You Gonna Eat That??

Several of my friends know I’m a garden geek. Lately, a common question is: “So Ken, the garden’s pretty much done, huh?” “No, there’s still plenty to do,” I reply to their surprise. Of course, some folks are indeed done with growing food; but our garden still has lots of groceries waiting for us.

Autumn is in full swing here in Beautiful West Michigan; and in the garden there are still many chores to be done. Clearing out withered remnants of warm weather crops is of course one of those. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant don’t do so well after a frost. Although I’ve been known to erect makeshift tents with tarps, poles, and bailing twine to save a few plants that still have fruit; there comes a point of diminishing return. Might frost tonight, but I’m ready to move on to the rest of the food plants and let Mother Nature take her course with the sensitive stuff. Whatever dies gets pulled out of the ground and thrown into the compost pile.

“What do you have left to pick?” my friends wonder aloud. The answer: squash, kale, beets, carrots, potatoes, wild cabbage (ancestor to kale), Swiss chard, parsley, rhubarb, and a little cilantro. Oh, and there are of course a few straggler tomatoes and such that survive the first couple of frost nippings.

My friend Kit was asking me these kinds of questions just the other day. Then he tickled my funny bone by asking, “do you eat everything you grow?” “Well,” I replied with a smirk, “we give some of it away…” I couldn’t help smiling a bit more as I visualized myself eating ALL of the produce in one big snarfing session (what can I say, I get amused easily). “No,” he wondered, “I mean do you eat all the kinds of vegetables you grow?” “Well sure!” I responded with a grin. By this time my warped mind silently kicked into silliness overdrive with possible responses:

“Well, we like to plant all kinds of weird, disgusting foods so we can watch them mature and them mow them down with the tractor.”


“No, I just like busting my hiney to grow food so I can make some kick-butt compost with it!!”

Or maybe…

“Whadda you nuts?? Vegetables are disgusting!!”

Seriously though, yes we do indeed eat what we grow; and I’ve gotten better at planning the garden according to what my Beautiful Girlfriend and I both like to eat. That’s not very difficult since we both pretty much like any vegetable put in front of us. She’s very tolerant when I plant different things for the fun of it. Ground cherries are one example of a home run with my Honey Pie, she really loves those things. Well OK, I like them a lot too!!

A byproduct of living the first 3 years of marriage in the south was that both of us are smitten by greens. Kale, wild cabbage, Swiss chard, and beet greens are some of our favorites. We eat them steamed as a side vegetable; mixed into a stir fry; added to and egg “scramble” (sauteed mushrooms, onions and other veggies cooked into scrambled eggs with a little shredded cheese on top). These days I have greens almost every day for lunch at work. So simple… the night before I just chop some up stems and all; then toss them into a Pyrex bowl with diced onions and whatever protein is left over from dinner. Into the fridge they go till lunch time the next day. Couple minutes in the microwave and lunch is ready!

In case any of you are wondering, yes, we did consider ourselves vegetarians early in our marriage. We ate eggs and dairy products, but no meat. Why? Health reasons of course, but our belief system was evolving too. We didn’t like the idea of killing so we could eat; but then we watched shows like Wild America and Nature. Those programs illustrated the fact that all animals, large and small, are part of a diverse tapestry of beings that will either eat or be eaten. Kind of flushed the killing stuff in the toilet for me… and besides, to paraphrase a bumper sticker, if our Creator didn’t intend for us to eat animals, they should never have been made of meat!! I did my share of hunting when I was a kid, but would rather not do that anymore. To this day we still eat a lot of veggies, but don’t eat very much red meat at all… mostly dead fish and dead chicken.

And you may not be wondering, but I asked my friend Kit if it was OK to have some fun at his expense for this week’s “Happy Friday!!!” So thank you Kit! Sometimes the creative well runs a bit dry and this helped the words flow.

Speaking of word flow, that has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween; but because it’s just around the corner I thought I’d share this very old but very cool cartoon we watched with our grandsons tonight.

A Paperless Papers Letter

Dear Battery Holders,

As you may have noticed, this letter is not printed on paper.  No… you see it’s like this:  I’d like to warn you in advance that what follows is something of a hot topic. Please, if you have any interest in maintaining a trove of printed documents, DO NOT be like me.

