Tuesday, August 31, 2010


While I was at my union convention last week, I bought two chances to win an iPad in a fundraising raffle.

Down in Venezuela, they have a little different kind of raffle. Frankly, the numbers reported in that offbeat story from USA Today astounded me.

And you thought politicians in the States were bad.



Esther has a heart attack and is taken to hospital. While on the operating table, she has a near-death experience, during which she sees God and asks him if this is the end for her.

God says "no," and goes on to explain that she has another 30-40 productive years of life left in her.

So as soon as she had recovered, Esther thinks that as long as she knows she's got another three or four decades to live, she might as well stay in the hospital and get the face-lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck she had promised herself for years.

So she did, and she even had her hair dyed to a shade that flattered her more youthful appearance.

But, sadly, as she finally left the hospital some time later, she was struck by a speeding car and killed instantly.

When she comes before the Pearly Gates, she says to God, "I don't understand! You said I had another 30-40 years!"

God replies, "I didn't recognize you!"

[Pastor Tim's Pearly Gates]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "Mirrors should think longer before they reflect." (Jean Cocteau)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptionsare free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Leftovers, as a food group, generally pale in comparison to the original, but let's face it, there are some foods that taste better the second day.

Pick up some tips on improving that leftover taste.


By profession

Television Producer: Reruns

Quality Control Engineer: Rejects

Mortician: Remains

Football Linemen: Seconds (There Are No Leftovers. Have you seen those guys?)

Iron Worker: Scraps

Musician: Encores

Circuit Court Judge: Double Indemnities

Librarian: Returns

Politician: Rebuttals

Software Engineer: Features

[first three from an old Mikey's Funnies joke; rest written by Mark Raymond]


WELCOME to YOUR WEEK: Well, August is winding down. Today, however, is National Toasted Marshmallow Day, if you're looking for a snack. Apparently tomorrow is Love Litigating Lawyers Day. Guess they got tired of being the bash-end of all the jokes and decided they needed some love.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptionsare free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Alternative Definitions

I'm happy to announce that Scrabble® lovers can now use words such as "turducken," "defriend," and "vuvuzela" in your game playing, because the folks at the Oxford Dictionary have added those and more than 2,000 others to their latest edition: The New Oxford American Dictionary.



LECTURE: The art of transferring information from the notes of the one lecturing to the notes of the listeners - usually students - without passing through the minds of either.

CONFERENCE: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

CONFERENCE ROOM: A place where everyone talks, no one listens, and later everyone disagrees about what was said.

COMPROMISE: The art of slicing a cake in such a way everyone believes they received the biggest piece.

TEARS: The force by which masculine will-power is defeated by feminine water-power.

CLASSIC NOVEL: A book which people praise, but seldom read.

SMILE: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

OFFICE: A place where you can relax after a strenuous night at home.

ETC.: An abbreviation that makes others think you know more than you actually do.

FATHER: The banker that nature provides.

CRIMINAL: A person who is different from the rest of us only due to the fact he or she was caught.

DOCTOR: A person who kills your ills with pills but kills you with his bills.

[Colorado Comments; edited by Mark Raymond]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: Tomorrow is International Read Comics In Public Day, and I urge you to do so. Comics are certainly still considered "low brow," but they encourage literacy in children, are an excellent way for missionaries to get the Gospel into the hands of people in foreign countries, and are cheaper than the movies while often providing some of the same thrills. So find a bench at the mall or a local park, and enjoy some sequential art. Read more about it at http://readcomicsinpublic.com/. You can find several "meet up" sites in a few large cities at the website.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptionsare free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Update: I have been busy from get-up to lay-down this week with my national union convention in Detroit. Monday and yesterday I was only able to update this blog.

Hey, speaking of Detroit, if you live here, in New York City, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, Columbus or Dayton, Ohio, Washington DC, Los Angeles or Indianapolis, your city is on the list of most bedbug-infested cities.

Better see Mama about that.



Bob was having trouble sleeping at night. He'd tried everything: Over the counter sleeping pills, warm milk, counting sheep, watching old, boring movies on late night television, and every other old wives' tale and suggestion from friends.

