Daylight Craving Time

“What to write for tonight?” he wondered (OK, he is actually me). Let’s see… there’s Hallowe’en coming tomorrow, but COVID has made us very unwilling to go house to house trick-or-treating in the middle of a pandemic. Instead, we’re meeting our grandsons and their folks at a cemetery to play “hide the candy on the kids.” This was our daughter’s idea… sounds like fun!

“But hmmm… what to write for tonight?” he (me again) continued to wonder. Well, there’s an election coming up… but nah. Folks are getting pretty tired of everything political about now. I use the mute button on the remote quite a bit these days when political ads hit my TV. It’s OK to be tired of all of it… BUT PLEASE VOTE!! We done voted already. But we’ll be very happy at our house when we start getting a little less junk mail. Well, OK, Christmas is coming; so the junk mail will still make the mailbox bulge, there will just be different ads.

“I know!!” he (OK it’s really me again) exclaimed, “I’ll whine about the loss of daylight after we turn the stinkin’ clocks back again!!”

So here we go again. A few weeks of getting used to the early darkness is on its way. I thought about writing some cockamamie jab at the history of Daylight Saving Time, but there are so many convolutions that I ran away screaming. If you’re really interested in that stuff, Snopes has a pretty good page that describes it all in a nice little nutshell, here:

http://www.snopes.com/science/daylight.asp.

Any who how, most of my friends here in Beautiful West Michigan are very OK with the concept of Daylight Saving Time during the summer. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy having daylight till 10:30 PM?

But now Autumn has invaded and the days are getting shorter and shorter. Gets dark about 7 or so now. And of course when Eastern Standard Time comes back, we gain an hour of sleep but the darkness comes to visit with the 6 o’clock news.

That’s icky.

Foist of awl, I’ve never really been a morning person. Sure, I used to get up in time to go to work each morning: I’d set the alarm for 6 AM and then snap out of bed… after I slap the snooze alarm about 3 times. But hey, I’m retired now.  I am don’t liking the alarm clock thing, OK awreddy?  My Beautiful Girlfriend still works twice a week, so the Screaming Alarm Clock Thing still yells at us at 6 AM, but thankfully only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  And guess what?  It’s on my side of the bed, so I get to slap the snooze (usually about 3 times) for my Lovely Honey Pie.  Oh well.  She IS the most Beautiful Woman In The Universe, so I oblige.  Some folks try to soften the blow by saying things like, “well, it will be light a little earlier in the morning.” WHO CARES?? I wanna sleep!! !! I’m not gonna play in the daylight at 7 AM!!  Sheesh.

Second of awl, I need to reiterate how spoiled we are here in Beautiful West Michigan during the summer!! Summer, after all, is my favorite time of year; and we get very long days. I really love being in the garden until it’s too dark to see; and as I mentioned earlier that’s almost 10:30 PM here during part of the warm months.

I try to remind myself of being spoiled, because I’ve experienced the other end of the toaster handle. When I was a kid growing up on Long Island, it was dark outside not too long after we got home from school. In those days, our local fire department touched off a siren every day at precisely 7 PM. Now, when you’re a little kid who has to be heading home “when the 7 o’clock whistle blows,” you still can have lots of fun with hide-and-seek because it’s dark outside at about 5 PM. We’d eat supper, go outside and play, and have gobs of fun running around “at night.”

So even though we haven’t turned the clocks back just yet, and even though I now live on the far western edge of the Eastern Time Zone, I’m already craving more daylight. Not gonna happen till March 14, I know (I just looked it up). Arizona and Hawaii don’t observe all this clock switching nonsense. I’d be OK with that, so long as we were able to keep Daylight Saving Time.

Please write to my congressman and woman to make this happen. I’ll give you $3.40 up front for an incentive, and I’ll even bake you an Apple Surprise pie (Surprise!! I put raisins in the apple pie for the fun of it!). If you can get this done before Sunday, I’ll even make you an Apple Surprise Surprise pie (Raisins and walnuts!!) !!

Well, it’s time for me to quit writing about time now. There was a time though, back in 1973 when I had a very nice time, listening to these guys. My very first rock concert in my living life.  All I could say then (and all I can say now), was WOW!!

Chicken Nuggets Billy Bob Llama Juice Coffee

Our grandsons are here for a visit, and what has now become something of a tradition, I’ve asked their assistance with some story ideas for “Happy Friday!!!” Previous renditions have revolved around strange titles, for which I was expected to come up with some sort of story line. Maybe I shot myself in the foot this time, but tonight I asked for some random sentences that I would incorporate into this week’s blog post. I got a few ideas; although the first suggestion came in the form of an interesting glob of words. Without further ado, I shall attempt to write something that utilizes their ideas; and you will know when it’s something they gave me because it will be in bold italics.

“OK guys,” I said, “tonight is Friday, so you know what that means? I write a story every week. I need your help with some ideas. This time, how about some weird sentences instead of just a title?”

After some hesitation, the first suggestion was “chicken nuggets Billy Bob Llama juice coffee.”

