Saturday, February 28, 2009

Women and Men

So my band was asked to play for the Flint and Lansing area "Iron Sharpens Iron" Conference for Men at the end of March and April. We were politely asked to disinvite the two women who sing with us from the event, so we've replaced them with a couple of excellent male singers. Hey, we're not called "Subject to Change" for nothing!

Now, we could make a whole big post about the unfairness or seeming archaicness of that policy, but that's not where I want to go today.

The whole thing has me thinking about men and women and how we interact with one another. And I had a conversation with my wife the other day about how to motivate a man. (We needed to get some stuff done that we'd been putting off for awhile.)

So, in the hopes this helps, here's what I said about how to motivate a man. Ladies, if you need a man to do something for you, remember this: A man is only interested in doing something if it falls into one of these four categories:

It feels good.
It tastes good.
It pays good.
It will lead to one of those other three.

Take that to the bank. This may be one reason why we will never *voluntarily* do the dishes. And no, that wasn't the stuff we'd been putting off, in case you were wondering. But now you have the key that will unlock a man's motivation.

Now, for further understanding, here's a video from Mark Gungor's "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage" ... a shortened version of it made the rounds of the Web about a year ago. This is the extended version and runs a little shy of eleven minutes. If I haven't helped to clear things up for you, ladies, then he will, I'm certain.

And guys, pay attention, too. There's some sage words of wisdom in here for all of us, as well.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm Rich

The folks at Neatorama have stacked a pair of YouTube videos on their site that gives perhaps the best explanation of how our economy imploded due to the credit crisis.

Simple illustrations with some simple explanations can be found here. I'll put both videos on my own blog if you'd rather watch them here.

And if you want to know how much your own state is getting, check the site that list member LaVonne T. sent me here.

There. As promised, two links for the price of one to make up for yesterday. (But wait, there's more below!)


By Economist Robert Heilbroner


1. Take out all the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. For a bed, use blankets or pads.

2. Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit, shirt, or blouse. Leave only one pair of shoes.

3. Empty both the pantry and the refrigerator except for a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions, and a dish of dried beans.

4. Dismantle your bathroom, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in your house.

5. In fact, take away the house itself and move your family into your storage, garden, or tool shed.

6. Place your new "house" in a Shantytown, with hundreds of others exactly like it.

7. Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs. This is no great loss because now you have to imagine that none of you can read, anyway.

8. Imagine there is only one radio for your entire Shantytown.

9. Move the nearest hospital or clinic ten miles away and put a midwife in charge instead of a doctor.

10. Throw away your bank books, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars.

11. Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate, on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops ... one-third of which will go the landlord and at least one-tenth to the money lenders.

12. Take your average life expectancy and lop off twenty-five years. At least.

Now you are living in the same conditions in which well over one billion people on the planet live. How rich we are, indeed! Use that wealth responsibly and with compassion.

[Monday Fodder via Wit and Wisdom]


I thought that with the economy tanking and Wall Street so apparently slow to respond to any kind of "stimulus," we could use a reminder that we are still perhaps the wealthiest nation on the face of the earth.

Be well, stay in touch, and I'll see you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: Okay, I confess I haven't tried out this website yet, but I'm just itching to get into it as soon as the half dozen hot potato issues I'm juggling have stopped trying to burn my hands. Check out, a free site for tracking and managing your money. The reviews are great and it genuinely appears to be helpful. For once, you can review it before I get my grubby little mouse all over it and hey, you tell ME what it's like. I do like the look of the little I've seen, though. It appears to depend heavily on you doing all your banking and bill paying online.


Mark's Musings is sent using Ezine Director and 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. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click to your heart's content at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. Or click there. I really have no control over where you click, now, do I? Hey, you can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Credit detachment is a gruesome, nasty business, and leaves a stain on your rug. Original material and commentary © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of my post daily and occasionally toss in bonus material whenever the mood strikes. Look for the label that says "bonus" and you can bring them all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. We get our new bed today. Yayyyy!


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "For money you can have everything, it is said. No, that is not true. You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship; servants, but not faithfulness; gray hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace. The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That cannot be had for money." (Arne Garborg)




Thursday, February 26, 2009

Comedy Day One-Liners

It's nearly one a.m. on Thursday morning here in Michigan and I've just returned from helping my son get set up in his own apartment. Plus we dropped a really heavy board on my foot. That's going to leave a mark.

So what I'm saying is just the joke today. I'll provide a double pair of links in tomorrow's post.



I'm an Amnesia Prophet. I know in advance what I'm going to forget.

