia post."

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Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed and e-mail each weekday. Groan up your very own subscription by clicking here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Okay, *Three* Dog Posts In A Row

Going for a record here.

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WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM OUR CANINE FRIENDS

Never pass up the opportunity to stick your head out the window during a car ride.

When loved ones come home, run to greet them.

Practice obedience. Except occasionally.

Let others know when they've invaded your turf uninvited.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you've had enough.

Always be loyal.

If you stare at something long enough, you'll eventually get it.

Don't go out without ID.

Leave room in your schedule for both a good romp and a good nap.

Take responsibility when you do something wrong. But make them drag you out from under the bed first.

If it's not wet and sloppy, it's not a real kiss.

If what you want is buried, dig until you find it.

When you're happy, jump up and down, spin around, and make a lot of noise.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk with a good friend.


[selected from nanceestar.com; edits and rewrites by Mark Raymond]

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Speaking of good friends, we're off to the movies with them tomorrow afternoon. May your weekend be as enjoyable. I'll see you on Monday. On time, I hope.

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WEB SITE of the WEEK: Get good, fairly reliable healthcare advice at http://healthfinder.gov/. The site is sponsored by the Health and Human Services Department. There are a lot of interactive tools and personalization for your own health situation onboard, too.

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Mark's Musings is sent each weekday - at some point during that 24 hour period - using Ezine Director and I pay a little extra every day to make sure those folks are certified by Habeas to be a safe sender of e-mail. That means you can trust what I send. Explicitly, implicitly, and with felicity. No spam. Ever. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click your day away at my web site. (There are years of archival jokes and links, for instance, and at least three years of "Web Sites of the Week" to browse. More to come, one day.) To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. I love Facebook. Mostly. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Even your dog would leave the credits alone. Original material and musings © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of the post daily and occasionally with "bonus material" whenever the mood or muse strikes. Look for the label that says "bonus" and you can bring it all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. Are you still a good reader? Yes! Yes, you are! Who's a good reader? It's you!

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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention." (Clifton Fadiman)

Two Dog Posts In A Row

CBS may come and make me take this down, but it made me laugh right out loud.

It's from Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks" segment.



video

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sniff Regrets


When you combine ruby red with beagle puppies, you get a dog named "Ruppy." Four of them, to be exact.

Scientists in South Korea have, apparently, successfully added a red fluorescent gene into cloned beagle puppies that makes them glow red under ultraviolet light.

The purpose was not to make a dog that you can avoid tripping over in the dark, but simply to prove that it could be done.

That sound you just heard was mad scientists everywhere, cackling.

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THINGS YOUR DOG REGRETS SNIFFING

New Jersey. Just like the rest of us.

The backside of that pit bull with the personal space issues.

The pilot light.

That funny looking steam hole in the ground at Yellowstone.

Whatever that thing was under the covers after Mexican Buffet Night.

The roses in the garden. The ones infested with the beehive.

Your laundry. It's so utterly, disgustingly, CLEAN.


[selected from Chris White's Top Five on Pets]

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WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Anyone who is among the living has hope -- even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!" (Ecclesiastes 9:4)

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Mark's Musings comes flea-free on an RSS Feed and goes for walkies into your Inbox via e-mail each weekday. Bark up your own subscription - for free! - by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Smarter

In my new job, I have to get my body out of bed about 3:00 a.m. every day and, frankly, my circadian rhythms are struggling to make that work for me. I am plum tuckered out.

So, my apologies, but just the joke today. I gotta go take a nap!

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Feeling listless, I bought some expensive "brain stimulating" pills at our local health food store, but I didn't bother to read the label until I got home.

"Oh, I can't believe it!" I exclaimed in complaint to my husband. "This is just rosemary extract!"

"So?" he said.

"So I can't believe I paid so much for something that's growing wild all over the backyard!"

"See?" he intoned. "You're smarter already."


[Reader's Digest]

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WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Why does it take so much to prove you're smart but only one thing to prove you're an idiot?

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Mark's Musings arrives via RSS Feed or e-mail each weekday. Get your own subscription and prove you're smart with one quick click here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Survey

While the story of Ms. Susan Boyle ("Britain's Got Talent") is still hot, here's another British woman - who kind of looks like Susan, actually - with a bit of an odd hobby.

She collects soap.

Lots and lots of soap.

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A marketing flunky stopped a pedestrian on a street corner recently and explained that he was doing some market research. Then he asked the passerby, "What shaving cream do you use?"

The man answered, "Babas."