As an egg sample, I often can’t seem to find my brayne. Those of you who are getting older will appreciate this, and maybe some of the younger ones too. There we were, in the process of getting a better car for our son. The purchase was to happen within days; but do you think I could find the title for his ’97 Grand Am POC (Piece Of Crap) so we could trade it in? Well of course not. That would be way too convenient. I looked everywhere except under the sofa. Fortunately, the car salesman reassured us that we can apply for a lost title thingy when we go to the dealership.

Then I’m thinking, “where might our license plate renewal stuff be?? I know I saw it the other day.”

Well sometimes we have a problem. We heat with wood. No, that’s not the problem… the problem is that when you put “garbage paper” (junk mail, etc.) in the woodstove while there’s a fire going, you can’t really go back through it if you have a little “whoopsie.” If you try, you will have ashes in your hair and eyebrows from putting your face inside the firebox while looking around.

PLEASE: ONLY DO THAT IF THE FIRE IS OUT AND YOU HAVE A FLASHLIGHT. The fire must be out for obvious reasons. I mean, it’s not very comfortable to walk around the house (or anywhere else) with toasted nostrils and face blister ouch. You’ll need the flashlight because you simply can’t see in there. Probably better to screen the papers carefully BEFORE putting them inside the firebox.

So then I had to take the old registration to the Secretary of State’s office and get new registration and feel really TOOPID. Several years ago, when I worked with my friend Dan (Dan, Dan, the thermocouple man) he had a little magnet thing with a small character that had its arms outstretched. Beneath the little character was the inscription, “tomorrow I gotta get organized.”

Me too.

In the meantime, I’ll just plod along and try to locate my cerebellum and it’s accessories. I may have left it in the wood furnace. We did manage to get everything worked out with the car… but I’m pretty sure my brain thing is still out in a remote corner of the galaxy somewhere.

I go now. Please have a Happy Merry and a Joyful Wonderful.

If our fire ever gets to be a problem… we could always call Donald Duck.  Or not…

How To Cure A Sinus Infection

Ever have a cold that just didn’t seem to go away? Well I once had one that started on October 13, 2125 at approximately 12:17 PM and lasted for a -9 years and 10 days. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration… but seriously folks, that “cold” stuck around way too long. My doze got stubbed up, add it stodded rudding, I coughed and coughed and coughed, and den I had to use up da whole box of tissues every hour; which became rather expensive.

The beautiful woman I live with shocked me after several days of this ordeal when she said, “Honey, your cold is lingering way too long. I think you have a sinus infection.” I’m not sure how she felt qualified to say such things. Just because she’s been a nurse for over 30 years and does in home care for people and knows a lot of stuff about healthcare doesn’t give her the right to make wild accusations about some lousy cold her husband might have.

Does it??

Being the enlightened man that I am, I decided to invent a number of methods that would be certain to bring any so-called “sinus infection” to its knees, so to speak. I thought I’d better pass these on to all of you because I’m sure you are interested in following my exact instructions.

Without any further ado, here are the methods, in order of magnitude.

1) Get an eighteen inch length of surgical tubing and shove it deeply into your nostril. Connect the other end to a faucet using an appropriate adapter. Turn on the water quickly, then off just as quickly. Be certain to turn the faucet completely on during this operation to apply maximum pressure. Repeat on the other nostril, then repeat the entire procedure at 3 hour intervals. This will flush out any germ infested mucus.

After 2 days, if symptoms persist:

R) Continue with the water flush, but after each flush use an ordinary toothbrush to clean each nostril. Be sure to remove any clingons from the bristles after each flushing operation. Discard the clingons in the usual manner: rub them on the underside of the sofa or flick them into an inconspicuous corner.

Still having difficulty? I see… try this:

9) Place a birthday candle inside each nostril. DO NOT LIGHT THE CANDLES!!! Whadda you, crazy??? Sheesh! Hold each candle between thumb and forefinger and apply inward pressure while twirling the candles back and forth. This will lubricate your nasal passages and allow clingons to be more easily removed in steps 1) and R)

Still hab a stubby doze?? OK, one more try:

@*) Request the assistance of a trusted friend or loved one. Hand them a ping pong paddle, have them stand behind you with the paddle held parallel to the back of your head. Have them be ready for “the signal.” Fill a glass with ginger ale and place two drinking straws in the glass. Insert a drinking straw into each nostril. Now you are ready to give “the signal,” at which time your helper should whack the back of your head with the paddle. This will cause an involuntary snorking of ginger ale deep into your sinuses; which will of course fizz out any congestive fluids.

I personally have not tried any of these methods, so once you’ve given them a whirl please report back to me as to their effectiveness.