“Huh??” I asked quizzically. “Um… that’s not a sentence. Can you please think of some sentences? I don’t care whether they make sense; and they don’t even have to be related.” As these instructions flew out of my mouth I began to think maybe I was biting off more than I could chew. They did not disappoint, however, and here comes the result. Remember, their ideas will be in bold italic.

Chicken Nuggets Billy Bob Llama Juice Coffee

by Ken Hansen (kind of)

Late one day in the middle of the night, I decided to go visit Billy Bob. On the way to his house, I stopped at the local McBarf and bought some of his favorite munching things: chicken nuggets. I phoned him right after I left McBarf, and he said, “hey man!! Hope you didn’t get anything to drink!! I am making your favorite: llama juice coffee!! I’ll wait till you get here, because I know you love that stuff.”

Holy moly, when he told me about making the lama juice coffee I was totally geeked. I haven’t had that stuff in a very long time. Hard to get it because of COVID you know. My mouth started to water so bad I had to get out my drool cup to catch all the slobber. Billy Bob is a good friend, but although he means well sometimes he gets a little greedy with treats. I was really hoping he wouldn’t dip into the delightful beverage before I got to his house. But of course, when I pull up to his house, knock on the door, and go inside, what do I see?? Billy Bob is drinking the llama juice coffee!!

“Couldn’t wait, could you??” I blurted out. “Well, hey, can’t say I blame you. That’s some pretty good stuff.” Billy Bob apparently felt a little guilty for starting without me, and tried to conceal his cup by sliding it behind his back. “No, man!! I didn’t start without you!!” It wasn’t any big deal to me really, but I knew he was fibbing. I mean, hey, Billy Bob and I are both very aware that every time he enjoys our special treat, the llama juice in the coffee makes his face shrivel up. “Hey dude, take it easy!! I’m OK!! You were kind enough to make the brew, but you should know by now that you can’t hide the fact that you drink it. I mean, your face is really shriveled up!!”

Billy Bob must have been having a bad day, because suddenly he became a bit defensive. “I’m really sorry, man,” he explained, “but please don’t pick on me right now. After all, my ears are on fire.” “Say what now??” I asked with amazement. “Ummm it sure doesn’t look like your ears are on fire,” I replied. “But now that you mention them, they do seem a bit hairier than normal.” I stepped in for a closer look, but Billy Bob stepped back abruptly and shouted, “do not shave my ears, they smell like cat turds!!” Quickly he covered both ears with his hands as if to protect them (or maybe me… if they really did stink). Then he said something totally off the wall: the fribbleknockers on Mars always give away free stones.”

I had to step away a bit, and then it dawned on me… llama juice coffee has always had a strange effect on my friend. So I flat out told him, “Billy Bob my friend, I think we need to find us a different treat. I mean, you’re having some very strange reactions to this delightful beverage. Let’s go downtown and see if we can get another one of those grapefruit milkshakes at the gas station.” Billy Bob was instantly relieved. He liked the grape gas milk fruit station shake idea very much. We hopped on our 5 wheel scootercycles, hoisted up the sails, and waited for a few days for a nice wind to power us downtown. We had a great time during our 6 hour ride from Billy Bob’s house to the grape milk station. Once we arrived, we ordered our shakes. As we slurped our new treats, we smiled and promised each other to leave the llama juice coffee alone for a few decades.

What can I say? We are best friends!!

The End

Hmmm… what to do about this week’s video? I’ve got it!! Let’s “celebrate” the upcoming election!! Don’t forget to vote… for Grampy (?).

Columbus Corruptus

Happy October to all the boys and girls in the Gregorian Calendar Universe!! Whether you’re a cat or an ant lion, I hope you all have a wonderful October; and may the Great Pumpkin bring you lots of presents on Halloween. But, hey, if you really ARE a cat or an ant lion, it’s not likely you’re reading this, so just nevermind. Go eat some antmice or something.

For all youse human reading-type beings, Happy October already. Not sure about your neighborhood, but ours is extravagantly beautiful with glorious fall colors these days.  It’s truly a magnificent Autumn this year.

So this past Monday was Columbus Day.  A federal holiday here in the U.S.; which is why our daughter now refers to it as “no mail day.”  She actually calls it that for other reasons which I shall elaborate upon in a minute.  Even though it’s a holiday, nobody invited us over for Columbus Cobbler with Moosetracks ice cream and small waffles dripping with olive oil.  Maybe I was expecting too much!!  I don’t need any of that stuff, anyhow. My COVID midriff is already becoming large enough to store unused motor oil. Wanna go get a Whopper?  I think they’re on sale!!  Anyway, I remember hearing about Columbus when I was very young. Most of you probably do too; you know… he journeyed over here in 1492 in three ships: the Ninja, the Placenta, and the Hanna-Barbera. Or something like that…

Now that I’m an old fart and have learned a few things, I’ll have to say I’m a bit confused about the fondness for Columbus Day. Well, I understand how the Italians think it’s pretty cool; he was one of theirs, after all. But when I was a kid, the teachers lied to me with their faces. They told me that Columbus discovered America. This makes me cry inside. They even made us learn that stupid poem:

In fourteen hundred and ninety two,

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

If he hollers let him go,

Eeenie, meenie, myenie, moe.