I went to a Grateful Dead concert once and they played for SEVEN hours. That was a great song, man.

I don't kill flies, but I like to mess with their minds. I hold them above a globe and listen to them shriek, "Whoooaaa, I'm waaay too high!"

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel last week and they had towels from my house.

I play golf even though I hate it. Haven't finished a game yet. I hate those windmills.

I come from a really small, poor town. They couldn't even afford to change the population number on the city limits sign so whenever someone had a baby, somebody else had to leave.

[ with edits and additional material by Mark Raymond]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "For in him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28)


Mark's Musings can come on an RSS Feed or via email each weekday. Get your own subscription - for free - by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kitchen Note

It's Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Lent. If you don't count Sundays, there are now 40 days between this moment and Easter.

For Lent this year, I've decided to give up my son.

No, not really, but he is moving out today ... probably for good. At least if everything goes well.

He landed a good job, his own apartment, and a new car ... all in the space of the last week. (To be fair, he had spent a month as a paid intern at the company training sessions prior to all this.) For the record, he's worked very hard to achieve this, and we couldn't be prouder of him.

But, by this time tomorrow, Matthew will be well and truly on his own, our house will be a little emptier, and our daughter will have that much more room to grow up in.

It's shaping up to be an interesting Easter season.


My wife, often busy, had a bad habit of leaving pots and pans on the stove with the burners on. So she resorted to posting herself a reminder on the kitchen door. It said, "STOVE!"

One weekend my son, who had been away at college, came home. The next morning there was a second sign taped up below the first. It said, "NO! DOOR! Trust me, I've been to college."

[Good Clean Funnies List]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Why does it take so many things to prove you're smart but only one thing to prove you're dumb?


Mark's Musings can be boxed up into an RSS Feed or moved into your Inbox via email each weekday. Get your own subscription here, and never pack up my credits.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Parental Stress

Today is Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. The one day of the year you're *expected* to eat a donut. So go ahead. Sink your teeth into that fruit-filled goodness. No guilt today. Not even a little, okay?


Now here's just a nice story. At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, they're building a new wing, named after Thomas and Jean Yawkey, founders of several philanthropic foundations and responsible for donating millions to help the Boston area year after year.

But this isn't about the Yawkeys. It's about the construction crew putting up the building. The Iron Workers of Local 7. You see, they've gotten into the habit of spray-painting the names of the children with cancer onto the I-beams of the wing's new infrastructure. Read the story. The kids - and the parents - are thrilled.



What color hair does my daughter have today?

For fathers: Realizing there are boys out there who are just like you were at that age.
For mothers: Understanding that children are no longer allowed to simply be children.

Drug-using, tabloid-starring, foul-mouthed role model of the week.

I.B.S. (Irritable Baby Syndrome)

The mute button breaks halfway through a "Hanna Montana" 24-hour marathon.

You find an empty box from a home pregnancy test.

That same pregnancy test is positive. And you're 56.

[selected from Chris White's Top Five on Parenting with edits and additional material by Mark Raymond]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "It's not only children who grow. Parents do, too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun unless I'm willing to reach for it myself." (Joyce Maynard, slightly paraphrased)


You can get Mark's Musings on an RSS Feed and also via email each weekday. Get your own nice subscription by clicking here. It's free!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Is there anything exercise can't do for you?

Scientific American now lists it as one of their six easy ways to boost your brain power.

Guess I *really* need to stop putting it off.


I've started an exercise program. I do 20 sit-ups each morning. That may not seem like much, but you can only hit that "snooze" button so many times.


List member Dave A. wrote to say he uses that Garlic Diet. He doesn't lose any weight, he just looks smaller from a distance.


I know some people who are so fat their belly button doesn't have lint ... it has sweaters.


My gym teacher told me to touch my toes. I said, "I don't have that kind of relationship with my feet. Can I just wave?"

[selected from reader feedback and Butler Webs]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: "Orbis" is the Latin word for a disc, or a hoop. You can see where the word "orbit" originates from. "Orbita" was used to refer to the tracks a wheel made, or a rut in the road. When you add the modifier "ex" to the front of the word, you add the phrase and meaning "out of" to the word. We now know it as the word "exorbitant," which means a deviation from the normal course of things. As in, "Margo went to exorbitant lengths to make sure she got her daily exercise."


Mark's Musings is packaged for your RSS Feed Reader and can also be delivered via email to your Inbox each weekday. Exercise your right to your very own subscription for free by clicking here. Keep these credits on for four more forwards. And three. And two ... and four more!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

So What's It All Mean?