So… remember that Beautiful Nurse Lady I mentioned earler? The one I’m married to? Well guess what she did?? She said, “Honey, you need to go to the doctor.” Now, we’ve been married for awhile and I’ve learned (too often the hard way) that all goes much better if I follow orders.

I went to the doctor. He said, “you have a sinus infection.” “Oh,” I replied. “What do I need to do?” “I’ll prescribe some antibiotic pills for you,” he answered.

I got the prescription filled for FREE at our local pharmacy!! Is that cool or what??

So I wondered, “what, do I just shove these up my nose???”

Could’ve been worse, Goofy got a bad one…

Linguini On Parade

Hello My Fellow Pastrami Crinklers,

This is to inform none of you that all new banana recipes should be turned in to the Front Sniffing Room before 12:47 p.m. on Tuesday, August 72, 19127. This is to ensure the cranial vibration machines will be well coagulated prior to sailing off to Monster Island.

None of you may remember “The Hatchling Song;” the words of which were “stolen” by Gus Parbnackle during the Second Coat Hanger Revolt of 1924.

This enjoyable malady has been renewed during the last 28 microseconds and is now sung to the tune of “Inna Gadda Da Vida”:

Guess who barfed on my shoes today
Do dah, do dah
Hatchlings shouldn’t act this way
Oh do dah day…

Some may proclaim, “hey, that looks like it should be sung to the tune of ‘Camptown Races!!’ ” Well of course those who find that line of dingle berries fuzzy and warm will never be successful at launching pickles with catapults. No, rather they will wander aimlessly over hill and dale; squandering what was left of my 2nd grade lunch money.

I’d like a refund yesterday or the year before if you please.

If you find it necessary to rekindle the spirit which is found to be both blue and wormy; please run directly to your neighbors and ask them to return the crescent wrench your uncle borrowed shortly before dinner last Wednesday morning. Perhaps they are unaware that even inanimate objects yearn for their homeland; which is exactly why we intend to bury all wrenches back into the iron mines from whence they originated.

In summary, I must remind you not to rub sandpaper inside your mucous membranes. Fortunately, that practice has been abandoned long ago due to the over abundance of spaghetti in water fountains made by Mattel. Additionally, please stop putting duct tape sticky side up on my favorite Loaf Toasting Chair. I’ve been mocked numerous times during my grocery store excursions that followed some nice Loaf Toasting Sessions. If you Are Willing to comply with My Duct Tape Restraint Request (DTRR); I’ll also Be Willing to Cease the Use of Grammatically incorrect CapiTalization (UGIC).

MayBe. If I fEel liKe it. OK MaybE noT.


Thank you for being who you are. After all, if you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be. That would be very confusing to you now wouldn’t it??

My toes look like morel mushrooms again!!

Happy Bozo Express,

Zibnick G. Amplegrane
a.k.a. “Monty the Moth Rancher”

Without any further ado, here be this week’s cartoon.  Gotta love Betty!!


High-Tech Dinosaurs

Well folks, we’ve gone and done it. We went High-Tech!! That’s right… we’ve stepped out of the 70’s and all the way into the 2000’s!! Well not completely… we still still enjoy some of the very old technical things. For example, I have this totally cool Grundig 960 up here in my office. Well, actually it’s a replica; but I love it. It’s one of those old fashioned AM / FM / Shortwave radio thingies with a dial that lights up and everything!!

Oh… and not to forget the recordings. LPs, cassette tapes, CDs… oh and for your viewing pleasure we have many selections on VHS and, yes, DVD. No Blue Ray yet though. And yes, I have equipment that will play all these things.

We still get much of our TV from an antenna. I mean really, who needs more than 34 channels?? Well OK since we got our Roku we can get some TV off the internet and get GOBS of channels; and somewhere along the line my Honey Pie even got addicted to Netflix. Truth be told, there’s probably way too much TV available at our house.

Some of these programs are highly addictive. Compared to some folks, we don’t really watch all that much TV; especially during the warmer months. Heck, in the middle of June we get a smidge over 15 hours of daylight here in Beautiful West Michigan. Who wants to be sittin’ in front of the idiot box when it’s nice outside?? But fall is here, and the days are quickly growing shorter; which puts us into a kind of hibernation mode. Our Aunt Joyce got us hooked on shows like NCIS when she was still with us… and we’ve become total junkies. My Beautiful Girlfriend got hooked on Once Upon A Time, and this year it is on at the same time as one of my favorites, The Simpsons.

