Monday, August 31, 2009

Filing Cabinet

So what's your personal filing system? The late Andy Warhol used boxes.

610 of them, actually. Each held an average of 400 items. Most of it was useless "ephemera," as his archivists call it, but one of the boxes held about $17,000 in cash. He used these boxes as a "time capsule" and you can read more about what was in them here.

Personally, I use a piling system.

One pile for things I won't do now. Another for things I won't do later, and a BIG pile for things I may never get done.


So I went to the dentist recently, and you know how those chairs go up and down? Mine went backward and forward.

I thought to myself, "This is new."

Then I heard my hygienist say, "Mr. Raymond, could you please climb out of the filing cabinet?"

[Clean Humor Digest]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Remember a couple weeks back I talked about the difference between "loon" and "loony"? Well, list member Sharon K. did some research and while I talked about loony, she found out more about loons, as in the State Bird of Minnesota. She reports that because their feet are so far back on their body, they have difficulty walking on land and tend to stay away from it, except when nesting. The word "loon" probably derives from an old Scandinavian word - "lom" - which describes an awkward person. The walk of a loon is certainly awkward. Good job, Sharon!


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Friday, August 28, 2009

Edward Kennedy

I'm sure most of you are aware that Edward "Ted" Kennedy passed away this week, succumbing to brain cancer. Regardless of how you felt about his politics, he was the last of the influential Kennedys, a true Democratic icon who served in office for nearly 47 years, and one of the few Senators who would work vigorously *with* his opponents to accomplish legislation he felt was important to America.



"Frankly, I don't mind not being President. I just mind that someone else is."

"Don't sacrifice your political convictions for the convenience of the hour."

"There is no morality in the mushroom cloud. The black rain of nuclear ashes will fall alike on the just and the unjust. And then it will be too late to wish that we had done the real work of this atomic age -- which is to seek a world that is neither red nor dead."

"Well, here I don't go again." (said upon his decision to not run for President in 1988)

"One of the few positive results of the Vietnam War is the irresistible momentum it gave Congress ... to pass legislation lowering the voting age to 18."

"What we have in the United States is not so much a health-care system as a disease-care system."

"I won't yield to anyone about guns in our society. I know enough about it."

"I hope for an America where we can all contend freely and vigorously, but where we will treasure and guard those standards of civility which alone make this nation safe for both democracy and diversity."

(eulogizing his brother, Bobby, after he was assassinated) "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it."

(John McCain, on Ted Kennedy) "My friend, Ted Kennedy, was famous before he was accomplished. But by the end of his life he had become irreplaceable in the institution he loved and in the affections of its members. He grew up in the long shadow of his brothers, but found a way to be useful to his country in ways that will outlast their accomplishments."

[selected from websites and resources all over the Internet by Mark Raymond]


I'll see you on Monday.


WEB SITE of the WEEK: Some time ago I wrote about "Bing," Microsoft's upgrade to their Live Search engine. But is it better than Google? Kim Komando points the way to a website that will run side-by-side comparisons of the two using the same search term at I love the name: Bingle.


Mark's Musings is sent each weekday - to nearly 600 of you - using Ezine Director and I pay a little extra every day to make sure my posts are certified by Habeas to be a safe source of e-mail. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise pleasantly click your mouse (and I recommend you also sip a refreshing drink) at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. To pat your head and rub your tummy, practice practice practice. I can't do it. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Cutting off the credits runs a cold, steel knife through their pride and then they go off to some seedy little corner of cyberspace and pout all weekend. Don't put that on your conscience. 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 all that extra material up with one click. Some of it is really cool, too. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. Find me on Facebook at You tried to pat your head and rub your tummy, didn't you? I know, I know.


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "We've all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it's more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors." (Norman Vincent Peale)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Short Books

I've taken a week off before, and I've certainly enjoyed some quiet moments with a good book during that time.

But I've never read *five* books on a vacation.

Yet that's just what they would have us believe President Barack Obama is doing this week.

Maybe he's just reading the first sentence of each paragraph...? Or maybe they're just really short books. Like these....


Short, *short* books.

1000 Years of German Humor

Code of Ethics for Attorneys

A Guide to Social Etiquette for Americans

Career Opportunities for Liberal Arts Majors

Gourmet Cooking with Tofu

Snorkeling in Norway

Famous Banjo Sonatas

A Bowler's Guide to Health and Fitness

[Net 153's Smile A Day with additions and edits by Mark Raymond]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody." (2 Corinthians 3:2)


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cubicle Maze

So how do you spend your time during the day? There is, apparently, such a creature as the "American Time Use Survey" and they've recently unveiled their study of how Americans spend their time - during each minute of the day - for the year 2008.