That's the tag question at the end of this video. I welcome your comments.

The background music is, IMHO, a tad annoying, but the information is fascinating.

And daunting.

And yes, even a bit overwhelming.

God is still God, folks. Nothing we do, say, invent, revolutionize, hypothesize, romanticize, sing about, or create will ever change that.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

38 Things You Probably Never Needed to Know About Me

So there's this "tagging" thing going around on Facebook that used to go around on email but email is, like, so five minutes ago, y'know? Anyway, thought I'd also post it here for your weekend's "bonus" content.

My Dad said I was named after one of his friends, but if I ever met the man, I don't remember him.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Oh, I cry all the time. Usually when I'm talking about something the Lord has done in my life, or when I'm trying to tell a moving story, or how proud I am of my kids ... but I think the last time was when I tried reading Scripture out loud to the congregation at church on a Sunday morning.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? If I don't, who will?

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Turkey and ham mixed together. Hamkey?

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? A boy and a girl. I'd die for either.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I would so be friends with me. I'd have my baby.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Like I need to answer this question.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Not unless they've grown back.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not even if my life depended upon it.

10. FAVORITE CEREAL? Don't eat cereal enough to have a favorite. Favorite breakfast, though, is a Farmer's Omelette. The more veggies and cheese, the better.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Usually, but it depends on how tired I am. On those nights I just want to fall into a coma, it's slip-off city.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Chocolate. Seriously, isn't this really everybody's favorite? Deep down inside?

13. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Man or woman? Most of the time I can spot that kind of thing right off.

14. RED OR PINK? Black.

15. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That I'm not comfortable in my own skin. Wish I was skinnier and had more hair. And nice teeth. And a better singing voice.

16. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My son. Moving out of the house — for good? — in less than a week.

17. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jeans and sneakers. I'd wear blue jeans every day if I could. Love 'em. Canyon River Blues. Most comfortable denim on the planet.

18. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The clock in my office ticking. The sound of my fingers typing. The cat purring at my feet. The furnace's soft susurration as it pushes warm air through the vents.


20. FAVORITE SMELLS? Coffee in the morning. My wife's China Musk perfume. The pages of a new book.

21. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My wife on the cell, a coworker on a land line.

22. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Baseball, but not on TV. I'm asleep by the third inning. Football you watch on TV, baseball must be watched in person.

23. HAIR COLOR? Clear.

24. EYE COLOR? Can't see my own eyes. Let me check a mirror. Wait here.

25. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Used to. Gave 'em up when I needed bifocals.

Kind of an aqua blue-greeny color.

26. FAVORITE FOOD? Oh, it's all good awesome when you're hungry enough. Favorite guilty pleasure food? Popcorn at the movies.

27. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. Every time.

28. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The International w/Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. Meh.


30. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs from friends. Kisses from my missus.

31. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Star Trek Destiny Book I. (On loan from my son's collection.)

32. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? My mouse, silly.

33. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? An episode of "Leverage" from the DVR.

34. FAVORITE SOUND(S)? The sound the time clock at work makes when I run my timecard through it every night. The sound of a lot of people singing the same song I am. A capella. The sound my wife makes when...never mind, you don't need to know that one.

35. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles. Definitely.


37. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Too many to list. Including conceit. (That's a talent, right?)

38. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Traverse City, Michigan. Caesarian Section. On a Friday. Went from the hospital to the church that Sunday and was dedicated.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Animal Control

(Thanks to "Da Mouse" for today's photo.)

Ever lost a pet? What do you do? Scour the neighborhood, maybe knock on a few doors?

Well, now you can send a postcard with a picture of your pet and some details about it to 1,000 people (or more) in and around the place you last saw your animal.

Lost Pet Cards provides this service for $450 and up - depending on how many cards you want sent. That seems like a lot to me, but some pets are more beloved than others and may certainly be worth it.

Thanks to list member Corinne J. for the link and the heads up.



10. "Hamsters! Why does it always have to be hamsters?!"

9. "No sweat. I saw the solution for this problem on an X-Files rerun."

8. "Ummm, now would be a good time to run."

7. "Well, it's not like you actually *use* your attic much, is it?"

6. "The rescue is free, ma'am, but the truck, gas, uniform, and net costs $720."

5. "Oh, I see. It's just a toupee. Well, I'll just take these traps back to the truck, then."

4. "Have you considered just letting the raccoons stay? Maybe charging them rent?"