What to do??

Until very recently we would tape one show while watching the other. This meant using the TV (of course), the VCR, the surround sound, and the digital tuner, because the TV output was not compatible with the surround sound. Four devices. Four remotes. Oy yoy yoy. We also got fancy a couple years ago and bought a Panasonic flat screen TV for the bedroom. Panasonic TV, meet Panasonic VCR. Same brand, two separate remotes. However: I was trying to tape Gotham the other day, and thought I had it all set. I had the tape machine all programmed and off we went to a friend’s house. Came back, hoping to watch Gotham and… nothing. Didn’t work. Why? BECAUSE THE TWO REMOTES AFFECT BOTH DEVICES!! So, you think it’s all set to go, then you nuke all your taping stuff unwittingly with the other remote.

Is that cool or what??

Sure, we have successfully recorded shows on glorious VHS, but as most of you out there in Technology Land know, magnetic tape kinda sucks when it comes to video quality. So yes, boys and girls, we took the plunge. We bought us a DVR!! Yay!! And because it has two tuners (yes, we’re still using the antenna), it will record two different shows at the same time!! Wow!! And it even has prehistoric RCA jacks so I can hook up my Paleozoic surround sound to its outputs!! Fantastic!! And it also has some cockamamie dealy called HDMI so I only need one cable going to our TV!! Holy Moly!! Oops I lied… the TV gets 3 cables: antenna, HDMI, and power. Oh well, you get the idea.

In case you’re curious about our Brand New, High Tech Dinosaur Machine; here’s a the model number with a link included. Click on the Magnavox MDR867H to see what it is. Had some fun finding a DVR that didn’t require a subscription of some sort. Had even more fun finding one that would connect to all my prehistoric electronics. I’m not a fan of Walmart, but they had it in stock and shipped it quickly.

The moral of this silly rant is that the High-Tech Dinosaurs are not the electronic toys we have at our house. Rather, we are the High-Tech Dinosaurs; and we’re not afraid to admit it. My Beautiful Girlfriend upgraded from a flip phone to a brand new, used iPhone 4s.  Works great. I work in IT, so you’d think I’d know better; but I made the mistake of taking my iPhone 6s for a walk in Lake Michigan. They don’t like that so good. However, an employee was leaving the company so I was able to snag their very reliable iPhone 5s before it was sent back to the home office. I’ll probably keep it till it dies or until I retire; whichever comes first. As far as our home electronic stuff, I try to spend a little more on quality so it lasts. Consequently, I have a 13 year old computer, and I think my stereo in the living room is approaching 20 years old. Both still work just fine. The home entertainment stuff in our bedroom is more in the realm of 9 years old… so that’s still young yet.

As for the VCRs… and yes, we will still have at least one that works in the house; hey, fuhgettaboutit awreddy!!

Perhaps we could get Betty Boop to drum up some cool inventions for our household amusement…

The Strange And Mysterious World of Domestic Physics

There have been some verrry strange happenings at our house.  We apparently live in a nether region where inanimate objects behave in ways not understood by modern physicists. Things I’ve observed over the years made me wonder whether there was a small possibility that our cat, our dogs,  and perhaps even the humans have influence over the physical properties of stuff.  But this cannot be possible, because all the living beings at the homestead have always vehemently denied any such involvement.

Here are some examples of the types of physical anomalies I’ve observed over the years:

1) Garbage cans have force fields over the opening that can selectively disallow trash from being deposited inside.

Proof of this presents itself in the form of garbage that lies all around the outside of the trash can, but the can is nowhere near full. Note to the reader: it may also be possible that the force field affects objects AFTER they have been placed in the garbage. Trash particles are apparently ejected on occasion, especially in “the bathroom zone.”

P) Garbage is often invisible until brought up in conversation.

This phenomenon was especially prevalent when the kids were still young and living at our house. Example: I’d arrive home from a hard day at the computer mines, and when I walk in, a plastic milk carton greets me at the door with that stupid plastic carton look. Lots of humans are buzzing about, and are completely unaffected by the milk jug’s very smug attitude as it lies there on the floor. As I wonder why it’s not in the recycling, I can almost hear its taunts… “ha ha, they can’t see me!” So, I say to my son, “why is this milk carton on the kitchen floor?” “I didn’t see it,” he replies.

9) Gravitational forces are much stronger on expensive, fragile objects.