Pretty weird poem. Even though I may have it a little wrong, my revised version makes about as much sense as Columbus “discovering” America. Sure, he was able to talk Isabella into financing a voyage to look for a new route to India. He basically got lost and ended up in the Caribbean, in what later became known as the West Indies.

Eventually he figured out where he really was, so he made several more trips and got the ball rolling for Spain to conquer Central and South America. Then lots of Europeans were catching on to the riches in “New World.” Bad medicine for the folks who were already here for several thousand years (not so good for lots of Africans, either). The white folks were absolutely sure they lived in a Superior Universe, and if you didn’t believe them, they had the weapons to prove it.

OK, I digress.  Remember when I mentioned that my school teachers lied to me about Columbus “discovering” America?  Well that’s because archaeologists and historians have learned otherwise.  Turns out Vikings were here about 600 years before Columbus, and even tried to settle in a place they called Vinland. Didn’t work out so well, so they went back home. Guess they were happier chasing whales and herring.

My ancestors were vikings, but that’s not your fault.  Come to think of it, it’s not my fault either!!   And it’s also not my fault that when I was a kid in school, we white folks didn’t seem to get nearly enough information on the history of the Native Americans; who were really the first ones here. But hey, why should we have focused on any of that?  We Europeans stole this continent from them fair and square!

Can you tell I feel strongly about this?? I mean, Columbus didn’t discover ANYTHING. Lots of folks knew about this place before he did. When I was a younger lad, I’d rant and rave about this stuff like there was no tomorrow. Get really emotional and all that. Veins protruding from my neck, pale face turning into red face. With freckles. Now I’m still a young lad, but I live in an old man’s body; so I’m pretty sure all that red face vein protrusion stuff is not healthy.  But I’ve learned a few things over the years; and now I can do something REALLY weird. I can pay attention to what’s going on, and vote. Change the things I can, accept the things I can’t.  No more red vein protruding face stuff.

Sure, I love living in a free country and having the luxury of owning too much junk. But I try to be sensitive to those who were here first. I still get mildly irked about all the Columbus Day hoopla, but it’s numbed out substantially. Thankfully, the term “Idigenous Peoples’ Day” is being celebrated as a substitute for Columbus Day in more and more places every year.  As our daughter so accurately stated:  for us, “Columbus Day” is just another day when we don’t get mail.

As I said in the beginning of this little rant, the Autumn colors of the trees are pretty much at a peak. Now, THAT’S something to celebrate for a Happy October!! Fresh apples and lots of other fall harvest goodies are ready and waiting for us at the farmers markets and in the stores!!

Well, it’s getting late, there’s supposed to be frost on the pumpkin tonight, and the kitty wants in. He’s staring at us, just outside the door, and probably beaming messages for me to get off my hiney and let him be warm with us.

Guess I’ll go outside and “discover” cold air!

Oh, and remember when I mentioned that one of Columbus’s ships was the Hanna-Barbera?  They made a lot cartoons!!  Unfortunately, I could only find snippets of them on the interwebs; so I didn’t really want to plop one of those here for the weekly video.  So here’s a here’s an early Merrie Melodies gem I “discovered” after some digging (meaning I’ve never seen it before).  Hope you like it as much as I did.

I Love To Sing-A

Once upon a time, there was no way of understanding the amount of stress rapture which many (or most?) of us endure in these modern times. And if you take that amount of stress time, and multiply it by 13.7, you not only get an overuse of the word “time,” but also can even time how long it takes to type time three hundred and thirty four times.

What time is it again??

So there I was, watching the news, and trying not to cry too much or barf on the floor. You know, there’s so many storms and COVID monsters and political poop toss and on the other hand you have 5 fingers (I hope!!) and both of your fingers get caught in the toaster while the blender is playing “I Shot The Sheriff” but maybe that’s all a bunch of malarkey but you know I can get really stressed out from too much yikes and Oh My God and holy moly this run-on is getting way too long!!

Now I’ll use yet another run-on sentence to turn the page to the Retirement Days of My Great Happiness, because they are quite the opposite of stressful work days; and I need to stay grateful that I am now retired and have a steady (albeit much smaller) income that all the friendly Medicare scammers and make-a-believe car warranty thief people want to take rom me; so then it’s time to breathe… breathe… and then suddenly my friend Zignop has a computer problem and calls me to say “the trees are too noisy and I can’t extract data from this electronic burnishing tool;” so then I’m expected to fix their computer for free or maybe 12 cents and holy cow someone left a package of M&Ms on the stairs is anybody looking???

Yes.

Breathe…

Breathe…

OK. Better.