"All right," said the marketing guy, making a note of it though he'd never heard of that brand, "and what after shave do you use?"

"Babas."

In fact, the answer to all the marketing questions - deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, soap - resulted in the Babas brand answer.

Finally, in frustration, the marketing guy said, "I've got to know. What is this 'Babas' brand? Something new? Something from a foreign country?"

"Brand?" asked the pedestrian. "Baba is my roommate!"


[Clean Humor Digest; bet you saw that punchline coming....]

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WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Wouldn't it be nice to be rich enough to be able to throw soap away right after the letters have washed off?" (Andy Rooney, paraphrased)

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Mark's Musings comes on an RSS Feed and washes behind its ears in your e-mail each weekday. Get your own subscription by clicking here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Agency Slogans


I know it's hard to believe, but "The Simpsons" recently became the longest-running sitcom on prime time television, and certainly the longest running animated show. The series - began as a short "filler" cartoon on the old Tracey Ullman Show - is now in its 20th year of broadcast fame.

That qualifies them as fodder for the U.S. Postal Service to put on a stamp.

Plus, you can vote for your favorite character. USPS is trying to make a connection to the younger generation to get them started in on a love for stamp collecting, also known as philately.

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NEW SLOGANS FOR FEDERAL AGENCIES

The National Institute on Aging
"Celebrating Our 39th Year!"

The Department of the Interior
"Oddly, All Our Stuff Is Outdoors!"

The Internal Revenue Service
"What's In *YOUR* Wallet???"

The Central Intelligence Agency
"The White Swans Fly North for the Mashed Potatoes"

The U.S. Postal Service
"For When Your Computer Is In the Shop..."

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
"Making Sure Everyone Is Unemployed Equally"

Office of Government Ethics
"An Example of an Oxymoron Since 1978"

Federal Reserve System
"We Certainly Have Reservations About the Federal System"

Small Business Administration
"Because Soon It Will *ALL* Be Small Business"

Social Security Administration
"Hurry! Going Out Of Business Sale!"


[original idea and some material from Pastor Tim's Clean Laughs; edits and lots of additional material by Mark Raymond]

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WORD for YOUR WEEK: Here's a great word for you this week: "bombinate." It's from the Old Latin word "bombus," which is an onomatopoeiaic word (hmmm, maybe next week I'll give you *that* definition), because it meant "boom," referring to the sound. Now it means a constant buzzing, a hum, a drone. As in, "the television bombinated into the night while Jacob slept soundly on the sofa."

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Mark's Musings is spirited your way on an RSS Feed and also available tax-free via e-mail. Get your very own subscription without getting ANY government agencies involved by clicking here.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Historical Moms

It's our annual "Big Weekend" here at the Raymond household. The yearly subdivision-wide yard sale is tomorrow, my son's birthday is tomorrow (we're seeing "Star Trek" on the IMAX screen together), my birthday is the following day, and mothers celebrate a day set aside just for them on Sunday, as well.

What a weekend!

If there was one thing I'd wish for you to give me on my birthday - and this will be the only time I mention this all year - it would be to wish for a donation to help offset the cost of publishing Mark's Musings each day. If every list member chipped in just one dollar, I could pay for all my costs until Christmas of 2010. $2 would keep me quiet about this until 2012.

But enough about me, let's spend today talking about motherhood.

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FAMOUS MOTHERS THROUGHOUT HISTORY

MONA LISA'S Mother: "After all that money your father and I spent on braces, that's the biggest smile you could give us?"

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS' Mother: "I don't care how far you had to go to discover something, you couldn't have written?"

MICHELANGELO'S Mother: "Can't you just paint on the walls like other children? Do you know how hard it's going to be to get that off the ceiling?"

NAPOLEON'S Mother: "All right, young man, I don't care how bad your grades are, take that report card from out of your jacket and let's have a look at it."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S Mother: "What's with the stovepipe hat? Did you lose your baseball cap again?"

MARY'S Mother: "I'm not really upset the lamb followed you to school. But how did it get better grades than you?"

ALBERT EINSTEIN'S Mother: "But it's your senior picture! Can't you do SOMETHING about your hair?"

JONAH'S Mother: "That's a nice story, son. Now tell me where you've *really* been for the last few years."

PAUL REVERE'S Mother: "I don't care where you think you have to go, young man, or how many lanterns you have to hang ... your curfew is midnight!"

THOMAS EDISON'S Mother: "Of course I'm proud of you! Inventing the electric light bulb is huge! Now turn it off and get to sleep!"

CHARLES LINDBERGH'S Mother: "Really, Charlie? You don't have *any* friends who want to go with you? Not one?"

