Monday, November 30, 2009

Window Shopping

This past Friday is traditionally called "Black Friday" here in the States because it is the day when most people begin their Christmas shopping in earnest, the stores are flooded, sales are at an all-year high and the receipts at many stores pull that franchise "into the black" and a profitable corporate windfall. (Hence the nickname.)

Well, today is what online retailers are calling Cyber Monday, with hopes of doing the same thing for their virtual corporations.

Good luck to you all, and happy hunting.


One afternoon I was walking through the mall with my two young children, doing a little shopping, when a display in the window of a lingerie store caught my eye.

As I pointed to a lacy nightgown with a matching robe, I playfully asked the kids, "Do you suppose Daddy would like this?"

My six year old son looked horrified and said, "No way! Daddy would NEVER wear that!!"

[Joe's Clean Laffs]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: List member George J. asked me about the word "codger." I checked with all half dozen sources I use and threw in a couple more I scraped up and they all seem to agree that it's probably a slight alteration of the word "cadger," which meant beggar. Webster's definition of codger is currently, "an often mildly eccentric and usually elderly fellow." Which probably described many beggars, at least about the time the word was coined.


Mark's Musings comes on an RSS Feed and is also available each day via e-mail. Try on your own subscription by clicking here. You can return it for a full refund if it doesn't fit.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pigeon: Impossible

Here's a cute video I found on GodTube's Tangle video site for your Sunday morning chuckle. Just grazing on a little Web while waiting for my family to finish preparing for church.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Dad Says

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Christmas season is *officially* upon us. Shop safely, and remember that we buy one another gifts in honor of the One who gave us all the greatest gift in offering his son, Jesus. At least that's the way we look at it in my house.

I enjoyed spending time with my family yesterday. I'm not sure the family in today's post enjoys their patriarch quite as much, but what he says is certainly ... umm ... entertaining?



"Son, no one cares about all the things your cell phone can do. You didn't invent it, you just bought it. Anybody can do that."

"I hate paying bills. No, son, don't say 'me, too.' I wasn't saying it to relate to you. I said it instead of 'go away'."

"Oh, please. You practically invented lazy. People should have to call you and ask for the rights to lazy before they use it."

"I need to change clothes? Wow. That's big talk coming from someone who looks like they've robbed a Mervyn's."

"Just pay the parking ticket. Don't be so outraged. You're not a freedom fighter in the civil rights movement. You double-parked."

"No, you cannot borrow my tee shirt ... and how about instead of standing there looking shocked, you go do your laundry?"

"Don't let the dog inside. The dog is an outside dog. You want an inside dog, go get your own inside."

"Remember how you used to make fun of me for being bald? No, I'm not gonna make a joke. I'll let your mirror do that."

"That woman was sexy. Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won't date you, don't do it for them."

"You worry too much. Eat some bacon. What? No, I got no idea if it'll make you feel better ... I just made too much bacon."

[taken from a Twitter feed by Justin Halpern, a 29-year old who lives with Sam, his 73-year old father in San Diego; I have done a LOT of family-friendly editing to clean up Sam's crusty and curmudgeonly language -- MR]


Still desperately in the middle of three projects, so please have a kind word and pray for a 25th hour in each day. At least for the next two weeks. Thanks.

And I'll - probably - see you on Monday. Here on the blog maybe sooner. Maybe.


WEB SITE of the WEEK: Continuing my series on webcomics I read daily, meet Dewey, Mel, Tamara, Colleen, Merv, and Buddy the Book Beaver all over at It's an Internet comic about the Mallville Library, its staff, and their kooky-yet-oh-so-true-to-life customers. And every Sunday they give you a comicky synopsis of a different book recommendation.


Mark's Musings is sent each weekday, when I get around to it, 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 click through the pages over at my web site. To contact me and one day get a reply, click here. To get a good grocery cart, grab one from the parking lot; odds are other shoppers won't have put up with a bad one during their time inside the store. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. The credits get crotchety when detached and then I have to deal with that all next week. 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 Let's see, yesterday in one form or another, we had turkey, potatoes, corn, beans, bananas baked into bread, pumpkin in rolls and pies, wheat ground into several varieties of bread, apples, mandarin oranges and pineapple ... fruit of the earth, all. And it was good. Amen.