So! There are only 1,238 ways to deal with such stress. One way I’ve embraced is to sing. You know the popular saying… something like, “sing as if nobody’s dancing,” or maybe it’s “dance if nobody’s singing” I think. I really do love to sing. And I sing a variety of stuff as I’m walking about, and it helps me to relieve stress. Sometimes it will be a Beatles tune, sometimes Lorde, sometimes Al Jolson… and sometimes, much to the amusement of my grandsons, it will be completely silly. An example:

I’m keeping a sandwich in my nostrils for youuu…

And when I take it out it will be covered in glue…”

This of course is sung to the tune of “I’m Keeping A Sandwich In My Nostrils For You.”

Other times I will walk off to a small hiding area and belt out a very loud Tarzan yell (and I do a pretty good one if I must say so myself). Some folks find this very amusing, others run for the bathroom.

Bottom line is: if I allow stress to rent too much space in my kidneys, it will harm me badly. When my Serenity Alarm goes off, I better get busy and smell the donuts; or I may say something unkind to someone. Even worse, I may be unkind to someone I actually like!! Either way, I’d need to apologize, and even though crow is a dish better served warm, I try hard to avoid barking at people’s elbows. It’s always better to be kind and try to be happy than to be bitter and succumb to the yucky poohs.

So my friends, there you have it. If you need any more I’ll sell you some at market prices, multiplied by 13.7

Thank you for your “time.”

So… speaking of stress management, here’s some fun stuff that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I have over the years.

Everybody Still Has Cooties – A (sadly) Necessary Rerun

And we’re getting tired of it…

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve heard that our President has tested positive for COVID-19. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask EVERYONE to pray for him and his family to have a safe and quick recovery.

When writing “Happy Friday!!!” I normally stay far away from politics. I figure everyone hears more than enough from other media without me honking my horn. However, even though I am not a fan of the current administration’s policies, I am rather saddened when I see folks on the interwebs spreading ill will; regardless of to whom it is directed. I’m one of those old hippie freaks who still lives by such mantras as “make love, not war, ” and of course the refrain from one of my favorite Beatle songs, “All You Need Is Love.”

We need to heal our planet; and that will never materialize unless we all do our best to live by the Golden Rule.

Anyway, as a little reminder, I thought I’d republish this “Happy Friday!!!” that I posted back in June. Dunno about you, but my Beautiful Girlfriend and I are getting very weary of COVID-19. We all need to work together to get this nasty bug under control.

So here’s the rerun…

During prehistoric times when I was a kid, there were no video games or interwebs; so we had to find creative ways to amuse ourselves. Often, games of tag were morphed into various forms. One such form was to tag someone as “it” and proclaim loudly that the person had cooties. “Aaaaggghhh!!! Kenny’s got cooties!!! Run!!!” And we would scatter like wild little animals to avoid becoming “it.”

There was a more serious (and even repulsive) meaning back in those days, as many adults of the time referred to head lice as cooties. However, it would seem that the childish notions eventually won out, as evidenced by the arrival of The Game of Cootie; which involved constructing a cootie from parts that were garnered via the rolling of a die. These days, to say that someone or some thing has cooties is a way of expressing a dislike or perhaps even disgust toward that person or thing.

Now here we are in the midst of a pandemic. People all over the globe are getting killed by this deadly virus called COVID-19. By now we’ve all heard the guidelines to prevent contracting and spreading the virus. Here in Michigan, our Governor drew sharp criticism for issuing executive orders to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. Her willingness to make tough decisions based on scientific evidence has paid off: the rate of new disease cases has fallen dramatically. Things are looking better, and slowly but surely the state is opening back up.

My wife and I tuned our brains into all the precautions very early for two simple reasons: 1) she has a preexisting lung illness and 2) we are in the “high risk” age group (over 65). We still wear a mask when we go to the store; and diligently wash or sanitize our hands and other objects when we’ve been outside our home. We’re also very selective as to which other humans we allow into our home. If we are not completely confident that they are following the guidelines; we make sure we minimize contact or at the very least we maintain social distance.

My Beautiful Girlfriend (a.k.a. my wife) and our Beautiful Daughter are both nurses. They know how to stay safe; which means they know what’s OK and what’s not OK. It has only been recently that we were able to visit with our grandchildren. And even more recently, hugging was finally allowed (no smooches!!). We have a list of “safe people” which includes our son, daughter, son in law, grandchildren, and a very small number of friends.

Since the opening up of various businesses, etc. we have noticed an increased number of people who don’t wear masks. There are also gatherings that are taking place; some of which are not being very mindful of social distancing. While we’d love to join the fun and have everything return to normal; we are holding back and remaining cautious. My Beautiful Girlfriend has often referred to me as her “social butterfly.” I’m the one who welcomes new friends and new social situations. But this COVID-19 stuff is serious business. It would likely kill my Lovely Bride. Therefore, until we each get a proven vaccine; we’ll continue to assume that everyone still has cooties.

Hope all of you are well; and hope you stay safe. This is not a game!

Well OK, these videos are about games…

Lawns: The Cash You Save May Be Your Own!

Please don’t hate me for this, but I have to speak up about something that many Americans consider sacred: the lawn. Sure, I love that plush green outdoor rug, but in NO WAY do I look forward to the weekly mowing ritual. Talk about a totally silly human custom! Lawn mowing seems so fruitless. We certainly spend a lot of time tending a crop we can’t eat! Well, I suppose you could eat it; but you can never be sure of whether it’s tainted with doggie weewee.