It's interesting to play around with the different metrics the graph is broken down into ... there I discovered that at the time I now get up in the morning, 95% of other people my age are still sleeping.

Like I needed a survey to tell me that.


My brother Jim was hired by a government agency and assigned to a small cubicle in a large office ... one of those "cube farms," as they are sometimes called.

At the end of his first day, he stood up to leave and realized he had no idea how to get out of his section. He began wandering around, lost in the maze of cubicle corridors and numbered doors.

Just as panic began to set in, he found another employee still at work in his cubicle. "How do you get out of here?" Jim asked.

The other fellow just smiled and said, "No cheese for you."

[with thanks to Reader's Digest]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Why is it that when what I want to do becomes what I *have* to do, I don't want to do it anymore?


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

PowerBook Failure

Imagine having a deep-storage battery in your basement; one that could power everything in your house without having to pay a cent to the power company. You recharge this battery by installing inexpensive solar cells or having micro-thin solar cells painted on to your windows with the most sun exposure.

That day is closer than you may think.

And don't let the fact that Ceramatec is owned by a trust run by a beer company magnate put you off. It appears to be the real deal.



A customer walked in to our shop one day with a dead PowerBook. He explained that the notebook computer "hung up" upon starting and, furthermore, the customer heard a "sloshing sound" from inside the casing while bringing it over to the shop.

"Has anything been spilt on this computer?" I inquired. The customer protested vehemently that no, nothing of the kind had happened. I took this with a grain of salt, understanding that probably no one would admit to doing something that wrecked the computer and totally voided the warranty.

Taking it back to my workbench, I powered it up and, sure enough, received an error message immediately after seeing "Welcome to Macintosh." I lowered my ear to the keyboard, at which point I heard a crackling sound and became aware of a rather sharp odor which seemed to emanate from inside the laptop. No sloshing sounds, however.

Flicking the computer off and unplugging the cord, I removed the battery from its compartment, only to observe that the entire battery casing was coated in a fluid which appeared to have a rainbow-like sheen, much like that in a puddle of soapy water ... oily and colorful. I also noticed that the same fluid was leaking out of the battery compartment and onto my static mat, but that liquid appeared clear rather than multi-colored.

My first thought was that the battery had leaked acid into the guts of the PowerBook, which would account for the sharp smell, yet the battery terminals were about the only part of the thing that were dry. Upon closer examination, I ruled the leaky battery theory out. The battery was wet, but not leaking.

Tipping the machine on its side, I watched as more liquid seeped out, pooling into a CD-sized puddle. I then separated the two halves of the PowerBook and the smell became a LOT stronger. The hard disk looked like a solid lump of rust, and the motherboard had about three barbecued chips. At this point, I had a pretty good idea what had happened, but I asked several of my coworkers in to take a look (and a sniff) and render their opinion, as well.

We were unanimous in our thinking, so I called the customer, who expressed some surprise when the first thing I did was ask if he had a cat.

As it turned out, he didn't have a cat, but he did have a "lovely, fluffy, bunny rabbit" who was seen in the vicinity of the PowerBook only the day before. Yes, there was no doubt, Fluffy had hopped onto the keyboard and downloaded some incompatible data. I checked the warranty, but alas, there was no provision for damage due to rabbit urine anywhere. He would have to buy a new machine.

A week later, after a thorough scrubbing of my work area, I contacted the customer to ask how he was enjoying his new PowerBook, if he had successfully restored his data, and, of course, how was his rabbit?

"Delicious," he replied.

[UK's Extremely Funny website]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "A person of intellect without energy is a failure." (Sebastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort, paraphrased)


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Monday, August 24, 2009

More Getting Older

ADMINISTRIVIA: So I've been working on my website a bit lately, and I'm ready to add the ubiquitous "FAQ" section (Frequently Asked Questions) you see on almost every other site. The only problem is I've been doing this so long, now, I can't think of anything a visitor or a new reader might ask.

Which is where you come in; especially if you're a relatively new reader of Mark's Musings. Please let me know what question(s) you might have - or did have - upon visiting my site or signing up for my ezine. Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled post.