3. "Next time, sir, remember that kittens and revolvers don't mix. Especially at bath time."

2. "Sorry, ma'am. Honest mistake. Here's your baby back."


1. "No, I wouldn't worry. If it was rabies, by now you wouldn't be able to understand a single word I'm ghtydu thrints jornturlyoppy."

[selected from Chris White's Top Five on Pets; some small edits and a wee bit of additional material by Mark Raymond]


Well, my son got that job for which he was interning! Woo hoo! By this time next week he'll officially be an "Associate Software Engineer" with a big company about an hour from here. That means we have a week to get him moved, set up with his own apartment/household items/furniture, etc. And he's purchasing a much-needed new car, as well. Some of our belongings are going with him, so we're also on the lookout for replacements. Things are a bit frantic here. At the same time, I've once again begun editing the newsletter my Union puts out, and my wife is still seeing a couple more specialists for consultations and tests.

I think I'm beginning to understand why we don't have time or energy to dust. Hey, I'll see you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: One of you out there - and I apologize I don't remember who - once tried to get me to hook up with Twitter, which is becoming the new "it" application for us webheads and cutting edge Internetski's to use. At that time I couldn't handle trying to learn a new application and still deal with my website, blog, email backlog, etc. Well, I'm kind of still in that place but I have finally set up an account on and found a way to hook my blog into it so I don't have to update it every day, though I do try and look in on it daily. So yeah, go ahead and join or befriend me there, if you haven't already. Maybe we can even start a "Friends of Mark's Musings" group!


Mark's Musings is available on an RSS Feed and also comes via email each weekday. It's sent using Ezine Director and 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. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click to your heart's content at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. Whatever will be, will be. Say, that would make a good song. But maybe in a foreign language ... German? (Was auch immer sein wird, wird sein.) Nah. Hey, you can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. I can't make you do that, of course, but I do appeal to the angels of your better nature to be kind to me. Original material and commentary © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of the post daily and occasionally toss in bonus material whenever the mood strikes. Look for the label that says "bonus" and you can bring them all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. And that, as they say, is that.


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad." (Arnold H. Glasgow)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Working Too Hard

Well, yesterday I gave you three links for the price of one, so forgive me if today I just do the joke.



...he doth speak verily to his children and wife, nay, his very helpmeet, thusly.

...he's marked the evening paper out in chapters and verses.

...he answers his home phone, "First Community Church."

...a list of genealogies moves him to tears.

...he starts parsing the verbs in Golf Digest, making notes for a sermon in the margins.

...he considers all the mail addressed to the church as personal.

...he comforts his 3-year old daughter, who's just skinned her knee, with the knowledge that "this will make a good sermon illustration."

...he counts going home for lunch as a pastoral visit.

[Robert Alstadt in Leadership magazine]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)


Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed and email each weekday. Minister to your Inbox with your own subscription - for free - by clicking here. Save the credits!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Schwartz and Feldman

So, the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" has been signed into law and we have just borrowed $787 *billion* from our children's future to help pull us out of a nasty recession.

You can, theoretically, download the entire 999-page bill with its 485 amendments in two parts ("Appropriations" and "Tax Provisions") here, though the links weren't working so well when I tried last night. I did find some of the 400+ Comments on the bill somewhat, umm, stimulating, however.

Another, more interactive tool to try and wrap your head around where this gargantuan chunk of money is going can be found here.

If you want to know the WIIFM (What's In It For Me), check out the H & R Block spin here.

And, of course, if you have no interest in any of this stuff, just read the joke and close your browser.


Schwartz and Feldman, partners in the garment industry, had just suffered through their worst season ever. 8,000 Madras sports coats were hanging on racks in their warehouse, unsold, and bankruptcy was looming closer each day.

Out of the blue, in walks a buyer from Australia. "G'day," he begins, "you blokes wouldn't happen to have any Madras sports coats, would you? I've been looking for them everywhere."

Schwartz says he MIGHT have a few left, he'd have to check the warehouse. Well, to make a long story short, before long a deal was struck to ship all 8,000 coats to Australia at a handsome profit.

But before he left, the Australian buyer says, "There is just one thing. For an order this large, I'll have to get confirmation from my home office in Sydney. I don't anticipate any problems, though, so unless you hear from me by Friday, plan on shipping the coats as we agreed."

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday passed slowly, with both partners nervously wondering if the Australians would cancel their order and ruin the business. Friday arrives. The morning passes without incident.

The afternoon drags on, but finally the partners allow themselves a little hope as they begin to close up shop late in the day. Five minutes before closing, however, the door opens and a messenger arrives, shouting, "Telegram!"