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "Never value the valueless. The trick is knowing how to recognize it." (Sidney Madwed)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving, 2009

Spent a few minutes searching for material yesterday and ran across this stupendous piece of advice as you cook your it-was-almost-our-national-bird today:

The secret to a good bird is mayonnaise. Yes, mayonnaise. Slather the whole thing with mayo and then put seasonings on top. Think about it. Mayo is eggs and oil. You would normally add oil to the bird to make it crisp. And when baking, you do an egg wash to add color. So mayo is key. It's my secret to roast chicken and turkey.

And today, you need this site.


This year I am giving thanks, in an acrostic kind of way, for:

Turkey. Taters. Terrific meals of all manner and means.

Home. Hearth. Happiness. Health.

Art. Albums. Animals.

Nice manners. New Technologies. Novels.

Kids. Kitchens.

Spouses. Sofas. Silliness. Songs. And yes, sex.



Very Best Friends.

Invitations that require leaving my house.

Nuance. Language. Words.


[written by Mark Raymond]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:17)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, though that tech never really seems to have caught on, and via e-mail each weekday. Thank me by asking a friend or family member to get their own subscription. Ask them to click here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Lesson

I should probably save this site for "Black Friday" in a couple of days, but....well, I'm desperate for a quick and easy link to share and they just sent me an e-mail about this site.

Last October (2008, that is), I selected as my "Web Site of the Week." Woot is a warehouse that offers fantastic deals on electronics and other odds and ends, but for one day only. I have purchased several items and can recommend them without reservation.

Well, they've just begun another sister site - Deals.Woot - and the difference here is basically two-fold: 1) less snarky prose, same great deals, and 2) it's more of a "community" of deals. By that, it means that you and I post the great deals we find. (Scroll down to find the deals most recently posted.)

And boy, are there some great deals. Go. Shop. Buy. Make someone happy. Help the economy.


This past week in our children's Sunday School class, Miss Michelle decided to playfully correct a few wrong ideas about Thanksgiving.

"Now let me see," she began, "Thanksgiving. That's the day when we think about all the stuff we have?"

"Yes!" shouted the kids.

"And then we think about how we want more things than anyone else has and how we don't care about anyone except ourselves--"

"Noooooo!" the children screamed in unison.

Then one little boy piped up, "That's not Thanksgiving, Miss Michelle ... that's Christmas!"

[Rubel Shelly via Church Laughs Newsletter]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: So I'm wondering what you're thankful for this year? Tell me.


Mark's Musings comes out of the Internet oven on an RSS Feed and also stuffs your Inbox via free subscription each weekday and you can get it by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Healthcare Surprises

Well, my friends, as periodically seems to happen, several projects have ganged up on me and I covet the time I would normally spend finding something interesting for you.

So just the joke today. Probably tomorrow, too. Apologies to all.



If your name is "Larry," your doctor's name must also be "Larry."

Each page coated with a thin film of Vicks Vaporub.

Puts a 10-minute time limit on any doctor keeping you waiting in your undies.

Requires every hospital to employ at least one doctor as "hunky" as the ones on TV.

Prohibits insurance companies from calling "More Cowbell Fever" a pre-existing condition.

Doctors will now be able to prescribe laughter as the best medicine.

Leeches are back!

Does not cover your favorite sports team choking at the last minute.

[David Letterman's Top Ten with several edits by Mark Raymond]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Too many people in this world spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it." (Josh Billings)


Mark's Musings turns its head and coughs for an RSS Feed and is also available via e-mail each weekday. Care for your own subscription right in the comfort of your Inbox with a click here. Facebook users: Click "View Original Post," then take several blog entries and call me in the morning.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lost Note

Thanksgiving Week. Is it just me, or has this year simply flown by?

Hey, I had one of those compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) burn out on me recently. I know there's a wee spot of mercury in them so you can't just toss 'em away or throw them in the regular recycle bin.

Which led me to this site.