LEWIS and CLARK'S Mothers: "It's very nice, dear. Very detailed. But I said *take* a map, not *make* a map!"


[Crosswalk's You Make Me Laugh; edits and additional material by Mark Raymond]

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I know that not every woman on my list is a mother. I understand. And I know that there are some Moms out there who have lost a child and choose not to celebrate so much on Sunday. You have my sympathy and prayers. And for the guys who read this stuff ... hey, Father's Day is just around the corner.


Mark

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WEB SITE of the WEEK: Every day city, state, and federal government agencies across this great land excess equipment, vehicles, and furniture they no longer want. You can get some pretty sweet deals at http://www.govdeals.com/ ... but you have to be willing to pick it up from the agency selling it.

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Mark's Musings is sent each weekday using Ezine Director and I pay a little extra every day to make sure those folks are certified by Habeas to be a safe sender of e-mail. That means you can trust what I send. And I promise never to send spam or give your address to anyone who will, no matter how financially lucrative that may be. On that you have my word. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click your day away at my web site. (There are years of archival jokes and links, for instance, and at least three years of "Web Sites of the Week" to browse. More to come, one day.) To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. On Sunday I will be celebrating my 52nd trip around the sun. Just in case you wanted to know. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Does your mother know you forward this without the credits? Original material and musings © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of my e-mail post daily and occasionally with "bonus material" whenever the mood or muse strikes. Look for the label that says "bonus" and you can bring it all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. This post not valid with any other offer.

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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "There is still no cure for the common birthday." (John Glenn, upon announcing his retirement at age 75)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Church Glossary

As I mentioned on Monday, today is the National Day of Prayer.

It seems to me that, as a nation, we could certainly use it.

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WORDS THAT SHOULD BE IN A CHURCH GLOSSARY

Hymnastics: The entertaining body language of your song leader.

Narthexegesis: Post-sermon commentary by the laity in the lobby after church.

Pewtrify: To occupy a precise spot in the sanctuary seating for more than 15 years without once showing signs of sentient life.

Hymnprovisation: The abrupt and unannounced transition from one song to another.

Proliferation: A growing mob of anti-abortion activists.


[selected from an article in Leadership Magazine by Rob Suggs, via Your Weekly Church Laughs]

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WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)

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Mark's Musings comes on an RSS Feed or in your Inbox via e-mail each weekday. Get your own subscription - for free! - by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Foxhole

Trolling the web for something interesting last night, this story grabbed my attention. Perhaps because it happened just about an hour south of here.

In a Detroit neighborhood, a woman heard the burglar alarm at her next door neighbor's house go off. She went to the window and looked across the driveway that separated their property to see three men in the midst of a breaking and entering act.

One of the men noticed her observing them, pulled out a weapon and fired at her. The woman was struck by the shot but escaped serious harm, however, when the bullet was deflected ... by the underwire in her bra.

And you thought I was kidding.

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A young soldier fighting in Italy during World War II managed to jump into a foxhole just ahead of a spray of bullets. He immediately attempted to deepen the foxhole, for more protection.

As he was frantically scraping at the dirt with his hands, he uncovered a silver crucifix, apparently left behind by a previous occupant of the foxhole.

As the frightened soldier stared in wonder at the crucifix, another figure leapt into the foxhole next to him. The soldier turned to discover that the new occupant was an Army Chaplain.

Holding up the crucifix, the young soldier cried, "Am I glad to see you! How do you work this thing?"

[ChapNotes via Wit and Wisdom]

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WONDER for YOUR WEEK: What's the purpose behind training bras? What can we possibly teach them?

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Post #500! // "Beriberi"


It's a good day for the number 5. Not only is it an important date for Hispanics (Cinco de Mayo), but today's issue is also the 500th posting here at the blog!

My wife would like me to remind you that May is Military Appreciation Month. (Our niece served two tours of duty in Iraq.)

Websites:

A Million Thanks.
Donate a phone card, care package, or gift card through the USO.
The official Department of Defense support page.

You could also stop by Karen Gulino's website. Karen would drive by an air yard everyday where $26 million military aircraft were being scrapped. She eventually began to buy scrap metal from old fighters and bombers, creating dog tags in support of peace. A portion of each one sold goes to support Fisher House, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers while they receive treatment.

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An inexperienced Army medic was stationed at a remote base in the South Pacific. One day he was puzzled about the treatment for one of his patients, so he radioed the mainland.

"I have a case of beriberi. What shall I do?"