Only the good stuff seems to get broken, for some unknown reason. Cheap junk made of the crummiest glass can zoom from atop the refrigerator and come away unscathed, while expensive candle holders and other fine breakables are destroyed in no time flat. Often these events of mysterious destruction occur when no one is anywhere nearby. Perhaps they are killing themselves in some obscure religious fanaticism that involves jumping off shelves shortly after purchase. However, I am more inclined to believe that this is either a strange gravitational phenomenon, or possibly the notorious Notme or Idunno rascals that Bill Keane described in “Family Circle.”

c12) Dog poop can camouflage itself, and hides insidiously as it waits for new shoes.

This is especially true of the poop from very large dogs, because although there is not a leaf to be seen on the lawn, humans can walk in areas that appear to be completely safe but are in fact quite hazardous. Unsuspecting pedestrians can take the most stringent precautions and still discover that the soles of their new shoes have been disgustingly soiled. However, I must admit that poop camouflage has amused me on more than one occasion, especially when I see that silly squint as the victim begins a frantic foot rubbing dance on “clean” grass.

Unless it’s me.

Well, as you can see, there are very frightening occurrences in our neck of the woods. I could go on and on, but that would spoil the book, which would of course be much longer than this here chunk of text. Be careful if you decide to come visit, as I am not able to verify the stability of anything these days. For all I know, at least two scenarios might be in store for you… maybe more. Either Notme and Idunno will plot horrible things in anticipation of guests; or gravity, the lunar phase and the aurora will band together to cause very expensive knick-knacks to self destruct for no apparent reason.

More on this as it develops… in the meantime, I’ll just have to take my chances in our small corner of this mysterious universe. Maybe put fly paper on the outside of the garbage cans so they will catch the trash as it tries to escape. Oh, and I think I’ll install pillows under my honey’s fancy shelf thingies.

May I have my medicine now?

Speaking of physics, these two gents had lots of fun bending the rules.

Rock The Vote!! Again, And Again, And Again…

Say what??  Many of us in the U.S. are already pretty sick up and fed with election crap, and really ready to leave all that junk alone and move on with life.  Doesn’t matter which side you’re on;  there is sure to be much more activism and mudslinging between now and November. Either way, political rhetoric has already reared its ugly nostrils and is sniffing in the deliciously annoying media compost bins.  Many of us will march to the polls and cast our votes, and some who complain the loudest will abstain (sigh).

As my good friend (not) Mr. Nixon would have said, “let me say this about that.”  We need to determine what kind of planet we want to live on, and more importantly, what kind of planet we want for our kids.  So, we all need to rock the vote.  Again and again.  Not just with ballots, but with each dollar we spend.  Now, I can’t tell anyone what to do, but here are just a few examples of how I “vote” and why:

Chemical Fertilizers, Pesticides:  I do not buy them.  Ever.  Why?  Fertilizer is available naturally in most places where plants grow naturally.  Composted leaves, grass clippings, and manure are good examples of soil building materials, and are natural fertilizers.  I do have to consume some energy to retrieve these things.  However, much more energy is consumed mining, processing, packaging, and shipping fertilizers and pesticides.  A lot of petroleum is used to support this industry in the form of fuel for energy, and petrochemicals for processing.  And let’s not forget how they are packaged, either in paper bags (bye bye trees) or plastic bags (petroleum again!). And even more wonderfully, the factories that manufacture these goodies pollute, and when it rains their products also pollute.  And don’t even get me started on “weed and feed.”   Our lawn gets mowed, that’s it.  The neighbors probably cry when my dandelions are in bloom.  We think they are pretty, and the bees love them.

In the garden, we get some pretty awesome veggies that we grow organically.  We do not spray any crops to keep the bugs off, but rather we use crop rotation and companion planting to keep insect damage to a minimum.  I’ve heard some folks say, “without fertilizers and pesticides you would not have all that wonderful produce you see at Meijer.”  Well that is simply a crock of moose juice.  Anybody notice the proliferation of certified organic produce at the supermarket??  Huh??  Guess what?  Those growers are doing pretty well these days.

Packaged Meals:  First of all, blech.  Sodium, ingredients I can’t pronounce, sodium, and more sodium.  Most packaged meals are packed full of chemicals, which are made by chemical plants.  Chemical plants consume energy and pollute.  More petroleum.   The chemicals they make pollute our bodies.  We try to eat fresh whenever possible.  Oh, and not to forget the packaging:  plastics and paper.  More dead trees, more dinosaur juice.