Finally he went to his doctor, who prescribed a heavy dosage of extra-strength sleeping tablets.

Bob took the pills on Sunday night and awoke before he even heard the alarm, realizing he'd slept soundly. Elated, he dressed unhurriedly and took his time arriving at his office for work. When he walked in and saw his boss, he said, "I finally slept great last night! And I didn't have a bit of trouble getting up this morning!"

"That's fine," his boss replied, "but where were you Monday and Tuesday?"

[selected from apnea support.org]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." (Proverbs 3:21-24)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptionsare free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Few Silly Thoughts

I'm sorry the e-mail post has been so spotty this week ... every day here at my national union convention has been long and filled with activity. You can kind of see what I'm up to here.

But yeah, just the joke today - I'll have actual content for you on Thursday and Friday.



Dear IRS, please cancel my subscription.

No one ever went to the grave wishing they'd eaten more rice cakes.

I've tried yoga, but stress is less boring.

Without geography, you're nowhere.

I once knew a women who didn't whine, nag, or complain. But that was a long time ago, and it was just that one day.

If life is a test, I'm in trouble. I didn't take very good notes.

If at first you don't succeed, call it Version 1.0.

[selected from funnywebs]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: The Word Spy has coined a new phrase to describe cabin fever. They say it is now called "Nature Deficit Disorder."


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptionsare free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Light Bulbs

One of the biggest bugaboos about installing solar energy panels for your home use was the cost. Not only of the equipment, but also of the installation as you had to find some way to wire it up to your home energy source efficiently.

Well, a company called Clarian Technologies thinks they may have licked that issue. Here's a more indepth interview.



How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
One ... two ... a-one-two-three-four!

How many gorillas does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, but you need a lot of light bulbs.

How many climate-change skeptics does it take to change a light bulb?
None. The bulb going out is a natural cycle of nature. It will come back on eventually.

How many senior citizens does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, but she paid $2,000 and got it from an infomercial.

How many dyslexics does it take to change a light bulb?

How many fishermen does it take to change a light bulb.
Five. Because the light bulb was *THIS* big! You should have seen it! It took all of us!

How many auto mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, but he'll tell you that he thinks he'll have to replace the entire socket.

How many pushy wives does it take to change a light bulb?
Nobody knows, they're still trying to change their husbands.

How many interior decorators does it take to change a light bulb?
It isn't too late to move this fixture farther from the window, is it?

How many statisticians does it take to change a light bulb?
One ... plus or minus three.

How many waiters does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but you'll have to get his attention first.

[selected (with a few minor edits) from several Internet sources by Mark Raymond]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need, but not for man's greed." (Mohandas K. Gandhi)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptionsare free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No Joke Monday

Well, what a couple of days it has been.

Sunday was a whirlwind of sightseeing, driving, packing, re-packing, more driving, and then some unpacking and hobnobbing with some of the 2,000+ delegates here in Detroit.

Oh, I'm at the 20th Biennial Convention of the American Postal Workers Union, held at Cobo Hall (where the Pistons used to play) here in Detroit.

Today I got a late start, what with ironing my shirts and all (yes, I am capable of the occasional domestic chore), a long, full day of convention activity, and then - because Comerica Park is only five blocks away - a long evening of a quite successful Tigers victory. Yay, team!

So now it's very late, I've had two full days of non-stopness, and I'm just to pooped to ponder. So no Musings today, team. I am sorry, and I'll try to get something out to you Tuesday evening.

If I don't go see the Tigers play again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kids and Love

Twenty-seven years ago, when asked, "Do you take this man for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health - til death do you part?" my beautiful bride with the long, gorgeous red hair responded, "I will." And, well, look at that picture in the upper right corner ... she made me the happiest geek on the planet by seeing something beyond handsome, which I ain't necessarily got a lot of.

Here's to 27 more, Bonnie.



What exactly is marriage?

"Marriage is when you get to keep your girl and don't have to give her back to her parents." (Eric, age 6)

How does a person decide whom to marry?

"My mother says to look for a man who is kind. That's what I'll do ... I'll find somebody who's kinda tall and handsome." (Carolyn, age 8)

What's the proper age to get married?