The doctor on call was in a glib mood and radioed back, "Give it to the Marines. They'll drink anything."


[Net 153s Smile A Day]

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WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations." (David Friedman)

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Ten-hut! Mark's Musings will drop and give you 20 on an RSS Feed or be delivered each weekday to your Inbox via e-mail. Get your own subscription (it comes in General Issues) by clicking here. Disssssssmissed!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Violins


This is shaping up to be a big week around our household. My wife comes home today, it's my second week on the new job (still climbing that learning curve), Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, the new Star Trek movie opens on Friday, and the weekend brings not only my son's birthday, but my own birthday and, of course, Mother's Day. Lots to get ready for this week.

It was on this day way back in 1655 - let's see, that's 354 years ago - that a man named Bartolomeo Cristofori was born. Mr. Cristofori had at least one brilliant idea in his life: He replaced the string-plucking mechanisms on a harpsichord with levered devices called hammers. This allowed the player to adjust the volume of the instrument by applying more or less force to the hammer when played.

His original name for the new instrument was "Harpsichord-that-plays-soft-and-loud." (Well, no one said Bartolomeo was gifted in marketing.) As the instrument grew in popularity among musicians, the name was shortened to just "soft-loud" and eventually just "soft."

In Italian, the word for "soft" is "piano."

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A CLASSIC STORY OF ONE-UPMANSHIP

Three violin manufacturers had all done business on the same block for years and years in the small town of Cremona, in Italy.

After years of peaceful coexistence, the Amati shop placed a sign in the window that read, "We make the best violins in Italy."

The Guarneri shop, two doors down, followed suit shortly thereafter but their sign read, "We make the best violins in the world!"

Finally, the Stradivarius family, who owned the shop right between the two, placed a sign in the window that read simply, "We make the best violins on the block."


[with thanks to Doc's Daily Chuckle]

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WORD for YOUR WEEK: The Old Latin word "altus" meant "high" (you can see where the word "altitude" originates) ... by adding the modifier "ex" to it you got the word "exaltare" ... or "out of high." Here, however, the prefix "ex" seems merely to be an intensifying addition. We know it as the word "exalt," which means to lift up on high, glorify, raise in rank. As in, "the music was so triumphant it exalted my spirit to the heavens."

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Mark's Musings plays an RSS Feed and also grooves into your Inbox via e-mail each weekday. Get your very own subscription by clicking here. We could make beautiful music together.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Pablo Picasso


My wife is in Florida as I write this, on her semiannual trip to help her Mom transport her stroke-impaired stepfather to and from their winter home near Tampa. (Thanks to Tampa International Airport Chaplain and list member Shields Moore for greeting her upon arrival. Shields also runs his own list, called "ChapNotes.")

So, back home here in Michigan, it's just my daughter, Amanda, and I this weekend.

Pray for us. If things go as they normally do, by the time Bonnie returns on Monday, our house will look like a Picasso painting.

Speaking of which....

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THE WIT AND WISDOM OF PABLO PICASSO

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.

There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot and there are others who transform a yellow spot into the sun.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

I always do what I cannot do so I learn how to do it.

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.

Good taste is the enemy of creativity.

We all know that art is not the truth, art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.

I'd like to live like a poor man with a lot of money.

We always have a lot of reasons but only one real one.

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.


[selected from artblog.net]

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So, I've told you about my weekend often enough. What are you doing over the next two days?

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WEB SITE of the WEEK: The Swine Flu is all up in our face via the news these days, so this may be a good time and place to find out more about it, thanks to Live Science at http://www.livescience.com/health/090427-flu-q-and-a.html. It's actually a four-part article, but this page will give you a good overview. There are links at the bottom of the article to go back or go on if you want the whole magilla.

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Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed and also in your Inbox each weekday. Those e-mails are sent using Ezine Director and I pay a little extra every day to make sure those folks are certified by Habeas to be a safe sender of e-mail. That means you can trust what I send. And I promise never to send spam or give your address to anyone who will. Cross my heart. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click your day away at my web site. (There are years of archival jokes and links, for instance, and at least three years of "Web Sites of the Week" to browse. More to come, one day.) To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. If they crossed the swine flu with the bird flu, would you get the "When Pigs Fly Flu"? You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. The credits should cling to the post like a flood victim clings to a roof. Desperately. Original material and musings © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of what I post in the e-mail daily and occasionally with "bonus material" whenever the mood or muse strikes. Look for the label that says "bonus" there in the list on the right and you can bring it all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. This product is meant for entertainment and occasionally emotional enrichment purposes only.

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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that." (Alan Alda)