Automobiles:  One of my all time favorite hot rods was a Toyota Corolla.  I get 35 miles to a gallon, sometimes more.  When our son’s car died, I passed it along to him; albeit with a “serious defect”:  the odometer won’t go any farther than 299,999 miles.  It’s a known defect and the only way to change it is to buy a new instrument cluster.  The stupid thing still runs like brand new!!  My lovely wife has a Toyota Matrix, which will also get over 30 mpg.  Thankfully, these days I work closer to home so I don’t have to burn so much dinosaur juice.  Our planet has a finite supply of oil, and cars are just a small part of the consumption of it.  Call me a “tree hugger,” or whatever other radical environmentalist label you like; but Hummers and Escalades and the like should be illegal (in my professional opinion).

Electricity:  “Turn the lights off!!  Whaddya think, we own the Edison??  That’s what your Grandma and Grandpa would say ya know.”  My beautiful wife would shout this at the kids to remind them that power costs money.  She used “the Edison” to refer to the power company because when she was a kid growing up near Detroit, that was the name of the outfit that ruled the electrons.  So she echoed her mom and dad when yelling at our kids.  We must have raised them right, they both confess to be habitual light switcher-offers (technical talk).  Here again, electricity generation relies a lot on fuel, whether it’s coal or natural gas or whatever.  There is more and more alternative energy available these days but the percentage is meager compared to the output of fuel burning plants.  More demand equals greater dependency on petroleum, either directly (burning to generate power) or indirectly (shipping coal).  During the Arab Oil Embargo in the seventies, Mr. Nixon (holy cow, I mentioned him again) urged everyone to conserve.  Businesses were urged to turn off all lighting except that required for security or safety reasons when they closed up shop for the night.  Drive past any shopping mall and see if this is the case these days.  I think just a couple people are leaving the lights on!!

Think Globally, Act (buy) Locally: “Everything’s made in (expletive deleted) China!!” That’s the refrain my lovely girlfriend and I chant when we go shopping. Never thought I’d actually say it, but I do my best to buy goods that were made locally or at least as close to home as possible. And yes, I do find myself looking for the “Made in USA” label. Of course, we buy things that are made abroad, but having some awareness is vital. Keeping the dollars at home help our communities thrive.

Well, I could go on and on, and this could become a very very long Happy Friday.  Suffice it to say that I would see more people join a movement of “Let Every Dollar I Spend Send A Message.”  And yes, I’m sure there’s much more that I could do… I sometimes spend my money on crap just like anybody else.

Of course, I’m not so naive to think that voting with dollars is the answer. Rather, it’s the tip of a very large iceberg. Decisions we humans make have deep and lasting effects on our Mother Earth and all the Citizens of Nature (that includes all of US). There IS positive change in the works, but it is woefully under-reported by the media.

My friends, we need to stand up for what’s right, but learn to disagree without being disagreeable.  We can do this.  Together.  With Love!!

It’s not a new concept…

An Open Letter To All Humans

Dear Tinker Toy Handlers,

This is to inform you that our house is exploding and the bottle rockets have prevented me from listening to the stereo for 13 weeks. I know that you are the ones who forced me into this situation, and I demand immediate constipation. If you do not comply with this request, I shall be coagulated instantly while I sail off to Bermuda with a large tube of toothpaste. No one has the right to tell ME what to wear to the Chicken Festival! So please, before our relationship has been too greatly damaged, change that stinky underwear you have on! You should know by now that the brown and yellow crusties are a clue that wash day is past!

And another thing: every time I sit down, my butt makes contact with another thing! I wonder: how many times has my butt touched another thing without my asking the thing if it wanted to be touched? I’ve also learned that my butt and my brain appear to be  connected. I know this to be true because a) I’ve made some really embarrassing mistakes during my stay on this planet we call Rhubarb, and 19) every time I forget something, I sit down and instantaneous remembering occurs within 7 or 8 millirockens.

Now don’t correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure you cannot be allowed to stay in the country after those things you did with that flyswatter in the restaurant. I mean, people who try to eat soup with a used flyswatter are probably not going to be invited to my burping contest anytime soon. Unruly behavior will be rewarded with gentle slappings about the eyes and shoulders with the standard issue licorice flavored water balloons.

Please remember that the child within you needs to be nurtured,

and only YOU (and your Maker) can do it.