"Eighty-four, because at that old, you don't have to work anymore, and you can spend all your time loving each other in your bedroom." (Carolyn again, 8)

"Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife." (Bert, age 5)

How did your Mom and Dad meet?

"They were at a party at a friend's house. They went for a drive, but their car broke down ... it was a good thing, because it gave them a chance to find out about their values." (Lottie, age 9)

What do most people do on a date?

"On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date." (Martin, age 10)

When is it okay to kiss someone?

"You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a ring and her own VCR, 'cause she'll want to have videos of the wedding." (Allan, age 10)

What is falling in love like?

"Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life." (Roger, age 9)

What role do good looks play in love?

"It isn't always just how you look. Look at me, I'm handsome like anything and I haven't got anybody to marry me yet." (Gary, age 7)

"Beauty is skin deep. But how rich you are can last a long time." (Christine, age 9)

What's a surefire way to make someone fall in love with you?

"Tell them you own a whole bunch of candy stores." (Del, age 6)

"Shake your hips and hope for the best." (Camille, age 9)

"Don't do things like have smelly green sneakers. You might get attention, but attention ain't the same thing as love." (Alonzo, age 9)

[selected from Mikey's Funnies]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: We're saving some of our money for a few family day trips around Labor Day weekend, so we're not splurging too much for our anniversary ... just a quick trip out of town to a B & B. Find your own romantic bed and breakfast getaway at http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/. We love 'em!


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mindset List 2014

Next week my daughter has orientation for her junior year of high school. This week the folks at Beloit College in Wisconsin got their professors ready for another year by issuing the latest edition of their "Mindset List."

It's an attempt to educate the teachers on the cultural perspective of the freshman entering college this fall.



Most students entering college this fall were born in 1992.

Few in the class will know how to write well in cursive.

E-mail is just too slow and they seldom, if ever, use "snail mail."

"Caramel macchiato" and "Venti half-caf vanilla latte" has always been street corner lingo.

In a country where a quarter of young people under 18 have at least one immigrant parent, they aren't afraid of immigration ... unless it involves "real" aliens from another planet.

John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.

Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.

Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

Unless they found one in their grandparent's closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

"Viewer Discretion" has always been an available warning on TV shows.

The first home computer they touched was probably an Apple II or a Mac II ... they are now in a museum.

Czechoslovakia has never existed.

Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.

Adhesive strips have always been available in varying skin tones.

Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

American companies have always done business in Vietnam.

Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.

Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

"Barney" has always referred to a purple dinosaur and not Barney Google or Barney Fife.

They have never worried about a Russian military strike on the U.S.

The Post Office has always been going broke.

The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.

They have always had the SciFi (SyFy) Channel.

[selected - with some very small edits - from Beloit College; the entire list is here]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." (1 Peter 1:24)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Basement Bedroom

There's an old joke that goes something like, "Teenagers must be hard of hearing ... most of them can't hear what you're saying until they're in their 20s."

Turns out there might be something to that.


When my son was in the ninth grade, we reluctantly let him move his bedroom to the basement.

Then I realized how convenient it became to get him up to the breakfast table. Before, I'd stand at the bottom of the stairs and yell. Now all I had to do was flip the light switch on and off, and he'd come up.

One morning I flicked the switch, and nothing happened. So I flicked it on and off several more times.

"I'm on my way!" our son called up. "You didn't have to yell."

[Pastor Tim's CleanLaugh]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Let's go back to some old German - gewinnan - meant to achieve something through struggle. It's the root for the word "win," which was originally wynn, and meant pleasure or delight. Add the word "sum" in the sense of some, or a small amount, and you get the word winsome, which is something full of joy, or very pleasant.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Internet Impossibilities

The best science fiction, and this is just my opinion, is that which takes a current fashion, law, trend, or scientific discovery and extrapolates and imagines what that will do to the future.

With that in mind, will this happen to the Internet?



"Dear Users, we have all gone bankrupt and are shutting down. Go back to e-mail. Sincerely, Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/LiveJournal/LinkedIn/YouTube."

An intelligent, polite discussion regarding two differing viewpoints on religion or politics.