By the way, Home Depot has the country's largest CFL recycling program.


A policeman was patrolling the streets of Dublin late one night when he noticed a man down on his hands and knees by a lamp-post.

He strolled over, inquiring, "And what might you be doing?"

"Sure and I've dropped a ten-pound note, Constable," explained the man.

Upon hearing this, the police officer also drops to his hands and knees and begins searching. After a few minutes, he asks the man, "Are you sure you dropped it here?"

"I didn't drop it here," comes the reply. "I dropped it in the next street over."

"Are ye daft, man?" exclaims the policeman. "What the devil are you looking in this street for?"

"Because the light's better here."

[selected from]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Did you every "mollycoddle" someone? Our old friend Latin gave us "calere" which meant "warm" and later used in "calidium" which was a warm drink Around 1300 in France and Western Europe that became "caudel" and about 300 years later it was known as "caudle," which was what they called a warm drink for invalids. The process of "coddling" is to gently warm a liquid - usually water - until it is almost, but not quite, boiling. You generally cook eggs at that temperature, so you get coddled eggs. In the mid-1700s someone added the "molly" to the front of the word. Molly was a nickname for Mary at the time. The word was originally used as an insult and a noun. To be a "mollycoddle" was to be an old, infirm woman. Now we generally use the term to mean we are treating someone gently, or gingerly. (Just as we would treat an old, infirm woman. Hmmm. The circle is complete.)


Mark's Musings crawls on its hands and knees via an RSS Feed and is also available via e-mail each weekday. Mollycoddle your own subscription by clicking here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Random Meditations and Musings

My wife works for our local newspaper, which has privileged me to meet an awful lot of creative people; writers mostly. Jim Smith is one of them. He used to cover the police beat and eventually became a columnist, as well. He retired two years ago and immediately began writing a blog.

It was there that I saw this material, which Jim has graciously allowed me to reprint. You may have seen some of these before, but I haven't -- and in the course of what I do I see almost everything -- so I'm hoping today's post is new to you, as well.



I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer's Internet browsing history if you die.

Nothing feels worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

There is great need for a sarcasm font.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

Bad decisions make good stories.

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know you just won't do anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can all we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray? I don't want to have to re-start my collection ... again.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Microsoft's Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to the eight page paper I'm *sure* I didn't make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means this garment will never be cleaned.

I hate it when I just miss a call and immediately call back, but it rings six times and goes to voice mail. What did you do? Drop the phone and run away when I didn't answer?

I hate leaving my house looking good and feeling confident and then not see anyone important all day. It feels like a waste.

I keep some people's phone numbers in my cell just so I know not to answer when they call. You, too?

I think the freezer deserves a light, as well.

[with thanks to Jim Smith's blog]


Let's see, Bonnie is still in Florida - flying back on Sunday - and my daughter and I have gotten along pretty darn well this week. Couple of public dinners this weekend, and then back to my getting-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night life when I return to work on Monday.


WEB SITE of the WEEK: Sheldon is a 10-year old boy genius who invented software that makes the Internet faster. Now he's a gazillionaire and lives with his grandfather and Arthur, the talking duck he created by downloading an encyclopedia and speech recognition software into its brain. Then there's Flaco, the gecko that lives with him but whom only Arthur can understand. I really relate to the grandfather character, we have the same body type. Find all this family-friendly webcomic goodness at I thought for the next couple of weeks I'd share some of my favorite webcomic sites. Feel free to let me know what yours are. (Sidebar: I just checked out today's comic and you're likely not to get it, so do click through some of the archives to get a better feel for Dave Kellet's work. It's good stuff! To those who *want* to get it, Flaco can only say the word "Squee" and in today's issue, he's trying to teach that word to the bird, who's obviously not getting the pronunciation right.)


Mark's Musings is sent each weekday, when I get around to it, 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 click through the pages over at my web site. To contact me and one day get a reply, click here. Still on vacation so I'm still not thinking up anything funny to go in this spot. Still no apologies. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. The credits SO want to be kept attached. 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 Seen any good movies lately?


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show you a man who never makes anything." (H.L. Wayland)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Star Trek Quotes

I apologize for my nerdiness being in full bloom today.