The primary reason our lawn gets mowed is that I have a spouse. Left to my own devices, our yard would probably grow into the giant weed patch that Mom Nature intended it to be. Since our marriage contract would never allow this; I have come to accept the weekly ritual of beheading the huge conglomeration of plants we call a lawn.

We don’t bag up the clippings or fertilize or anything; just mow. Fortunately, my wife and I agree that the less work a lawn brings, the better off we are. She’d love to have a “golf course lawn,” but she knows how environmentally icky that would be. When the lawn comes up in discussion at our house, she laments, “we don’t have a lawn, we have a yard.” God bless my poor Honey Pie… although she’d love to have “a real lawn,” she has accepted the fact that all the fertilizers and other chemicals needed to do that would be very insulting to Mother Nature.

Some people are very fussy though; they water, fertilize and carefully inspect the blades of greenery. They want to make absolutely sure that grass and ONLY grass is growing! I’d love to invite some of those types to inspect my weedy ground, and watch them go nuts. Then I’d invite them in for a grapefruit milk shake and complain about the terrible waste they’re generating. I just think it’s weird that folks actually spend money to poison the ground with weed killers and fertilizers so they can wash it into my drinking water with underground sprinkling systems. This runoff isn’t any good for lakes and streams, either.

Most types of weed killers are designed to kill, among other things, white clover! Being a legume, clover makes nitrogen in the soil (as all good legumes do), and feeds the lawn. Remember finding four leaf clovers when we were kids? They were in the LAWN (or maybe just the yard…). But now the lovely clover has been dubbed a weed, and for too many of today’s home owners; weeds in the lawn are taboo. Personally, I’m grateful for clover and its weedy mates. They join together with the grass to form a nice carpet at our place; one we’re not afraid to play Tackle The Kids on. If we go a little while between mowings, we get some beautiful flowers, too! By the way, white clover seed is readily available at most feed stores; nudge-nudge, wink-wink. No special tools needed, just fling it about here and there if you want to add clover to your yard carpet.

Some folks even post KEEP OFF THE GRASS signs! Something like that is more anti-American than flag burning if you ask me. How does the stuff get mowed if you have to KEEP OFF? People must be mowing, though, and they DO bag the clippings. Instead of letting them hit the ground where they can decompose into humus (more lawn food that helps soil hold moisture), they send them off to consume scarce cubic feet at the landfill. Why not let the clippings lie, and SAVE MONEY on garbage bags? If you get too many clippings due to extended mow – procrastination (like me), they make great mulch for the garden! Thankfully though, many communities place yard waste in a large pile and compost it. I’m one of those weirdos who actually goes to the dump to retrieve grass clippings and leaves. At our local transfer station, they are free for the taking. Excellent soil building material for the vegetable or flower garden.

So… why not let Mom Nature water instead of sprinkling? It’s possible you could SAVE MONEY. Sure, an occasional drought might mandate a little rain dance with the hose. Or not!! Grass will go dormant during a drought, and usually comes back when the rain returns. At least, that’s true here in Beautiful West Michigan. Watering the lawn makes it grow more, so you mow more. And hey, there’s something intensely sad about an automatic sprinkler system running full-tilt-boogie during a thunderstorm. Oh, and I bet you’d SAVE MONEY if you didn’t buy the weed killers and fertilizers. That would help keep our lakes and streams healthy, too.

So hey, next time you’re SPENDING MONEY on all those nasty chemicals for the domestic hay crop; just ask yourself, “Self, what would happen if I didn’t do this anymore?” I mean, would it be so terribly bad if a lawn took on a more “natural” character? I put “natural” in quotes because lawns don’t really occur in the wild. But all those nasty “weeds” do, and a lot of them were invaluable to our ancestors for food and medicine. And yes, those “weeds” still are very valuable; and there are even folks who seek them out while foraging for food or medicinal flora.

A suggestion: quit with the fertilizers, weed killers, and lawn watering already. The very worst that could happen is that your yard would become filled with useful (and often beautiful) plants. With something simple like the lawn, there are lots of opportunities to be environmentally responsible.

And oh yeah, did I mention you can SAVE MONEY?

I couldn’t find any good cartoons about mowing the lawn; so this week’s video is just plain weird… so I thought I’d better share it with you.

Peace, Love, And Understanding

Well my friends, here we are again in another election cycle. Lots of opinions flying around the interwebs and the Twitbooks and Facepages. Some opinions are based on facts, some are making up “facts” as they go along. All I know is, if someone is very sure about themselves, there’s not much I can do to get them to look in a different direction. There was a time in my life when I felt it was very important for me to try however; and all that accomplished was hurt feelings and sometimes the loss of a friendship.

A very dear friend of mine used to say, “you know, we can disagree without being disagreeable.” As I grow older and moldier, I try to practice that philosophy. Sometimes I fall short, of course; because what can I say? I’m human. In tough times though, I’m finding that peace and harmony are much more important than getting on a soap box.