The partners froze. In a cold sweat and trembling, Feldman takes the telegram and opens it. Fearing the worst, his eyes slowly scan the words ... then his face lights up and with a beaming smile he shouts, "Schwartz! GREAT NEWS! It's just your brother! He's had a heart attack!"

[Pastor Tim's Pearly Gates]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: If every nation in the world is in debt ... where did all that money go?


Mark's Musings can come on your RSS Feed or each weekday via email. Stimulate your Inbox with your own subscription here. And never recess my credits.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Calling all prayer warriors: I received a couple of emails yesterday asking me to put the Musingites on their knees in prayer and positive thinking for some good people. And since I know you folks are *awesome* about that, I just had to pass these requests on. List member Pamela A. needs prayer for her sister Margo, struggling with ovarian cancer and finding an effective treatment for it. And list member Jonathan B. from Down Under needs prayer for his Mom in Seattle, who had a stroke this past weekend. And while we're on the subject, my own wife and I got our second series of test results yesterday trying to diagnose why she's dizzy, nauseous, and prone to nearly fainting. Sadly, they were pretty much all inconclusive and now we have to go visit three more specialists. Sidebar: You can find a post I wrote over two years ago about this "e-community of prayer" here.


Meanwhile, I read an article in Parade magazine this past weekend about obesity and what some countries are doing about it. In Japan, anyone over 40 has to have their stomach measured. If too large, they must reduce their weight or face being fined. (Call it a "fat tax.") The government of New Zealand will not allow you to immigrate to their country if they feel you are too large. The governments of Britain and Germany are also getting pro-active about their citizens' health.

Is it time for the U.S.A. to do the same? Post your thoughts here at the blog.




If you don't watch your figure ... no one else will.

A person who is overweight is going the wrong weigh.

I tried that garlic diet. I didn't lose any weight, but I did lose all my friends.


"Your Mama's So Fat..."

...I had to take a train and two buses just to get on her good side.

...she puts mayonnaise on aspirin.

...her belt size is "Equator."

...her cereal bowl comes with a lifeguard.

...her photograph has to be taken from a helicopter.

[with thanks to Daniel L. Worona and the Humor Archives]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Thin people are beautiful, but fat people are adorable." (Jackie Gleason)


Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed and email each weekday. Make your Inbox fatter with your own subscription by clicking here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Musical Lawyers

Hey, folks, the circumstances here may finally be right for my wife and I to give up the waterbed we've had for 25 years. There's a local place having a big sale on Serta's "Sleep Number" bed. But before we commit to a purchase, my wife wants to hear from some others who are using it or used to use it. So if you've had or have got one of those Sleep Number beds, let us know your thoughts.


My friends, these are sad times and the economic downturn has claimed another victim. You might say it was "The Day the Music Died." Elevator Music, that is.

Muzak filed for bankruptcy on February 10.



"For those parties of the first part about to rock, the party of the second part (hereafter "we") salute you!"

Plays for an hour, bills you for three.

"Farewell Tour" ads have fine print at the bottom: "Use of the term 'farewell' does not constitute a binding agreement, should artist's financial circumstances render retirement impracticable."

Halfway through the fourth song, he has to have the stenographer read the lyrics back to him.

He used to sing in a "Limited liability partnership of musically-inclined adolescent males."

"ARE YOU READY TO ROCK??!!" (If so, sign here. And here. And here. Initial here. Sign here.)

[selected from and with thanks to Chris White's Top Five on Music]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Ancient Greek this week gives us the word, "myrioi" (mere-ee-oy) which meant "ten thousand" that was, in turn, deemed to be "countless." We know it as the word, "myriad" which means a great number (countless) or, in fact, ten thousand. The latter sense is nearly obsolete in English now. Example: "The scientist's machine counted a myriad of particles bombarding the liquid solution."


Mark's Musings comes on an RSS Feed and also via email each weekday. Your own subscription arrives in a neat little Inbox package each weekday for free by clicking here.

Friday, February 13, 2009


While scouting material for the Friday post late Thursday night, I stumbled upon a 16-minute short film called "Validation." It impacted me deeply and I just had to post it quickly.