The Nigerian Oil Minister arrives in Cleveland to award $6 million to someone who helped them through an e-mail exchange.

Star Trek and Star Wars fans find a peaceful way to merge universes and co-exist.

Ye Amish Brethren Corvette Owners Website.

[selected (with a few minor edits) from Chris White's Top Five on the Internet]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "The future is called 'perhaps,' which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you." (Tennessee Williams)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Johnny Carson

Well, our daughter came through her surgery just swell and is gallbladder-free, and the doctors are certain her stomach pains are also a thing of the past. She was home recuperating three hours after her first incision, and her being so young and pliant, she'll be back on her feet in just a couple of days and back in the pool for her swim team before Labor Day. Prayer works! Thank you so much!!

For your link today, enjoy some classic clips over at the website devoted to Johnny Carson.



"I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak out behind the barn and do nothing."

"Married men live longer than single men. But married men are a lot more willing to die."

"New York is an exciting town where something is happening all the time, most of it unsolved."

On Los Angeles: "We have two kinds of air: regular and chunky."

"I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself."

"Welcome to the Academy Awards, a glittering two hours of entertainment spread out over four hours."

"People will pay more to be entertained than educated."

Add Image

[selected from all over the web by Mark Raymond]


WELCOME to YOUR WEEK: Because August 19 is Orville Wright's birthday, it's National Aviation Week. It's also National Weird Contest Week. Tomorrow is National Thrift Shop Day, so visit your local Goodwill or Salvation Army or favorite "Mom & Pop" resale store. Wednesday is Bad Poetry Day. Have some fun with that one.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It Made My Day (Again)

Let's revisit that "feel good" website, It Made My Day.

And, on a personal note, my daughter is having her gallbladder removed tomorrow morning. She's only 15 and already has gallstones, which are suspected to be the culprit behind her stomach pains for the past 18 months. It's a fairly quick surgery - we expect to have her home in bed by noonish tomorrow - and recovery is usually pretty swift, but we'd still sincerely appreciate your prayers and good thoughts tomorrow, about 7:30 a.m. EST.

That would make our day.



The other day my math teacher called a kid up to the front of the class to write out a problem and answer it on the chalkboard. He went up, answered it, then said, "Now I have a question for YOU." He wrote out the question on the board and my teacher, playing along, cheerfully yelled out the answer. Then the kid goes, "Hah! That was the first question on the homework you just handed out!" It made my day.

At the bus stop this morning, I opened my wallet to discover my two-year-old son had exchanged all of my money with Monopoly money. The bus driver laughed, and then charged me $5 in Monopoly money for the ride. It made my day!

I was telling my mom about how I got a "turkey" (three strikes in a row) while I was bowling the other night. She responded with, "Are you going to be able to fit it into your freezer?" It made my day.

We'd been painting our new house and accidentally left the lid off one of the paint cans, resulting in the paint drying up and becoming worthless. We left it out in the yard while we worked and one afternoon it disappeared. That evening there was a knock on our door and the neighbor's kid - five or six years old - said she had taken it but, "we didn't know it was all dried up so you can have it back and we'll find some different paint for the dog...." It made my day.

I am in the Army and currently stationed in South Korea. One Monday it was particularly rainy and dreary, so while walking to work I decided to have some fun and splashed through some puddles like I used to do when I was a little kid. A Captain stopped me and asked me what I was doing. "Letting my inner child out for a walk, SIR!" I replied. He laughed and said, "Carry on, soldier" then splashed through a few puddles himself as he laughed again and walked out of sight. It made my day!

Today my wife and I were singing along to the radio when our Great Dane, for some reason, barked loudly at her. My wife looked him in the eye and with a straight face, said, "You're a little off-key." It made my day.

I woke up this morning to my cat sleeping next to my head. I reached out to pet him and he started purring so I laid my head back down again to sleep some more. Suddenly he reached out his paw, still purring, and started petting my face. I had never had my cat pet me back before! It made my day!

[selected from the "It Made My Day" website; not all entries are family-friendly if you decide to visit]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: At http://devotionalchristian.com/, you can find a whole bunch of different devotional material. The website collects them and, if you like, you can receive a weekly e-mail newsletter, as well. Their description reads, "Devotional Christian makes it easy to read your daily Bible devotional online by listing all the best free Christian devotionals on one page."