Does all that mean that I’m OK with injustice, hatred, and environmental insults to Mother Nature? Of course not! I just need to be careful not to spit out all the “My Way Or The Highway” platitudes. There’s certainly enough discord in this world without me stirring up more. However, anger can be stirred up even when facts are presented. An example: I recently posted what a complaint about the actions of a government official on the Bookface. This unleashed a torrent of comments, some agreeing and some not. I was saddened by one of our leader’s actions and I spoke out, but I was not prepared for the sniping that my post generated. Then, unfortunately, some name calling ensued.

My response: delete the post. I could no longer bear the sniping.

All of us have the right to our thoughts; but when discussion morphs into anger fueled rants, communication is sabotaged. Name calling (even if it’s directed toward the government official I complained about) will not promote harmony; which is desperately needed right now. Bad enough we have to endure a pandemic without spewing venom at each other.

As I type all this I suddenly find myself on a soap box!! So be it. Guess I’ll continue to speak out… there really is an awful lot of injustice and other nasty activity going on around us. We really do need to speak out against the madness. We just need to do it in a peaceful way that strives for the greater good. We need to disagree without being disagreeable.

To quote a favorite artist of mine, “what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?”

Celebration Time!!

Many of you may know this already, but I’ll say it again anyhow. I am married. Not only that, I am fortunate enough to be married to The Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe (all other women are the 2nd most beautiful), and we are very happy. We are best friends, and even love each other enough to smooch and all that other married people stuff. Are we weird or what???

This extraordinary wedding event occurred on the 21st of August, 47 years ago. Therefore, in honor of “Happy Friday!!!” silliness I do hereby relate the details of a glorious make-a-believe honeymoon we never went on; and of course we still hope we never do do that, and HA HA, I said do do, which sounds like doo doo but it wasn’t, so that became fodder for a nice run-on sentence which has often been present in my silly writings and there was another one special for all of YOU.

There we were, 10,000 feet in the air, no plane, no parachute, wondering where we should go for a 47th anniversary honeymoon. Halfway down we forgot to remember a nice getaway called the Hotel Frankfurter Hotdog Ranch, where you shell out $19.75 (or more, depending on the type of honeymoon suite you choose) for a room, dinner and breakfast for two, taxes and tips all included in the bill. Very nice at amazing price!

I had booked the room 22 years in advance, as a surprise. Finally the big day arrived. There we were, in our 1971 Maverick along the Lake Michigan Shoreline, and suddenly several policemen sang polkas to us while blue smoke from our tailpipe gases filled their eyebrows. Then we started the engine and headed up North to Frankfort.

With an average speed of 12.7 mph, we made it to Frankfort in a record twelve days. Several parts of the car were missing when we arrived, but we just figured the noises were from that funny rope we substituted for the fan belt back in 2013. The hotel was everything we expected it to be. Deep green clouds of putrid dust belched from the chimneys of the honeymoon suites. We turned to each other and winked, knowing that it would soon be OUR turn to ignite the bricks of dehydrated pond scum. At the main entrance, we backed up several yards and then ran through the masking tape barrier they put up to greet new guests. On the other side, the staff greeted us in their traditional lizard suits, urging us to bring them insects from the nearby chocolate shop.

After checking in, we decided to take a stroll down to the pier before dinner. There we found very sad fishermen leaning against iron pilings. To our amazement, they were told they were reassigned to a project that involved teaching giant (imaginary) freshwater squid how to read and write. The squid plopped themselves on the pier and wouldn’t move to let us by, so we did our best to comfort the fish holders, who ate oversized jelly beans while they cried out for extra ballpoint pens. Suddenly, I had a terrible sinking feeling…

“My Mom knew this would happen,” I uttered.

“What? She knew WHAT would happen,” My Lovely Bride asked.

“My left leg just turned into scrambled eggs,” I pouted.

My Beautiful Honey Pie scolded me, saying, “Kenny, get the heck out of that broken sewage line!! This is no time for stink-o-rama.” I apologized diversely, and she promised to make some sock puppets when we got home. She knows I’m a sucker for a bucket of removable training shingles (ching-ching!!).

We went back to the Ranch and waited in the basement to be called to dinner. I must point out that this was my least favorite part of our celebration. I couldn’t find the light, so of course I tripped over the giant rusty telephone and nearly fell into the washed popcorn they pulled from the dryer lint trap. Our reservation was finally stained, and we were shown to our topsoil.

Dining at “The Ranch” is nothing short of elegant. The long, dark hallway’s cracked cinder blocks are accented by the flickering light of bunsen burners at each desk. I had to sit on the side opposite the chair sliding-in place, but that didn’t dampen my moisture. I ordered filet magnum, and My Sweet Love got shrimp on the half shell. We shared and split the entrees down the middle with a chain saw and splitting maul. Our waiter forced us to watch “Little Lulu” cartoons while we awaited the arrival of the meal. But that was OK; because halfway through the 37th cartoon, My Lovely Bride’s mood had been visibly altered. She gazed at me longingly, as if I was the next course, then began licking her napkin and pressing her butter knife flat against her eyebrows. What a woman!!