When this arrived in my Inbox from the folks at How Stuff Works, I couldn't resist passing it on.

The best science fiction takes our current society and trends, then imagines what they will look like and do to us years and years and quite often, millennia, from now.

Star Trek was among the best Sci-Fi out there, apparently.



"In this galaxy there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in the whole universe, three million million galaxies like ours. And in all that, and perhaps more ... only *one* of each of us." (Dr. McCoy)

"Do you want to tell me what's bothering you or would you like to break some more furniture?" (Deanna Troi)

"The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe." (Dr. McCoy)

"How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life." (James Kirk)

"I would be delighted to offer any advice I can on understanding women. When I have some, I'll let you know." (Jean Luc Picard)

"It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life." (Jean Luc Picard)

"Money is money, but women ... are better." (Nog, a Ferengi)

"Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind." (The Android Data)

"Curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want." (Spock)

"Act, and you shall have dinner; wait, and you shall be dinner." (A Klingon Proverb)

[with thanks to John Petrie at the University of Georgia]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)


Mark's Musings goes to warp on an RSS Feed and is also available via e-mail each weekday. Energize your Inbox with a copy of my post by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dog Shoes

I don't usually click through any of the advertising banners posted on the websites I visit, but this morning I saw one that featured a rainbow-colored athletic shoe, and it caught my eye. That's just the kind of footwear I would choose for when my band plays somewhere.

What I found was that for $62 (plus shipping), you can customize your very own athletic shoe, right down to the color of the stitching and you can even have a "personal ID" monogrammed into it.

But then I wondered if this was made in the U.S.A., because most shoes aren't. And that led me to this site, which I thought you might find helpful as you go about your holiday shopping.

I ask a moment of indulgence from my international readers.


My dog chewed up the tongue on one of my new, very expensive running shoes. I hoped to save my investment, so I took it to a shoe repair shop.

I dropped the shoe on the counter and told the man, "My dog got hold of this."

He picked the shoe up, looked it over carefully, nodded his head and murmured, "uh huh, uh huh," then put the shoe back down.

"Well, what do you recommend?" I asked.

He looked me levelly in the eye and replied, "Give your dog the other shoe."

[Pastor Tim's Illustrations]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Why are there so many magazines about running? Doesn't it all come down to rapidly placing one foot in front of the other?


Mark's Musings jogs into your Inbox every weekday and you can get it by clicking here. It's also available via RSS Feed. See the right column.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Movies?

You may have heard or read that the DVD industry is often what keeps Hollywood afloat, and indeed, it is a rare movie these days that doesn't make a profit. If it tanks in the cinema, the DVD sales and rentals make up the difference.

According to National Public Radio, Hollywood is all about "windows." The theatrical release window, the DVD release window, the premium cable channel and Internet window ... during each of these windows, movie studios are raking in cash from us, the consumers, eager to see these flights of fancy and often, to see them again later. And each time we pay.

Now, however, with everything "streaming" through both your computer and your cable/satellite television links, the DVD is in danger of becoming obsolete. In fact, Hollywood is already anticipating this and has asked the FCC for permission to disable certain parts of your television when their movie is selected, so you can't dub illegal copies once they begin streaming original premiere content direct to the small screen. At least not easily.

So if you're planning on investing in a new DVD player this Christmas, maybe you'd better think twice.



Alfred Hitchcock would be a mystery novelist.

Blockbuster would be a demolition company.

Blu-Ray discs would show ultra-clear video of Richard Simmons' workouts.

Your blind date this weekend would be dinner and a barn-raising.

"And the Academy Award for best Flipbook goes to ... Flixar!"

Your waiter would be that nice, quiet, Spielberg boy.

Paparazzi would be hounding puppeteers.

"This Summer at the Globe Theatre ... Taming of the Shrew III: Revenge of the Shrew!"

Tom Cruise arrested for breaking into homes and jumping on sofas.

Russell Crowe's ego would only be five times normal size.

France would be forced to idolize Huey Lewis.