If you ever feel sad or lonely, you can take action on this by paying me some big bucks. I will gladly use the money for disturbance mechanisms which will not allow you to get proper rest. A few weeks of this and you will forget all about that whiny inner child; and you will sport a pleasant, robotic appearance. Another tried and true method of healing the inner self is to shame the heels that find you. In other words, whenever some schmuck tries to mess you up, grin politely and suggest that they eat bark and poop at the moon. They will usually be glad you were honest, and will mumble unintelligible affirmations as they briskly walk away.

Well, as you can see, there is no reason to panic. Nothing is all right here, and the world is coming to an end. Please understand that I have found some very effective ways to deal with the stress that Armageddon brings. Firstly, give yourself the treat of some good all around attention: walk through the mall without clothing on, and smile to all you meet. Second: stop in the restaurant and briskly apply jelly to your ears. Your eyes will get squinty, and you will laugh loudly at the lack of pockets for hankies to wipe it off. Next will come the overpowering urge to charge people extra for car repairs.

Nevermind. That may have been a dumb idea. Just try something else, ok?

If you question my sanity or the validity of any of the aforementioned delinquent parboiled Parthenons, I say to you, “tough beans, Mr. or Ms. Smartenheimer!!” Sheesh!! Being absolutely correct is one of my hobbies, and unless I am mistaken, I have never been totally accurate on any doggoned thing in my whole life!! Fortunately for me, however, I know now that the more I learn the less I know. I learned that… I think. Ya know??

So in silence, I grant you three wishes, none of which will ever come true so forget about it. Don’t push me into something I don’t understand. I have low self-esteem and you know it. I have been taking classes for this, and they told me the best way to talk to people about your problems is to lie about the weather and run away laughing.

Be friendly to all you meet, as you may wish to borrow their used cereal someday. Have a conversation with a foreign car. Sing loudly with a mouthful of spaghetti; you’ll quickly learn who your real friends are. Feed your fish some dust and see how they like it. Try drinking from the toilet, cats do it all the time. Carry fried food in your pocket and offer it to strangers. Lick a telephone pole for fun.

Above all else, please remember: GOD MAKES NO JUNK, SO LOVE THYSELF!! OK?

Thank you for being, it gives me great comfort to know that you are.

Also, thanks in advance for not eating the crayons.

Peace, Love, and AM Radio,

Forvis “Green Tongue” Marbleswapper

a.k.a. “Runs With A Flashlight”

Well, OK, that was weird.  But hey, anyone remember Gumby?  Pretty weird!!

Popcorn Thieves Are NOT My Friends!!

So there I was, minding my own business, 10,000 feet in the air, no plane, no parachute… oh wait, no, I wasn’t there; but I WAS in the garden and I almost cried and rolled on the ground when I noticed that the wind had knocked over some of my corn stalks; but no big deal, right, because we had some very big storms recently and the corn was OK it just needed to be stood up again and that went well but holy cow the next day I got so exasperated that I started this Happy Friday thing with a really long run-on sentence complete with sentence fragments because…


Well I can’t prove it was raccoons, but it sure looked that way, because somebody knocked over the stalks and was a-munchin’ on the ears. And this is not just regular corn mind you. Nooo!! It’s popcorn, and I even helped it have sex and everything!! Say huh?? Yes, boys and girls, I pollinated the corn by hand to make really sure it took. I usually only grow one row of corn; which doesn’t lend itself to thorough pollination without some help. That means that during “pollen season,” when the tassels are flowering, I need to make really sure some pollen reaches the silk on the cobs; otherwise the cobs won’t be full of kernels when the corn matures.

Since local yokels provide us with lots and LOTS of delicious sweet corn, I’ve decided to specialize in growing heirloom popcorn. It’s really pretty, multicolored stuff that resembles the so-called “Indian corn” that folks like to hang up for decorations. And the flavor, oh my… it really is true that there’s nothing like home grown food. I usually end up with about 10 pounds of corn each year; not too bad for a single row.

Needless to say, I was NOT happy when the stinkin’ coons got into my corn!! My son in law helped me put in a fence some years ago; which was a response to both deer and raccoons in the garden. Worked very well until this year when the popcorn bandits apparently scaled the fence and went in a-stealin’. So! Being the kind person I am, I went and doused each plant with some cayenne pepper. I was hoping that if they came back they’d get a nice snoot full and that would make them go a-runnin’ for some nostril relief in the creek or something.

No good. They came back and had more munching fun.