Dessert, of course, was the house specialty, “Frankfurter Hotel Rocky Ranch Hot Dog Heaven,” made with fresh hot dogs that were caught the previous Wednesday. They do magical things with mystery meat. We were awestruck by the lovely appearance of the dish and the surprisingly delectable cherry sauce and peppermint rice cream toppings.

After completely filling our tummies, The Rollers came and boofed us up the stairs to our room. Special humor was exploding as they let us roll downstairs 23 times before finally slamming the room shut on us. We laughed most jolly and tried to reach the pond scum fireplace with our bellies dragging on the floor, splinters in our garments and happy broken belt loops. Needless to say, My Lovely Bride did the napkin-licking butter knife eyebrow thing the rest of the night, and I responded in turn by recycling the flypaper in the master cylinder accusation chamber.

You can bet we’ll be back again on some other imaginary anniversary. Until then, please deform all your friends and neighbors while they are sleeping. Their armpit hair, after all, will soon be converted into satellite receivers.

Now please pass those hot dogs!!

Or maybe pastry…

Random Fribble Knockers And The Wild Businessmen Neptune Fruit

We’ve been blessed with the presence of our grandsons this week; and as is customary, they got to choose the “Happy Friday!!!” topic for tonight.

During an elegant dinner of frozen pizza (DiGiorno’s, of course) I posed the question, “what should I write about tonight?” Responses were pretty much instantaneous. “Fribble knockers from Neptune and their odyssey to France!” Ollie declared. Then Gabe chimed in with, “random fruit!!” After Ollie whispered something into Gabe’s ear, Gabe exclaimed, “and wild businessmen!!” Pretty sure my face looked a bit puzzled as I acknowledged both with, “OK…”

So here goes…

Random Fruit, Wild Businessmen, Fribble Knockers, And Their Odyssey To France

by Ken Hansen (I think)

In the before times, businessmen ran wild in the jungles of Yooglania. They led a rather ordinary life, bonking out messages between 9 AM and 5 PM on hollow logs with their ceremonial message bonkers. Since there were no electronic communications in those days, all business had to be conducted either by long distance bonking or cave to cave visiting. In those days, there were known to be two types of businessmen: Tame Ones and Wild Ones. The Tame Ones were kind of boring really. They just walked around trying to sell stone tools and animal skins to people who already had all that stuff. They didn’t make much money but they were OK with just lying around and eating ants and beetles. It’s possible they watched a little too much TV, because they really loved to watch reruns of The Flintsones.

The Wild Ones were much more fun to watch. They would send out the message bonkings, then run to the nearest cave with a big bag of stuff to sell. When the homeowner would come to the opening of the cave, the Wild Ones would just start saying really weird things like:

“Hey!! Your toes are dirty!! Wouldn’t you like to buy a banana??” Or…

“Oh No!! That spider doesn’t know its name!! I bet you need to purchase some cherries!!” And…

“Holy Moly!! My cat can yodel!! Wanna by some grapes??”

These strange offerings of random fruit would often get the cave owner so confused, they would buy mangoes and kiwi fruits… just because!!

Ancient Yooglania was a small part of what is now called France. In those days, both The Tame Ones and The Wild Ones would have a business convention every year. This took place in a town they called “Cool Tower River Town;” which has since been renamed Paris. It was a rather unusual event, because The Wild Ones would have random fruit tossing parties while The Tame Ones just sat around and watched The Flintstones on TV.

During the year that Bliffy the Great T. Rex was in town, everything was very festive until something very unexpected happened. The sky became dark (because the sun went down), and out of the night sky came strange yellow orbs with really fancy flashing lights. As they drew near, it was obvious to everyone that these were some sort of space ships; so when one landed in the middle of Cool Tower River Town people gasped in fear and hid in the bushes.

As the door of the big yellow orb opened, a stairway was lowered to the ground. The businessmen could see the form of a strange being walking down the stairway. As its feet touched the earth, the being was surrounded with a foggy green haze that spread over the land and smelled like burnt pancakes. Very soon after the green haze floated away, the being spoke:

“Hello People Of What Will Soon Be France! Please excuse the green haze, I farted!!” The businessmen giggled and covered their mouths to hide the laughter. “We are Fribble Knockers from the planet Neptune. We have come in search of Fribbles so we may knock on them. Please direct us to your nearest Fribble Forest!!”

The Tame Ones were scared out of their minds, so they just pretended not to be afraid. They sat motionless in front of their TVs while yet another Flintstones rerun was on their screens. The Wild Ones looked at the Neptunian Fribble Knocker and then huddled to discuss how to respond. Then Chorp stepped away from the group and up to the Fribble Knocker. He seemed to know exactly what to say:

“Hey!! Your green fart fumes have really annoyed the T. Rex!! Wanna buy some apricots?? We have no idea what Fribbles are!! Wouldn’t you love to purchase some lingonberries?? Maybe you should try your luck on Mars… they might have some Fribbles you can knock. Here, try a free sample of grapefruit!! You’ll really need to buy some pineapples!!”