In today's ever-evolving world of technology and society-changing laws, government programs, and other ongoing issues, the seniors among us are one of the hardest hit. Which is why AARP developed "Create the Good" - a website and organization that networks people and communities in volunteer efforts to aid and assist those who need it.



I have crow's feet around my eyes, and I'll tell you what, that is one big crow!

Every time I suck in my gut, my ankles swell.

I don't like to do things now that I did easily 20 years ago ... like look in the mirror.

Sometimes I feel old enough to be my own father.

I've started getting air guitar elbow.

I've noticed that my age seems to correspond inversely with the size of my multivitamin.

My neighbors have been married for 60 years and now look like identical twins. One of them wears a dress. I can't tell which one.

[selected from Butler Webs]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: "Anachronism." When you place a person or an object or an expression in the wrong historical period, you have created an anachronism. For example, I'm told that if you watch closely, you'll see a Rolex watch on Charlton Heston during the chariot race in Ben Hur, or Liam Neeson wearing a band-aid in one scene as Rob Roy. The word originally comes from Greek - "Ana" meaning "backward," and "khronos," meaning "time" ... an anachronism is something that literally is backward in time, or misplaced from its own time.


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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Beast

My band is the opening act this evening at a community concert set up to raise funds for Young Life. As laid back and fun-loving as that organization is, I'm sure they'd appreciate today's post.



666 - The main number of the Beast.

667 - The neighbor of the Beast.

670 - Approximate number of the Beast.

DCLXVI - Roman numeral of the Beast.

0.6666666 - Number of the MilliBeast.

1010011010 - Binary number of the Beast.

1-666 - Area Code of the Beast.

$665.95 - Retail price of the Beast.

$656.66 - Wal-Mart price of the Beast.

Phillips 666 - Gasoline of the Beast.

Route 666 - Highway of the Beast.

666k - Retirement Plan for the Beast.

666i - BMW of the Beast.

[selected from Mikey's Funnies]


I have a rare weekend off. I plan to catch up on a lot of missed sleep and enjoy myself thoroughly.

I'll see you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: So learn everything you need to know about Young Life - and get your teens or grand-teens involved in a local chapter - at


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. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise pleasantly click your mouse at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. I was so busy this week, even my appointments had appointments. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Credit detachment will shorten your lifespan. 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 all that extra material up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. Find me on Facebook at I know I'm high maintenance, but I have this nagging suspicion I'm worth it.


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet." (Damon Runyon)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Six Words

26 years ago today the woman there at the right agreed to intertwine her future with mine.

I cannot sing her praises enough, folks. She's funny, she's beautiful, she has such a kind heart, she's sexy, and perhaps most importantly, she seems to have not much trouble putting up with my stuff and nonsense.

She has also taught herself to be something of an amateur photographer. To celebrate this remarkable woman and her newly-found skills, I have placed several of her photos - we call them "Bonnie World" - in a special section of my website, accessible only from the link here. TIP - Want to see them even bigger? Right-click on the photo and then left-click on "View Image." (Works for Mozilla Firefox browsers only.)

I would love to build her a website where she could retail these pictures. For now, this is just my tribute to a very special lady who has come alongside me in this journey we call life.



Unending journey, undying passion, unclaimed baggage.

Romance blossomed then. Love blooms now.

Good housekeeper. I got the house.

First love lost, 14; married, 50.

After 30 years ... alone, not lonely.

He took my hoe. I followed.

Met very young. Growing old together.

[AARP magazine]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." (Proverbs 3:3)


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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now and Future

My in-house newsletter at work was recently singing the praises of Tumblr, a kind of combination of a blog and a social networking site.

It's connected to Twitter, it can be customized nine ways from Sunday, and you can post to it via web page entry, Twitter update, e-mail ... heck, you can even pick up a phone and leave an "audio blog" on the site.

Looks to me like it's just another nail in the coffin of you getting outdoors and having a real life.



Now: Instant Message each other on our iPhones.
Future: ESP each other from our iBrains.

Now: Read most of your news online.
Future: Read wireless updates on your eyelid screen.
NOTE: Eyelidding while driving outlawed in 32 states.

Now: Playing World of Warcraft in your parent's basement.
Future: Playing World of Warcraft with your kids.

Now: Speculate on the health of Steve Jobs.
Future: Speculate on the health of Steve Jobs' clone.

Now: install a wireless router in your home.
Future: install a wireless router in your brain.

Now: watch TV shows on the Internet.
Future: watch the Internet on your TV.
NOTE: Already beginning to happen.