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Classical Errors

It is National Sewing Machine Day. For those of you who still use one (and I know you're out there), you can find some handy instructions on maintaining your machine at the link.



Monday: "For sale - R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Phone 948-0707 after 7:00 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him cheap."

Tuesday: "Notice - We regret having erred in the ad for R.D. Jones yesterday. It should have read: 'One sewing machine for sale cheap. Phone 948-0707 and ask for Mrs. Kelly, who lives with him after 7:00 p.m.' "

Wednesday: "Notice - R.D. Jones has informed us of the many annoying phone calls he has received because of the error we made in his ad yesterday. The ad is now corrected as follows: 'For sale - R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Cheap. Phone 948-0707 after 7:00 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Kelly who loves with him.' "

Thursday: "Announcement - I, R.D. Jones no longer have a sewing machine for sale. I smashed it. Don't call 948-0707 as I have had the phone disconnected. I have NOT been carrying on with Mrs. Kelly. Until yesterday, she was my housekeeper. She has now quit. So do I!"

[Thomas S. Ellsworth in the Good Clean Funnies List]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Amazing What Barbie Can Do These Days

I was pretty blown away by how far we've come with technology when I saw this video.

(Comments below video are from the makers.)

A comparison between my two new cameras: The $1,800 Canon 7D versus the brand new $50 Barbie Video Girl... available in the girlie aisle of your local Toys R Us. It's the sassiest camera money can buy.

This is also a spoof of another video that compared the Canon 7D and iPhone 4: "iPhone 4 as good as the 7D? No, but it's amazing for what it is." http://vimeo.com/12925855

Director/Editor: Brandon Bloch // www.brandonbloch.com // Twitter: @bloch_party
Director of Photography: Fernando Ortega // www.vgfilms.com

Music: Tiga "You Gonna Want Me"

Enjoy. It's all in good fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

College Lessons

Have you ever bribed your children?

Oh, don't act so shocked. We've all done it. Even you. Except we fool ourselves into thinking it's not a bribe at all, don't we? We call it "rewarding positive behavior." And it might be. Here's how you can tell: if you explain the reward to them before they've exhibited the behavior - it's a bribe.

And the older the kids get, well, the bribes pretty much always turn into the traditional: cash. Now a website called Ultrinsic will let your students bribe themselves. They can bet on their grades, and $20 will get you $100 if you ace the course. It's an online bribe. Of the good kind. Just like we used to do. (The site is only available at the moment for college-aged students.)



Quarters are like gold.

Peanut butter and jelly are necessities.

Furniture is over-rated.

Sleep is not.

You now understand why grocery stores carry so much junk food.

Two alarm clocks is often a good idea.

Food pyramid, schmood pyramid. Two meals a day is the new standard. And one of them includes Mountain Dew and Doritos.

You *can* wear clothes you hate if it means putting off laundry for another few days.

10 minutes is more than enough time to get ready for your first class.

Letters from home are priceless. Cash from home is better.

10-page papers used to be impossible to write. Now they're a godsend.

[selected from Net 153's Smile A Day]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: People who've been around for awhile may recall the word "gams" used to describe a woman's legs. ("Lookit the set'a gams on her!") The word originates with the Latin word for leg: gamba. That root word also influences this week's Word for Your Week: gambit. The Italians used the word "gambetto" to mean a tripping up of someone, and the word was applied to the game of chess in the late sixteenth century, to describe an opening move. Now the word gambit could also refer to any type of maneuver used to secure an advantage.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ye Olde Internet

My daughter goes to see a surgeon today to discuss having her gall bladder out. Just another entry in the "It's Always Something" Department.

That means I'll be killing some time in another waiting room. Good thing my SmartPhone has the Internet. Speaking of which, for your link today, have a look at what the gatekeepers of web media say we are reading the most.



Constitution would have an amendment that called for the death penalty for spammers.

We'd be using Windows MCCCVIIIXP.

Secure pages would have a wax seal with the King's ring imprinted in the lower right hand corner.