Lately my wife has been having all kinds of trouble ... unexplained (as yet) dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, diarrhea, sweats, clammy skin, and she's prone to nearly fainting. We're going through a whole battery of tests to find out what's wrong. She's had a colonoscopy, a brain MRI, a complete blood workup, a cardiac stress test, a 5-hour fasting glucose test, a carotid artery doppler study, and we go see a neurologist next week. And since late January, she's been prohibited from driving due to her severe symptoms, though she hasn't been prohibited from working. Since her job has different hours than my job, I've been kind of running myself ragged trying to make sure everyone who needs to be somewhere gets there and, well ... she's sick and tired of being sick and tired and me, I'm just tired.

So when I saw this little film by Ken Kuenne, it just put a smile on my face. I hope it does for you, too. Everyone needs a little validation.

One note for the family-friendly purists, there is *one* h-e-double-hockey-sticks said in the film. The rest is absolutely G-rated.

If you don't feel better after watching it, I'll gladly refund your money.

The film won the award for "Best Live Action Short Film" at the 2007 Cleveland Film Festival.

In other news, Cleveland has a film festival....

Kiss Descriptions

Thanks for your Valentine Day suggestions for the missus and I. Not sure which one I'm doing even at this late date, but there were several possibilities.



"A kiss is a few bits of love compiled into a byte."

"A kiss is two divided by nothing."

"A kiss is a contraction of the mouth due to an expansion of the heart."

"A kiss is the reaction resulting from the interaction between two hearts."

"A kiss must be considered an investment that is profitable when returned."

"A kiss is one of those things for which the demand is always higher than the supply."

"A kiss is persecution for the child, ecstasy for the youth, and homage for the old."

"A kiss is divine."

"A kiss is a clean, green, renewable energy resource that works best when recycled often."

"A kiss is an oral stimulant taken by mouth that can often cure what ails you."

"A kiss is when the party of the first part and the party of the second part have reached a mutually beneficial understanding that two (2) pair of lips shall co-exist in, for all practical purposes, the same space and time for a temporary period."

"A kiss is that which will cost your career if experienced with anyone other than your spouse."

"I'm sorry. I'm not familiar with that word."

[selected from with lots of additional material by Mark Raymond]


I love Valentine's Day. Not because I'm a big romantic lug or anything, but because when Valentine's Day rolls around, it usually means that Spring Training is right behind! Woo hoo!

Remember to check out the blog. I've put up some extra bonus material this week. See you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: We all know how much our newly-elected President loves his tech. In fact, they finally encrypted his "Blackberry" enough to let him keep and use it, even as President, when every single email, phone call, text message, and document becomes part of the historical record. Or so we're told, anyway. So it should come as no surprise that under President Barack Obama the White House now has a blog. Seriously. And they update it a bunch. Check out Keep tabs on your First Family.


Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed and is sent each weekday via email using Ezine Director and 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. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click to your heart's content at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. Despite what Punxsatawney Phil said, we just had a week of a nice February thaw. If February keeps this up, it may yet get off my "most hated month" list. Hey, you can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Keeping the credits attached is as easy as doing nothing. Really. No, seriously. Original material and commentary © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of the post daily and occasionally toss in bonus material whenever the mood strikes. Look for the label that says "bonus" and you can bring them all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. What are you still doing up? Go to bed.


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures." (James Thurber)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Favorite Harmonica Player Buddy Greene.

Buddy, to some, is a legend in Christian music, if a bit obscure. You see, Buddy makes his living making music, writing songs, and playing concerts, but he's never gotten much radio airplay, so not many people know about him. If you've heard the Christmas classic, "Mary, Did You Know?" then you've heard some of his work. Buddy co-wrote that song with Mark Lowry.

But the man is something of a quiet virtuoso. Especially with a harmonica. Watch his guest appearance at one of the Bill Gaither specials, this one at Carnegie Hall.

You can find his website here.

Is It A Verb?

Okay, this has got nothing to do with Valentine's Day or couples, but it's just too goofy for me to pass up.

A new study out of the U.K. says that naming your cow and developing a comfortable relationship with it will make it produce about 68 more gallons of milk each year.

So be kind to your cows, people.

Hmmm. Maybe it has something to do with Valentine's Day after all.


When my daughter was younger and still learning the language, she asked me one day, "Dad, when you're going to give a horse some water, is it right to say you're going to water the horse?"

"That would be correct, honey."

"And that works for all the animals?"

"I suppose it does."

"Then," she continued, "I'm going to milk the cat."

[Joe's Clean Laffs]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)


Milk your own subscription - for free - by clicking here. Mark's Musings is available each weekday via email and also on an RSS Feed with a click over there to the right.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Male Makeup

Couples are often attracted to each other in the beginning by simply making an effort to look good. It's the simple chemistry of hormones+pheromones+good looks = romance.