Next step: a live trap. Off I went to the local Farm and Home store and bought me a trap. The nice lady at the counter listened to my laments, and suggested some dog food for bait. So I got me a couple nice cans of dog food. I put half a can of dog food in a little plastic dish, then set the trap outside the garden; thinking I would catch the coon on its way to the corn patch. Raccoons are nocturnal critters, so I set the trap out just after sundown; with the intent of checking it before bed time.

I’m a bit of a night owl, so I took my trusty MagLite flashlight and focused the beam on the trap from my vantage point on our deck. Lo and behold, I saw the reflection of two shiny eyes looking back at me. However, I thought I also saw two fur colors: black and white. It didn’t look like a skunk… seemed too big. Regardless; I approached with caution.

When I got a little closer it was obvious I had caught neither coon nor skunk; but rather a very large kitty cat. As I got within range of the trap I scolded the captive, “You get outta there!! You’re not supposed to be in there!! I’m tryin’ to catch a raccoon!!” I lifted the door and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a cat move so quickly.

Although there was dog food in the dish, the kitty apparently wolfed it down; because there was very little left. We live in a semi-rural area so it was no surprise that a stray would come visit for a free meal. This one must be pretty good at finding food though, because he was a big feller. And no, I didn’t check to make sure it was a boy… but seemed like it.

I washed out the dish, baited the trap again and this time set it inside the garden. My garden fence may not be raccoon proof; but I’m pretty sure it’s kitty proof. Got up kind of early this morning to check the trap… nothing. Freshened up the bait again for tonight and I’ll be checking again before beddy bye. If I catch one tonight, we’ll be going for a little ride. We have this nice river just south of us, I’ll just drive it across the river and set it free. I’m thinking it’s not likely it will cross the river to get back to our house.

OK. So if you happen to run across any raccoons with popcorn eatin’ grins on their faces, please let me know.

I have a bone to pick with them.

Maybe I should get Pluto to help out… or maybe not.

Another Year Of Awesome

Well kids, I may be getting older. Not that I feel old, mind you. But…

I’m sitting here at the keyboard thing,

Just thinking and remembering

That back in 1972

There she was, eyes of blue.

Initially we were just friends,

But soon we were much better friends,

And then (and now) the best of friends

Sharing awesome love that never ends.

Let’s see… reality check… 2016 minus 1972 equals 44. HOLY MOLY, I’VE KNOWN AND LOVED THIS LADY FOR 44 YEARS!!! Can this be real? Who am I? What am I doing here?? Am I really 62 years old now?? Sheesh!! And then, as an added bonus, this beautiful lady allowed me to marry her on August 21, 1973. So like, this coming Sunday will be like an anniversary, like you know??

Like, WOW, MAN!!

Very wow!!

I’ve been telling friends all day at work, “if our marriage survives until Sunday, we’ll be celebrating 43 years!!” I asked my Beautiful Girlfriend if there was any chance our marriage would make it for two more days, and she gave me that “whadda you, nuts??” kind of look and said, “I’ll think we’ll be OK.” So… YES!!! We’re gonna be married 43 years this Sunday!!

Can you tell I’m pleased about this?

Now for you youngsters(of all ages), just want you to know that this marriage business did not always come naturally to us. It took many weepings and gnashings of teeth at times. Lots of give and take. Lots of goofs and forgiveness. Lots of problems, but thankfully, lots of working on solutions. There, I said it: it took work for us to get where we are today. And you know what?? I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

These days, it feels like we’ve been together our whole lives. We are both very OK with that notion. Heck, we’ve been best buds since were were 17!! Childhood memories are still there of course, but almost becoming a flash in the pan.

So I want to thank Heaven for allowing us to be so fortunate. Life is very good you see. We are not financially wealthy, but we certainly aren’t poor either. We are blessed.

As you can probably tell by now, I get a little mooshy around this time of year. I’m so SO grateful because I have everything I’ve ever wanted in life. I sometimes verbalize it to my Beautiful Honey Pie.  “Honey,” I’ll say, “all I ever wanted was the love of a Beautiful Woman, a nice family, a nice home, a little bit of land (we have 5 acres), and a kick-ass stereo.” I have all these now!!

The moral of the story: all the work is really paying off!! Again, financially we are not really wealthy, but I consider myself one of the richest people on the planet.

Lots of music has touched my heart over the years, and I often sing some of my favorite songs out loud to my Beautiful Girlfriend. Well OK, I sing them pretty much wherever I am.

For this week’s video fun, I’ve posted a couple examples.

Peace, Love, and Happiness to you All!!