[Chris White's Top Five on Movies; a few edits and rewrites by Mark Raymond]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission, and the babysitter were worth it." (Alfred Hitchcock)


Mark's Musings does its own stunts on an RSS Feed and is also served with popcorn via e-mail each weekday. Stream your own subscription straight to your Inbox with a click here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hospital Call

My friends, you are down to about five shopping weeks - around 38 days, depending on when you read this - before Christmas is once again upon us.

Here are nearly 500 toys and gadgets and gifts from Amazon to choose from while you still have time to allow for holiday shipping.

If someone would get me a Kindle, I'd appreciate it. Anyone? Anyone at all? Bueller?


A friend of mine was in the hospital, about to give birth to her first child.

When I telephoned to see how she was doing and ask if the baby had arrived safely, the nurse said it had and my friend was doing fine.

"Did she have a boy or a girl?" I asked.

"I'm sorry," the nurse replied, "privacy laws will not allow us to give out that information."

"All right, I can understand that," I said. "Let me try this: Can you tell me what she *didn't* have?"

"It wasn't a boy," came the prompt reply.

[Top Greetings via Wit and Wisdom]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: The other day someone we knew used a form of the word "synergy" in a sentence. Something like, "Well, we were certainly being synergistic, if nothing else." Not being a word my wife hears often, she was curious about its meaning and origin. It's a compound Greek word, originally used as "synergein," and made up of syn, meaning "together" and ergon, meaning "work." (You see the root of the word "ergonomics" in it.) So, when something is "synergistic," it means that two - or more - things are working well together.


Mark's Musings is available with an RSS Feed epidural or via e-mail each weekday. Give birth to your own subscription by clicking here. Won't take nine months, either.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Make My Day II

I thought I'd revisit the recent posts at "It Made My Day." Well, at least the family-friendly ones.



I recently wore my glasses to work for the first time. My co-workers were making lame jokes about how I looked like Clark Kent. A few minutes later I started laughing really hard when I remembered I had put on my Superman boxer shorts that morning. It made my day.

I work at a very large church and while doing a routine light bulb change in the auditorium, one of our piano players came in, turned on our enormous PA system, and began playing dramatic music while I changed small light bulbs. It made my day.

I raised my hand in Cryptography class and said I had a question. My professor asked me what it was. I replied, "an interrogative statement used to test knowledge and gather information, but that's not important right now." It made my day, and his.

The other day I told my boss that the reason he doesn't make any mistakes is because he never does any work. He agreed and laughed. It made my day.

I was sitting at the table with my one-year old sister when she picked up a crayon, licked it, and then threw it down. I picked it up and was amused to see that the color of the crayon was "bittersweet." It made my day.

I was walking my dog when a purse snatcher ran by and stole the poop bag I was carrying. It made my day.

This morning I was walking down a road in my neighborhood when I began hearing very loud, epic-sounding music coming from a nearby apartment. As I got closer, I realized the music was from the "Lord of the Rings" soundtrack. I yelled, "For Frodooooooo!" and someone in the apartment yelled back, "Elendiiiiiiiiiil!" It made my day.

The automatic doors at a store I was trying to enter got jammed and wouldn't open. A young guy walked past me, grabbed the doors, and yanked them open for me. He then turned back to me, smiled, and said, "You have to use the Force." It made my day.

I was sitting with my 12-year old cousin, and I was barefoot, though I did have on tan nylons. She must have gotten bored because she started picking at my feet. So I grabbed at the loose nylon near my ankle and pulled it out a bit, saying, "This darn skin is so stretchy since I lost that 300 pounds." She screamed "Ewwwww!" and ran off. It made my day.

[selected from]


Well, it's that time of year again. My wife makes her semi-annual pilgrimage to Florida for a week tomorrow, helping her mom transport her stroke-impaired step-dad to their winter home. Pray that they have a good trip and that the house is still in relatively the same shape as she left it by next Friday.

And with that, I'll see you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: Google Earth has teamed up with photo gallery site Flickr to create an "Earth Album" at Click anywhere on the map and photos come up for that state or country. Since the photos are based on the top picks at Flickr, they change periodically, so you may want to bookmark the site and come back again and again for fresh pics. It's a great way to get a sneak peek at your next vacation destination.