Fortunately for me, my wife didn't let that stop her and dated me anyway. I'm the kind of guy who's really handsome ... after you get to know me (and my inner stud muffinness can shine through).

More and more in today's society I've noticed that the standard for male attractiveness seems to be kind of "the great unwashed" look ... the beginning of a beard, shirt tails hanging out, and a head of hair that looks like it spent a restless night tossed on a sea of pillows.

Well, believe it or not, now there's a product that can actually help your hair *acquire* that look. It's called "The Uncomb." To buy one, you click the "Buy" link and then navigate to your state. A list of stores that carry Fred's products will come up.


If men wore makeup, of course

Acne Commando Zit-O-Flage

Blemish Buster 6000 Mark IV Turbo


Go Ahead, Make My Face

Max Tractor

Rev On

Oil Change of Olay

Cover Guy

[Chris White's Top Five on Health and Beauty; additional material by Mark Raymond]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Is it possible that blondes also prefer gentlemen?


Mark's Musings comes in an RSS Feed and also via email each weekday. Put the finishing touches on your Inbox with your own subscription here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Prisoner

Continuing our march to Valentine's Day, here's a link to the Dumb Little Man blog for "10 Ways to Say 'I Love You' Without Speaking A Word."

Nothing at all in there about fist bumps.


Jimmy was sent to prison for his crimes, but upon arrival at the correctional facility, he told the warden he wasn't at all worried about his future. He knew he wouldn't have to serve the full term of his penalty.

"Why's that, Jimmy?" the warden asked. "Sure of your appeal, are you?"

"No, sir." Jimmy replied.

"Already making plans to escape, then?"

"Not a one, Warden."

"Then why are you so sure you'll be out of here before your time is up?"

"Well, Warden," says Jimmy, "it's like this. In the entire time I've been married, my wife has yet to let me finish a sentence!"

[Pastor Tim's Clean Laughs; additional material by Mark Raymond]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket, or a holding pattern over Philadelphia." (Judith Viorst)


Mark's Musings: Get it on an RSS Feed or via email each weekday. You can fall in love with your own subscription by clicking at the end of this sentence. It's free!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Valentine's Groaners

Okay, Valentine's Day is coming up and rather than wait until the last minute, I thought I'd give you a few days to order something special for that special someone.

Reader's Digest has "10 Gifts You'll Love to Give" to your dog, your spouse, your best friend, etc. They run from just a few dollars all the way in to the hundreds.

Of course, I can't get any of these as a surprise for my own wife, as she receives this post. So if you have any inexpensive yet original and, of course, incredibly romantic ideas for what a busy man can get for the wife who does everything - but is still not feeling so well - let me know.



If you give someone a really small Valentine's Day card, that's called a "Valentiny."

I told you about the painter who was in love, didn't I? He loved a girl with all his art.

So what's a good gift for the man who loves his car this time of year? A Valenshine!

Two boat oars went out on a date. They dined and wined and were very row-mantic.

I saw a pig give a box of chocolates to another pig. Apparently it was Valenswine's Day.

What did one pickle say to the other on Valentine's Day? "You mean a great dill to me."

Why do valentine's come in the shape of a heart?
Because a spleen would be pretty gross!

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Jimmy who?
Jimmy a kiss?

[from Mikey's Funnies, JokeMaster, and the mind of Mark Raymond]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: The Arabic word al-qubba meant "the vault" ... the Spanish called it "alcoba" and English uses the French version: Alcove. An alcove is a small recess in a wall or a small secluded space connected to a room.


Mark's Musings is available on an RSS Feed and you can love receiving your own subscription each weekday for free by clicking here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Somebody Give This Guy Money

List member Rick H. recently sent me a link to a very interesting piece of technology. You know how they have little robots who vacuum your house or clean your gutters? Well, this robot will shovel your driveway when it snows.


But the development team still needs some investment capital. So go. Watch. Give.

For the sake of all of us who live in places where it snows.

Friday, February 06, 2009


My best friend's youngest daughter is getting married tonight. To a Marine. Semper Fi!

Best wishes and congratulations, Betsy and Blake!

Meanwhile, 25 years down the road together with my own wife ... well, I've learned a thing or two.



Men, remember that no man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

My wife has trouble opening jars. Apparently that involves a different set of muscles than slamming doors.

It's said that a woman worries about her future until she takes a husband. A man never worries about the future until he takes a wife.

If your wife laughs at your joke, you either have a good joke or a good wife.

Losing a husband can be hard. In some cases, it can be nearly impossible.