The Fribble Knocker looked rather confused. Not only was it annoyed that there were no Fribbles, but it was entirely confused at all these random fruit sales ideas. “No thank you, I guess we’ll be going. Please have a nice… um… whatever it is you’re having.” And with that, the Fribble Knocker got back into the yellow orb. It soon made what sounded like a thunderous sneeze, and with a great “AH-CHOO!!” it launched back into the sky and flew out of sight.

And that, my friends, is why you should never eat salami and pudding at the same time during a snow storm.

The End

(I think…)

How To Bake Bread

People have been baking bread for thousands of years. In fact, bread has become one of the most important foods on our wonderful planet. But no one, NO ONE, makes bread the way I do. That’s probably because I’ve never made bread!! But I have eaten it many times. After a very small amount of imprecise research, I have gathered some truly scientificable ideas on the making of bread. I’ve also learned a few amazing remarkables by listening to other bread basket talking peoples. Therefore, I have decided I should share my secret bread making observations with all of you, right here and right now, whether you like it or not.

The main ingredient in any good bread is, of course, grain dust. You know, the stuff that happens when they grind up wheat, oats, or rice, for example. Sure, some people call this flour, but I find this too confusing. I mean, I love the smell of spring time, and occasionally someone hands me a blossom of some sort and says, “Here, sniff this flower.” Of course, being the friendly person that I am, I put this

flower up to my nose and sniff its wonderful sniffiness.

But suppose I have my eyes closed, and I’m offered flour instead of a flower. I might be able to notice by touching that it was a bit powdery. But if I had my eyes closed, and was not holding it, and I put my nose in the flour and sniffed… that would not be pleasant. I would probably have a very powdery sneeze. Then I would reach for a tissue; and if I wasn’t careful I cmight make paper mache’ in my nose!

Therefore, my professional opinion is the term grain dust is much more correct. I suppose one could call it “powdered wheat,” or something like that. I just think grain dust has a nice ring to it, OK? So anyhow, grain dust is the main ingredient in bread. You certainly couldn’t just fill up a pan with grain dust and bake that, now could you? All you would get is cooked dust, and it would make a real mess if you tried to put it in the toaster. No, you have to make the grain dust soggy with something so it will stick together. That’s where the moo juice and chicken seeds come in handy. Oh sure, now someone has to know what moo juice is, right? Of course, it’s the white water from cows!

**!!WARNING!!**

Cows make two kinds of juice: one is yellow and one is white. Never, *NEVER* USE THE YELLOW MOO JUICE FOR COOKING. Very ocky. Whew! Glad I warned you! Of course, unless you live on a farm, it’s not likely you’ll see much of the yellow moo juice.

Not sold in stores.

And chicken seeds? That’s where new chickens come from. Just plant some under a warm mama chicken, and the seeds will sprout baby chickens in a matter of weeks. It’s truly remarkable! Infertile chicken seeds will not germinate, so those are the kind normally used for bread construction. You wouldn’t want to kill a baby chicken just to have bread, right?? These infertile seeds are also called “eggs,” and are used for baking cakes, kromkaker, omelettes, and other neat things to stuff your face with.

OK, so now we have the stuff to make the grain dust gooey so it will stick together. If we mix some grain dust, moo juice, and chicken seeds up in a bowl, the goop will just sit there and look at you. Not very bready looking, if you know what I mean. We have to put some stuff in the goop to make it floof up, so the bread will be puffy instead of flat. Bread bugs are just what we need.

Scientifically known as “yeast,” these tiny little bread bug organisms are poured out of their package and into the goop. Then they are allowed to have families, make babies (lots of them, too!) and eat the goop for a while. The bread bugs pig out really well and burp a lot while they are eating. This burping makes bubbles in the goop, and the mixture begins to rise from all the fun the bread bugs are having. Such bread bug burp mixture is often referred to as dough. Science is very remarkable about naming things, because until this (not very) extensive research about bread, I was always under the impression that dough was another name for money.

Who knew it applies to bread??

It’s always good to have dough, especially when you want to buy something. I’ve always figured that’s why bakers work so hard… they knead the dough. Hey, I need dough as much as anybody else, and it sure seems like you gotta shell out a lotta clams (another term for money) for everything these days. So maybe I’ll go to work in the bakery so I can shell the dough and knead the clams.

Anyhow, you have to knead the dough to bake bread. Then you have to be able to loaf; and then into the oven the dough must go. So does this mean if you’re a good loafer, you can get a lot of work done baking bread? Apparently so!! Very confusing, but I’ll push those thoughts out of my brain while I sniff the delicious odor of freshly baked bread.

OK. Now you may or may not have all the information you knead to bake bread. I’m getting hungry with all the bread talk! I think I’ll make myself a clam sandwich and get a nice glass of that white moo juice so the clams will have something to swim in when they’re inside my tummy.

Happy Bread Baking, and don’t loaf too hard!