Mark's Musings is sent each weekday, when I get around to it, 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 click through the pages over at my web site. To contact me and one day get a reply, click here. I'm on vacation so I'm not thinking up anything funny to go in this spot. No apologies. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. Keeping the credits on makes my day. 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 Found the checkbook! Yay!!


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "No race can prosper until it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem." (Booker T. Washington)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guy Movies

A little bit of this and that today, giving you enough links to make up for my dearth of them this week.

What with all the advances in combining live-action film with animation these days, it's hard to believe that the groundbreaking movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" is 21 years old. The film, created by Robert Zemeckis, is finally getting a sequel.

And speaking of entertainment, Walt Disney plans on giving Mickey Mouse a makeover, complete with an aggressive personality, for a new video game next year. They are trying to be careful about it, however, since Mickey's image is responsible for a whopping $5 billion in merchandise sales every year.

Finally, with Christmas coming up in about six weeks, you might want to get the literature-loving woman in your life one of these clever little handbags, handmade by designer Olympia Le-Tan.



Rocket Launching Aliens and the Scantily-Clad Women Who Love Them

The Beer Hunter

Supermodels in Bikinis Racing Cars

The Neverending Bullets

Death to Jane Austen!

The Toilet Seat Stays Up

This Title Contains More Words Than All the Dialogue in the Movie

The Three Stooges Visit Victoria's Secret

[selected from Chris White's Top Five on the Movies; family-friendly edits by Mark Raymond]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 4:23)


Mark's Musings casts an RSS Feed and is also available via e-mail each weekday. Subscribe by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day, 2009.



"We make war that we may live in peace." (Aristotle)

"Nobody ever drowned in sweat." (U.S. Marines promotional)

"Courage is fear holding on a minute longer." (George S. Patton)

"There never was a good war or a bad peace." (Benjamin Franklin)

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." (Elmer Davis)

"I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot." (Gary Hart)

[with thanks to Business Pundit]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: Why is it that generals live in private quarters while Privates live in general quarters?


Mark's Musings comes free every weekday via RSS Feed and e-mail and you can get it by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Well, I was offline from early Monday morning until about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Did anything important happen?

With some kind help from a friend of my wife, I have my gargantuan new desk set up in my freshly redecorated office and I'm ready to start moving in. In fact, I have the next 12 days off work in which to do it. This is the first vacation I've had all year where I wasn't on union business or traveling.

The sleep alone will be glorious.


Two retired professors were vacationing with their wives at a resort hotel.

They were sitting on their verandah one evening, after a long day of play in the sun and pool, watching the sun set.

The professor who taught history turned to the psychology professor and asked, "Have you read Marx?"

To which the professor of psychology replied, "Yes. I think it's these awful wicker chairs."

[Clean Humor Digest]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work." (Morris Fishbein)


Mark's Musings is available via RSS Feed and e-mail each weekday. Get your own subscription with a click here.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Mirror

Just a heads up ... my posts this week may be even more irregular than normal. We're finishing up the renovation work on my new home office space and I may wind up without Internet service for a day or two. I'm already going into a cold sweat just thinking about it.

Meanwhile, take this ten question quiz on acne. I truly knew nothing about the subject, apparently.



Age 8: Looks in the mirror and sees Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.

Age 15: Isn't happy with anything she sees in the mirror. ("Mom, I can't go to school looking like THIS!")

Age 20: Sees herself as too fat / too thin / too tall / too short / hair's too straight / hair's too curly, but decides she's going out anyway.

Age 30: Sees the same thing, but fixes what she can, and goes out anyway.

Age 40: Sees the same thing, but says "I've had my shower / bath and at least I look clean" and goes out anyway.

Age 50: Looks in the mirror and says, "It is what it is," and goes out anyway.

Age 60: Looks in the mirror and still isn't happy, but reminds herself she's still able to look in the mirror and goes out. Conquers the world.

Age 70: Looks in the mirror and sees wisdom, laughter, and ability, and then goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Puts on her purple hat and goes out to just have fun.