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


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Since we don't use typewriters anymore, shouldn't "typos" now be called "keyboardos"?


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mystery Meat

Just the joke today, my friends. This is a crazy week around here. My daughter is in Swim Team practice every day, my wife is assisting with preparations for a big conference this weekend, I am working about 10 hours a day at the Post Office, and my band is playing twice this week with a pair of "dress rehearsals" as well. Mercy!

Not to mention that somewhere in there is our 26th wedding anniversary.

So, yeah, just the joke today. I've got to go grab my three hours of sleep.


One night when our children were young, my wife cooked up some venison steak for dinner. The kids had never eaten deer meat before, so I thought I'd have some fun with them. I asked them to guess what kind of meat they were eating.

"Is it beef?" Katie asks.


"Is it pork?" inquires William.


"C'mon, Dad," says William. "Tell us. We don't know what kind of meat this is!"

"I'll give you a hint," I say. "It's something that your Mom sometimes calls me."

"Spit it out, William!" Katie cries. "We're eating idiot!!"

[Linda Pulliam's Laughter Today]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Lust is easy. Love is hard. Like is most important." (Carl Reiner)


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Monday, August 17, 2009

Little Heart

Remember our "GKR of '08"? (Great Kitchen Remodel.) Well, I have finally posted "before and after" pictures at my website, in the photo gallery. While I was there I also updated all my "Web Site of the Week" picks so they're all gathered in one handy place for you.

And just so today's link is not all about me ... here's "six foods you must eat" to keep your heart healthy.


It was Jimmy's first day of kindergarten and the teacher was starting the class off by teaching her students about the Pledge of Allegiance. She instructed everyone to stand and place their hands over their hearts, and repeat after her.

Halfway through, however, she stopped as she noticed that Jimmy did not have his hand over his heart.

It was on the right cheek of his fanny.

"Jimmy," she scolds, "I will not continue until you put your hand over your heart."

"But it *is* over my heart," Jimmy protests.

Several futile attempts to persuade Jimmy to move his hand later, the teacher finally sighs and asks, "Why do you think that's where your heart is?"

"Because," Jimmy replies, "every time my Gramma comes to visit, she picks me up, pats me right here, and says, 'Bless your little heart,' and my Gramma wouldn't lie!"

[Jokes Central]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: So the family is at the Lugnuts game yesterday with a group from church, and the A-ball team from Lansing is playing the Great Lakes Loons (shut 'em out 4-0, too). Somewhere around the third inning, my son asks me about a loon and wonders if the bird is goofy enough that it inspired people to say someone acting crazy is "loony." The answer is no, the two words are unrelated, though I'm told the cry of a loon closely resembles the laughter of the stereotypical madman. "Loony," in the sense of being crazy or foolish, is a derivative of the word "lunatic." Lunatic, however, has a fascinating etymology. The Latin word for "moon" is "luna," and it was believed centuries ago that a person exposed to the light of a full moon would go temporarily insane, and was deemed to be a "lunatic." Even today when people act a little odder than normal, many of us wonder if there was a full moon out last night.


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Friday, August 14, 2009

What I've Learned, Part Two

Okay, here we go. It's your turn.


Part the Second

Age 11 - I've learned that Mom likes it when I call a male mannequin a fake dude. A female mannequin is called a fake dudette.

Age 38 - I've learned that if you passionately kiss a young lady in the exact manner she is kissing you, she'll think you're a great kisser.

Age 38 - I've learned that adding the right amount of sweet chili sauce will make almost any food tasty enough to eat.

Age 38 - I've learned it's best to teach your children to say "Momma" as their first word because that's who'll they'll call when they wake up in the middle of the night.

Age 38 - I've learned that being "cool" is worth nothing compared to being loved.

Age 45 - I've learned that no matter how strapped we think we are for cash, there's always some to be found for our family.

Age 52 - I've learned that the greatest truths in life are the ones we have to learn over and over again.

Age 53 - I've learned that it's better first to listen, next to think, and only then to speak ... or not speak.

Age 54 - I've learned that there are second chances.

Age 54 - I've learned you can't live in the "what if's" or the "only if's," you need to forgive yourself for past choices and get on with living.

Age 56 - I've learned to do what you do, and do it well.

Age 56 - I learned that I don't know everything and I don't *need* to know everything.

Age 59 - I've learned that I shouldn't ask for a lighter load, but for a stronger back.