Men, don't even think about bigamy. The punishment is *two* mothers-in-law.

It is said the wise never marry, for when they marry they become otherwise.

Never argue with a spouse who is packing your lunch or your parachute.

Before we got married, I caught her in my arms. Now I catch her in my wallet.


My coworkers sympathized one day when I was complaining that my back hurt after moving some furniture.

"Why didn't you wait until your husband got home?" they asked.

"Well, I could have," I replied, "but I find the couch is easier to move if he's not on it."

[selected from all over the Web by Mark Raymond]


Well, Bonnie passed her first couple of tests with flying colors, but she has three more to go next week while we search for the answer to what is ailing her. So please continue to keep her in your good thoughts and kind prayers.

Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend. I know I will. See you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: I enjoy reading book series. I've made my way through Terry Pratchett's Discworld and C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy and Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkein's work, as well as some stuff by Stephen Brust. I'm currently doing three concurrent series from Clive Cussler, Piers Anthony, and the host of writers who do the Star Trek books. (Not to mention the two dozen or so books I've been given by friends who highly recommend them. Whoops, I just mentioned them, didn't I?) Anyway, I generally don't have any trouble figuring out what to read next. But if you do, then maybe is a good thing. Of the dozen "sliders" listed, you can select four in categories that interest you and even adjust how much of that characteristic you want. Then the site will recommend several books - with short reviews - and even give you a brief excerpt to see if you like the writing style.


Mark's Musings is sent using Ezine Director and those folks are certified by Habeas to be spam-free. That means I'll never email you spam. Ever. Not even once. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise click to your heart's content at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. At last, some warmer weather this weekend. I tell you what, I've had it with winter. We're quits. I'm breaking up with winter. We're just going to have to start seeing other people. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Keep your arms and the credits inside this message at all times until the post has stopped moving. Original material and commentary © 2009 by Mark Raymond. I update this blog with a copy of this post daily and occasionally toss in bonus material on the weekends (or whenever the mood strikes). Look for the label that says "Weekend" and you can bring them all up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. Hey, "Semper Fi" would be a good motto for marriage, too, wouldn't it?


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends." (Homer)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

911 Call

During those periodic lean times in our family budget, my wife and I have often discussed eliminating our house phone "land line" to save $30-$50 each month, and just use our cell phones. Now that everyone in our family owns one, it's an attractive option but still, we just plain like the convenience of a home phone and the assurance of something close to grab if we have to call 911 in an emergency.

Well, now you can combine the best of both worlds for under $80 with a device from a company called X-Link. If your cell phone is Bluetooth-wireless-enabled, you can plug the X-Link box into your house lines and when your cell phone is near it, it will automatically route your cell calls to your house phones. It can handle up to three cell phones and offers three distinctive rings, so you can tell whose cell phone is ringing. For an additional $30, you can keep your land line and still route your cell calls to your house phones.

It may be time to take that next step into the future, honey...


Part of my job as a 911 dispatcher is to interrogate callers who are in various states of panic so I can send the appropriate emergency response.

One day a woman called to say that a family member had fallen and needed to go to a hospital.

After finding out her address and assuring her the paramedics would arrive shortly, I asked her, "Do you know what caused the fall?"

"No," the woman said nervously, "what?"

[Doc's Daily Chuckle]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)


Mark's Musings is on an RSS Feed and is also sent each weekday via email. Get your own subscription - for free - by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Where Am I?

Samantha Scafe is an I.T. Specialist in Australia. She's also a pretty big woman, about 160 kilograms (that's just over 350 pounds for those of us in the U.S.A.).

Yesterday she had to fly from one Queensland city to another. The airline told her she'd have to purchase two seats.

And then they added insult to injury ... the seats were in two different parts of the plane.

Now that's just cruel.


A businessman had a tiring day on the road. He checked into the local hotel and, because he was concerned the dining room might close soon, left his luggage at the front desk while he went immediately to eat.

After a leisurely dinner, he returned to the desk to retrieve his luggage and realized he had forgotten to pick up his key. He also had forgotten his room number.

So he said to the clerk on duty, "Hello, I'm Henry Davis. Can you tell me what room I'm in?"

"Certainly, sir," replied the clerk. "You're in the lobby."

[Joe's Clean Laffs]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Why do pilots tell you they're making their final approach to the runway? Did they make other approaches they *didn't* tell you about?


Mark's Musings comes in an RSS Feed and also via email each weekday. Take off in your own subscription by clicking here. The daily flights are free.