Age 90: Looks in the mirror and remembers the girl who saw Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty and decides she got it right the first time.

[Pastor Tim's Illustrations; edits and additional material by Mark Raymond]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: While talking with a friend while we sat in the hospital waiting room during my Dad's recent surgery, he was curious about the origin of the term, "Indian Summer." I've read three separate origins for the phrase, which first appeared in print circa 1778. One ascribes it to a period of Native American attacks on colonial settlements, another a grass fire burning time when Indians would flush out as much game as they could in the late fall to store for the lean winter months, and a third says it is merely called that because it was the Indians who informed the Europeans about the weather condition. Old Farmer's Almanac ascribes to the first, and has more specifics here. Whatever the explanation, we've certainly been enjoying some mild, warm days here in Michigan recently.


P.S. - Pastor Tim's list above only went to 80. In honor of my step-mom, who turns 90 at the end of the month, I added the last one.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Life's Little Rules

Thanks to all who thought kindly for my Dad yesterday. He came through the surgery with flying colors and instead of four days in hospital, there's a good chance he'll be sent home today!


Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who took time to write and send in your contributions. Here are most of what you sent me. A few of you sent stuff from around the Web, and the idea was to more or less give me your original "little rules" so of those that came from somewhere else, I'm only reprinting the more obscure ones here.



Wake up deciding to enjoy your day.

Look up at the stars every now and then.

Never slap a man chewing tobacco on the cheek.

If your wife says "OK" with a frown, it's not okay.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

The right thing at the wrong time still makes a mess. The wrong thing at the right time turns out fine. Timing is everything.

What you don't have in your head you'll have to have in your heels.
Translation: What you don't remember you will have to go back and get.

Give them roses while you can put them in their hands; don't wait until you can only put them on their coffin.

Live the life you love.

If you want something done and done right, do it yourself.

Never look down on anyone, unless you're helping them up.

When you say "I love you," mean it.

Always thinking. Always thinking ahead.

Thank God all day long for all the little things ... like fresh warm laundry from the dryer, or making it through a tricky intersection okay.

Encourage others.

Always stay down wind from a bear, and upwind from a skunk.

Never take the last piece when sharing with others.

What we do for ourselves dies with us; what we do for others is immortal.

Memorize your favorite poem.

Be especially kind to people when you feel least like it.

Be in the moment.

If your wife is suddenly ultra-nice to you, have a look at the checkbook.

Never take a laser game gun to a paintball fight.

Believe in love at first sight.

When you're angry, shut up and sing.

Don't judge people by their relatives.

Don't chew gum when you're talking to people.

Spend some time alone.

[submitted by list members Susan B., Chris H., Lloyd D., Don C., Vivian Z., Jim G., Nancy M., Mike B., Patricia K., Lillian C., Carrie M., and Mark Raymond]


My daughter has her final swim meet relays this weekend, my office renovation is still ongoing, and my Dad is still recovering from his surgery. I will be in one of those three places most of the weekend.

So I'll see you on Monday.


WEB SITE of the WEEK: Several of you have now sent me the link for the YouTube video on the "Piano Stairs," so I did a little further research and discovered that Volkswagen is sponsoring a series of behavior modification experiments in Europe. Something they call "The Fun Theory." Check out all three videos at And maybe a few more corporate sponsors here in America can take up the cause.


Mark's Musings is sent each weekday, sooner or later, 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 click through the pages over at my web site. To contact me and one day get a reply, click here. Reminding you now that I will update the blog later today. You can forward or reprint "Mark's Musings" freely but please keep the credits attached. That's one of forwarding's and reprinting's little rules. 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 Has anyone seen my checkbook?


WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "The world has forgotten, in its concern with Left and Right, that there is an Above and Below." (Glen Drake)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More Tom Swifties

NOTE OF PERSONAL PRIVILEGE: Hey, my Dad's having surgery this morning. The injuries he sustained in their motor vehicle collision three years ago have finally reached the point where they need serious medical intervention. Please have a kind thought or a good prayer, and I bless you for that, one and all.