Age 61 - I've learned that to acquire patience, you have to already have it!

Age 77 - I've learned that no matter how tough things are for you, there is always someone else who has it tougher ... so quit complaining and be thankful!

Age 78 - I've learned that not many people care what I say or think.

Age 79 - I've learned that the most important things in life aren't things.

Age 79 - I've learned that our lives, our health, our relationships, our legacy are what WE make them.

[submitted by Mark's Musings list members]


A little short-handed in my department at the Post Office, so my workload there has doubled, and I'm scheduled to work 12 out of the next 14 days. Fortunately, it's the kind of work I can leave at the time clock when I punch out.

So I'll see you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: Do you like chocolate? I mean, *really* like chocolate? Then visit I don't think I've seen a more complete site on one subject in quite some time.


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. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise pleasantly click your mouse at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. Lots of band rehearsals and concerts coming up next week. Pray for us. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Set a good example for your children. 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 all that extra material up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. Find me on Facebook at People who shave: you prefer electric or the classic razor blade?


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "Beware of the man who won't be bothered with details." (William Feather)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perpetuum Jazzile

When a nifty Young Life trick meets Toto meets a cappella group, you get ... this. Turn your speakers up to get the full impact of the introduction.

Thanks to Brenda Brissette-Mata and my wife for bringing it to my attention.

Hospital Bills

Well, it's too early to say concretely, but it appears that a common over-the-counter household pain killer may also kill cancer cells in your colon.

Aspirin, take a bowel.

Bow. I meant bow.



Billed: Mass Calculation Instrument Depreciation.
Translation: As fat as you are, we're sure you took a good six months off the life of our weigh scale.

Billed: Chemical system transportation and delivery components.
Translation: Those little plastic cups that carry your pills.

Billed: Antibacterial oral dentifrice and applicator.
Translation: Toothpaste and toothbrush.

Billed: Oxygen, $120.
Translation: We just wanted to see if we could sneak this one past you.

Billed: Visible-range electromagnetic intensity modulation.
Translation: We turned the lights on and off.

Billed: Pulmonary Function Test.
Translation: You blew in a plastic tube. We watched to see how high the ping pong ball went.

Billed: CT Head Scan.
Translation: We didn't know what was wrong with you. We guessed brain cancer.

Billed: Rehydrating H2O receptacle with thermally-adjusted fluid.
Translation: That pitcher of water you requested.

Billed: Therapeutic intravenal blood clot disruptor.
Translation: Two aspirin.

[Chris White's Top Five on Medicine; formatted and edited by Mark Raymond]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Train Ticket

Remember, you still have time to send me your "What I've Learned" comments. I just need your age and what you've learned. Any pearls of wisdom out of the mouths of babes - or grandkids? Older teens? College age and mid-20s? I'd like to gather as wide an age range as possible. Click the red link above to launch your e-mail program and send me your thoughts.

Meanwhile, if you periodically get the travel bug, much like my wife does, but don't have a ton of cash for travel, much like most of us, turns out all you need is an adventuresome spirit and these 12 tips for traveling the world ... free! (The travel, not the tips.)

I love the concept of "couch surfing."


Three lawyers and three engineers are all traveling to their respective conventions by train. The engineers watch as each lawyer purchases a ticket, but only one engineer purchases a ticket. "How are three people going to travel on one ticket?" one of the lawyers asks.

"Wait and see," replies one of the engineers.

They all board the train, which shortly leaves the station. Just as the conductor appears to be getting ready to collect the tickets, the three engineers get up one at a time and all climb into the bathroom together. The conductor knocks on the bathroom door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens a crack and an arm reaches out and gives the conductor the ticket. Satisfied, the conductor moves on. The lawyers watch in amazement and agree that this is quite the clever idea.

After their conventions are over, the lawyers decide to try this. They buy one ticket but, to their consternation, the engineers don't buy a ticket at all! "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" asks one perplexed engineer.

"Wait and see," comes the reply, once again.

Just after the train pulls out, the lawyers all climb into one restroom and shortly after the engineers climb into another across the aisle.

Then one of the engineers leaves their restroom and knocks on the door of the one the lawyers are in. He says, "Ticket, please" .....

[Pastor Tim's Pearly Gates]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Do they sell gum on a choo-choo train?


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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don't Tell Mom

Well, apparently while I was out of town last week, I missed "National Underwear Day."

Many retailers are holding sales and contests all month long, however.