FROM: continentalcongress @ philadelphia.pa.uk
TO: king.george @ hanoverroyal.gov.uk
SUBJ: Independence
Dear George,
Please see attached document.

Every single one of your Internet friends would forward you that tired e-mail about "You Might Be A Redcoat If...."

George Washington would have stayed away from the Potomac and sent that dollar via PayPal.

Ye Olde Wykypedya.

All PCs are powered by kites with keys.

[selected (with a few minor edits) from Chris White's Top Five on the Internet]


WORDS for YOUR WEEK: "We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." (Robert Wilensky)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Tough Inspection

The U.S. penny is being redesigned. Again.


Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, in Oklahoma, was really tough.

One day during an inspection, a fellow soldier received 30 demerits for a single penny found loose in his area.

10 demerits were given for "not securing valuables."

10 demerits were given because the penny wasn't shined.

10 demerits were given because Abraham Lincoln needed a shave.

[Jack Howell in "America in Uniform" via Ed Peacher's Laughter for a Saturday]


WELCOME to YOUR WEEK: Well, in August we find the "dog days" of summer, so I guess it's only appropriate that this week is Assistance Dog Week. It's National Resurrect Romance Week (gosh, I didn't know it had passed away). And just to get you all shook up, it's National Elvis Week.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday at the Pentagon

65 years ago today the United States demonstrated the power of science by splitting uranium-235 atoms over the city of Hiroshima. It was one of those moments in history that are tragic, devastating, and for right or wrong, believed to be necessary by those in power at the time.

For some reason, this reminds me of Blake. Blake is the young husband of a very good friend's daughter, and he's a Marine on his first deployment in Afghanistan. The first week Blake was there, one of his friends was killed. Just last week, another of his buddies lost both legs to an IED. We are praying for Blake's safety.

All of which brings me to today's post, which many of you have probably already seen. I've seen it in several places, and it's been sent to me by several of you, as well.


James Galloway, McClatchy Newspapers
written for Memorial Day, 2007

This week, I'm turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bateman, who recently completed a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon.

It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands there.

This hallway, more than any other, is the "Army" hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.

Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for the press of bodies in this area. The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares.

10:36 hours. The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance of the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.

A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.

Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden ... yet.

Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier's chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.

Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.

11:00 hours. Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. My hands hurt. Please! Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway - 20, 25, 30. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall come 30 solid hearts.

They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.

There are families with them as well ... the 18-year old war bride pushing her 19-year old husband's wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son's behalf.

No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.

These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years.

[first submitted by list member Lavonne T.; slightly abridged by Mark Raymond]


WEBSITE of the WEEK: At http://www.snopes.com, you will have to put up with a popup window or two (it's how they pay for the site), but I have found them to be the best place to determine truth from urban legend, which is rampant on the Web. Their findings on this story are "undetermined," but I was able to track down the McClatchy newspaper website and verify this column was, indeed, written. Check the link in red at the beginning of the column.


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

School Movies

Well, yesterday was just a blog update as my time spun away from me, much like this evening is doing. It was an interesting, if somewhat disturbing, post about taking a shower.

And today, despite an hour or two looking, I've not found any tidbit worthy of a musing for you. So here's at least a joke lest I miss your Inbox two days in a row. Heaven forbid!


[Note from Mark: My wife and I were going to see a movie on my day off today. We enjoy going to the first matinee on a mid-week day ... we're usually the only ones in the theater. But today, just as we pulled into the parking lot, a bus load of children pulled up to the entrance. To our chagrin, we discovered they were there to see the same movie we had planned on viewing. Being snobbish about our quiet movie ritual, we decided to go out for brunch together instead. Which brings me to...]


Saving Freshman Ryan

The Lunch Bell Always Rings Twice

Rebel Without A Hall Pass

Anne of Times Tables

Close Encounters of the Third Period

Lord of the Ring Binders

I Know What You Did Last Summer (in 500 words or less)

Twelve Angry Lunchroom Ladies

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


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.' " (John 14:23)


Mark's Musings is available via an RSS Feed, a Facebook Note, the Amazon Kindle and via e-mail each weekday (usually). Subscriptions are free. ISSN 2154-9761.