I don't know if you can tell, but I read a lot. I think I must get it from my parents, who have nearly insulated their home with shelves of books. If the place ever caught fire, it would burn for days.

I mostly read science fiction, though I do read literature of other stripes - theology, productivity, contemporary fiction, biographies, etc. But no matter what you like, you're bound to find something on this list.



"So you think you can break this code?" Tom asked cryptically.

"Blow on the fire ... it will burn better!" he bellowed.

"I hope Sarge doesn't catch me AWOL," Tom thought absently.

"I was just in the dorm rooms; no one's bed is made" Sally complained in a blanket statement.

"I *will* get that transfer to the Canine Corps," Tom said doggedly.

"I'm re-reading the second Gospel," Tom remarked.

"Halt! Who goes there?" he inquired guardedly.

"You, my friend, are losing your hair," Tom said baldly.

"Thank you for shredding the cheese," said Sally gratefully.

"This will be the toughest exam of your year," the professor attested.

[selected from Chris White's Top Five on the Military, and JokeMaster]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)


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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Clock Convention

Arrrrrgh. Late again. I've GOT to try and get more than a day at a time written.

Sorry, everybody. But to find something quickly, I went scouring through my Inbox, which still has messages - all read, I assure you, just not filed - from up to two years ago.

It was there that I found this. Stephen Fry made his name playing a valet in the British televison show, "Jeeves and Wooster."

I am so enamored of it I may have to buy one for my wife.


It was a busy morning at the Third Annual International Clock Convention. Lunchtime, as always, was designated "free time" and, for the most part, all the attendees - clocks and watches, one and all - would break off into groups of two or three for the break.

The Grandfather Clock and The Old Dutch Clock hit it off well.

The Mantel Clock and The Anniversary Clock found themselves similarly well-suited for one another.

This went on until not a single clock was left in the convention hall except The Little Alarm Clock ... who went off by himself.

[Syman Says]


WONDER for YOUR WEEK: How did the person who invented the clock know what time to set?


Mark's Musings comes free every weekday - sadly, not like clockwork - but you can get it by clicking here. Or on an RSS Feed. Click that button to the right. If you're reading this on Facebook, click "View Original Post" *before* clicking that button on the right.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Election Day here in the States. Whatever is on your local ballot, get out there and vote about it.

And remember to send me those little tenets of common sense, wisdom, and pithy philosophies y'all live by. They're what I call "Life's Little Rules" and I'm putting out a list of them - your list - on Friday.


Recently a Congressman from a conservative state was asked about his position on whiskey.

He replied, "If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners to sin more greatly, well, I'm against it."

He then continued, "But if you mean the elixir of Christmas cheer, the shield against a winter chill, that taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers that are then used to comfort crippled children, then I'm for it."

"This is my position, and I will not compromise."

[Arcamax Jokes via Doc's Daily Chuckle]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle." (Alexis de Tocqueville)


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Monday, November 02, 2009

Clean Shaven

All right. Sorry, everyone, the "Movember" site was a little cranky after I suggested it Friday for your "Web Site of the Week." It seems to be working now and my son's page is here. [NOTE: right-click the link, select "Copy Shortcut" or "Copy Link Location" and paste the address into a new window. Their website apparently doesn't want you to find individuals easily.] Please bookmark it for the next month, vote with your donations (even $1 or $2 would be awesome), and check back periodically to see the progress of his facial hair. He looks so young when he's clean-shaven!

And, again, let me know if any of you are there, as well, and I'll pipe it out there to the list.


During a pledge drive on public television, a woman called in and said she would donate $100 if the emcee would shave off his beard.

The next day the emcee was, indeed, clean-shaven.

The day after that the check arrived.

It was from his mother.

[Ladyhawke's Jokes]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: List member Daffy H. wants to know the origin and meaning of the word "cenotaph." A cenotaph is a memorial marker of various sorts erected as a monument to a person whose remains are buried elsewhere. It is originally from two Ancient Greek words: kenos, meaning "empty" and taphos, meaning "tomb." The word migrated from Greek (kenotaphion) to Latin (cenotaphium) to French (cénotaphe) to the word we use today.


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