In honor of today's topic, I'm keeping my remarks brief.



"The dog doesn't like dressing up in your underwear."

"Goldfish taste terrible!"

"But DAD says that word all the time!"

"My teacher wants to see you."

"What's it cost to fix a window?"

"Have you seen Freddy, my snake?"

"I painted your shoes real pretty, huh?"

[selected from Pastor Tim's Clean Laughs]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "So much kitchen equipment is bought indiscriminately in department stores by people who just come in for men's underwear." (Julia Childs)


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Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Groaners

Well, judging by the dearth of comments and reaction votes at my blog, y'all didn't miss me in your Inbox last week a'tall. And that's okay. Keeps me humble.

If, however, you're interested in what you missed, read it all right below.



In Singapore, a young lady stole some eye makeup and was sentenced ... to fifty lashes.

Our corner deli had a fire last week. They were right back in business the next day, though, selling smoked ham, smoked turkey, smoked cheeses....

What do you have if you cross a bullet with a dead tree?
A cartridge in a bare tree.

Do English sea monsters ever get tired of eating fish and ships?

I know some singers who have a waterproof voice.
They can't be drowned out.

Two inventory clerks were told to work overtime one night at the bottled wine and spirits warehouse. Their job was to make note of the alcoholic content on each bottle in stock. Joe would read off the label and Sam would jot it down on a clipboard. At the end of that long shift, Joe said he felt especially patriotic. "Why's that?" Sam asks. Says Joe: "I gave proof through the night."

[selected from JokeMaster with lots of editorial massaging by Mark Raymond]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: As I flew home yesterday, the storm clouds were gathering here once again. Michigan had just experienced two straight days of heavy storms and it looked like inclement weather was still in the region (in fact, it did storm again shortly after I walked into the house). The Latins gave us the word "clemens," which means gentle or merciful - note it in the meaning of the word "clemency" - and by adding the negative modifier "in" to the front of the word, you get NOT gentle or merciful: inclement. A word that now means rough, harsh, extreme, or severe.


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Friday, August 07, 2009

Bad Translations

Trying to keep myself up a little later so I get a bit more accommodated to Pacific Standard Time, I found a translation site that lets you type in an English phrase, and then it translates it into Japanese.

And then back to English, and Japanese, and English, and Japanese, and so on.

I'll list ten that I ran through the matrix and then list what the original was. See if you can guess before you read it.


1. Death and taxes is certainly nothing.
2. One, keep all the eggs.
3. Cold food is the best revenge.
4. In other words, it is impossible to attain all.
5. It is my pleasure to receive some personal information theft.
6. Farewell to a fool and his money.
7. Stupid angels fear to walk again.
8. Republicans. Two are in all aspects of the problem.
9. Zero growth is fonder.
10. The right one is not illegal.


1. Nothing is certain but death and taxes.
2. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
3. Revenge is a dish best served cold.
4. You can't win them all.
5. There is no honor among thieves.
6. A fool and his money are soon parted.
7. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
8. There are two sides to every question.
9. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
10. Two wrongs don't make a right.



Two more days at my convention here in Vegas and then a full day of travel on Sunday.

I'll see you on Monday. Back in your Inbox.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: Do you have an older driver in your life? Auto insurance giant AAA has tips, resources, and a "skill assessment" for you - and them - at There's an old joke about a table full of seniors going on and on about all their infirmities and at the end one of them says, "At least we can all still drive!" Use this site to help them stay on the road ... or know when to put the steering wheel in someone else's hands.


Mark's Musings is sent each weekday - beginning again on August 10 - 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. Subscribe, view past issues in my Archives, and otherwise pleasantly click your mouse at my web site. To contact me and sooner or later get a reply, click here. After three days in Vegas, I'm really starting to miss my family. This is not really a family town. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Please keep your hands off of my credits. On the post they're right after you read it. If you let them all go, then no one will know, the name of the person who said it. (The Credit Limerick) 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 all that extra material up with one click. My personal mission statement remains John 3:30. Find me on Facebook at Pray for my flights back on Sunday; I have to get on and off three separate planes.


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "Given the choice between two theories, take the one that is funnier." (Blore's Razor)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Scent Commitment

You know how some people don't just spray on perfume, they marinate in it?

Turns out that can occasionally cause problems.


A young woman is standing at the perfume counter, gazing at all the expensive bottles. She reads the names on them ... "My Sin" ... "Desire" ... "Ecstasy."

Then she looks up at the cosmetics clerk and says, "I don't want to get emotionally involved, I just want to smell nice."



WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor." (Ecclesiastes 10:1)


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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ad Execs

Well, I made it through my first day of workshops here in Vegas. It's a strange sort of dichotomy, though. I'm freezing in the frigid air conditioning of the classrooms, but I can feel my flesh begin to bubble from the heat when I venture outside for lunch. And I just can't get used to eating supper at what my stomach continues to insist is 9:00 at night. Should I want to stay up and walk the Strip after dark to enjoy all the neon, my brain will try to convince me it's well after midnight and a *sensible* person would be in bed.

And they've finally figured out a way to pull us geeks and nerds in. They have Star Trek slot machines. Oh, the greed.

I won $3.85.

Speaking of Geekdom ... there is a company that now wants you to invest in their technology and reserve your ad space.

On the moon.


So two ad executives were lunching together one day, when one of them says, "Where's Charlie Harris been hanging out lately? I haven't seen him in awhile."

The other exec replies, "You must not have heard. Charlie went to that Big Ad Agency in the Sky."

"What?" the first exclaims. "Good grief! What did he have?"

"Nothing much. A small toothpaste account and a couple of discount stores....."



WONDER for YOUR WEEK: A proof-of-purchase seal doesn't really prove that you purchased it, does it?


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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Movie Quotes

Sitting here at Gate Number One, in Flint's Bishop Airport, waiting for the first leg of my flight to Vegas. Thought I'd browse through some of my favorite blogs while waiting and ran across a reference to the American Film Institute's 100 Best Movie Quotes.

So we'll let that be today's link. You can find the list here. You'll need Adobe's Acrobat Reader.

If nothing else, all you Facebookers out there can access a ton of material for your Status Updates.

Flight Bump

Maybe I can post something later this evening, but right now I have no time for a link this morning ... I'm throwing a few more clothes into a suitcase and then heading out to the airport.

Today and Sunday are travel days, and for the four in between I will be attending the National Postal Press Association Convention in my role as Flint Michigan Area Local Union Editor.

Most every postal convention is held in Las Vegas, because the hotels and restaurants are so darn reasonable. Because that's not how this town makes its money, y'know?

Out of my five evenings in town, only two are not spoken for, and one of them is tonight, when I'm expecting to be worn out from the getting there.

So there's not going to be too much of an opportunity for me to do anything I'd regret later.

Not that I would, anyway.


I was sitting in the Phoenix airport, waiting for my flight, when I heard an announcement that the flight to Las Vegas was oversold and the airline was looking for people to give up their seats. They were offering a one-night complimentary stay at a hotel on the Vegas strip and a first class seat on the next flight there.

About eight people dashed up to the counter and then, about thirty seconds later, turned away with grumpy frowns and sat back down.

Then I heard another announcement.

"If there is anyone OTHER than the flight crew who'd like to volunteer, please step forward."

[Good Clean Funnies List]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Gambling is a sure way of getting nothing from something." (Wilson Mizner)


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Monday, August 03, 2009

Food Cuts

Kim Komando tells me and Mr. Google confirms that today is National Watermelon Day.

Be sure to check out the watermelon blog that links off that site, too.



Leftovers consist entirely on what you can retrieve from flossing.

You can call it "Dandelion Salad" all day long, but it's still just lawn clippings.

Your latest pick-up line: "Hey, beautiful ... are you going to eat that?"

Your food pyramid is just one story.

The gerbils went missing about the same time you served "Cornish game hen."

"A *whole* Saltine? What? Do I look like I'm made of money?"

You look for a wine that goes well with air.

"I don't have any idea what you're talking about. Now be quiet and eat your Corn Flake."

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


WORD for YOUR WEEK: My son wanted to know from where the phrase "same difference" came. It originally was used in the mid-1840s to define the difference between two people, things, or sets of things ... as in, "There is a wide difference between the rational gratification of human desires and the abusive indulgence of them. There is the same difference as between eating and gluttony or between drinking and drunkenness." But about 100 years later, we dropped the comparative examples and began using "same difference" as an idiom to mean that two things are essentially equal in nature. (What we are actually doing is saying that the *difference* between two things are equal, however.) As in, "smoking, suicide, same difference. You're still killing yourself."


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Simon's Cat in "Fly Guy"

Another video by our British friend Simon Tofield, who knows how to perfectly capture a cat's quirky essence.