Who Cares About Whom?

There are times when Happy Friday!!! jumps out of my fingers and into the keyboard; and there are other timing fingers not have word jump out. It’s almost as if they are fighting for something to breathe in a sea of oxygenated bread molecules that have never seen the blight of clay. In other words, they’re are sum thymes when I gist can’t stick an idea on the end of my nose thing and launch it into a narrative of weekly infestation.

Four egg sample:  tonight I was very late in the garden removing pesky weeds from one of my beds (not the kind I sleep on, I have only one of those).  So when the darkness arrived and I noticed how late it was outside, I knew I’d probably better dig up something out of the archives, massage it a little, and present it to your eyeballs to enjoy; hopefully without greatly flammable pencil warts.  Yes friends, there are times when I look back at the Holy Cow I Have A Lot Of Stories (HCIHALOS) and “recycle” one; so tonight I cheated and dug up one from 5 years before the day we’re having now.

So to continue with the “I have no eye deer what to write” crackle sauce:  when trying to discover a topic or idea for a Happy Friday!!! thing, sometimes a friend will tell me something that jars my cookies like no other fried banana milkshake could ever induce a nice warm cranberry casserole with fuzzy coconut thimbles mounted atop a psychedelically decorated Mambo Contest. This is a moment of inspiration from which I become most eviscerated with a nice piece of antimony topped with a small dollop of crème brulee.

Therefore in the spirit of my Grandma who never gave me any Grammar lessons, I hereby renounce this run-on introductory somnambulism; which was precipitated in a conservation in witch, once upon a time, approximately 5 years ago, in a land very near to my home, while riding in an automobile very near to my hiney, in a smell phone very near to my ear, my dear friend Dave Gordon, whose first name and last name are really both First Names; this Dave Guy he said unto me, “I think you should write something about whom. You know, like everybody says ‘who do you love,’ when it really should be ‘whom do you love?’ “

“So!” I said to myself while listening to this Grampa talk Grammar; “so now I must look this up, as I am ashamed to admit that although I try to indemnify my audible colonoscopy with good usage; there are times when I fall short, much like many U.S. citizens who seam to have difficulty with both spelling; usage; punctuation!, and the correct contextual use of the word “both.”

Its time’s like these when a much younger me would get all bent out of shape when a person would use an apostrophe to write plural’s rather than showing possession and / or when used in a contraction. Of course, many women who have given birth would probably rather not remember the contractions. However this is no excuse to vary from the rules of Grammar, or Grandma either for that matter. Ignorance of the Grammar rules may sabotage your chances of getting a job, while disobedience of Grandma rules may sabotage your chances of getting more cookies. Nay, I say unto you, I no longer flatulate over the lack of knowledge of “proper English grammar.” I do shake my head at times when I see it on billboards or in sentences written by college students; but it is not for me to judge. Mine is but to sing songs loudly and belch boastfully when my belly is full of delicious rock salt pudding.

Our son once pointed out a well documented fact that “who” was a word that was invented by owls. That of course is obvious to anyone who may have listened to owls asking that question over and over and over and over again. We may not know to whom they are posing this age-old question. That does not matter; because, of course, they know. And since they only use “who,” and never have I heard them use “whom;” well that just illustrates to me that they understand (and probably invented) the following rules that I just stole from www.grammarly.com:

Whom is an objective pronoun; it should be used to refer to the object of a sentence. If you’re stuck, you can try this formula: if the pronoun can be replaced by he or she, then use who. if the pronoun can be replaced by him or her, then use whom (you can also look for the preposition).”

OK… so let’s have some “reverse fun” with that rule and substitute bass-ackwardly:

“Who are you?” could be switched to “He (or she) are you?” and…

“Whom do you love?” could be noogled to “Her (or him) do you love?” and perhaps one of my brand new, just now favorites…

“To whom it may concern,” could be flinkled to “To him (or her) it may concern,”

So in the case of a preposition like “to,” then whom is to be used, and please, try to remember that a preposition is a word one should never end a sentence with. You may wonder why anyone would object to such usage, but the object is missing so don’t go there with me you silly baroopy noise making person you!!

Oh I could go on and on with this, don’tcha know. None of those examples in the “reverse fun” substitution calamity are correct usage, but guess what? I don’t care!! Ha ha!! I laugh to this!! I am now chortling! Chortle chortle!! Guffaw guffaw!! Or if Popeye were laughing, “OCK ock ock ock ock ock!!” Weird laugh…

Anyway, although I used to be very persnickety about such things, I try hard not to snip and gribble about someone’s grammar, nor their Grandma. One thing I’ve learned during my sojourn in this plane of sentience is, to quote Ebenezer in my favorite Scrooge movie, “I don’t know anything. I never did know anything. But now I know I don’t know anything.”

Sew their.

And now for something completely different…

Is Anyone Out There?

Seems like some Earthlings have been obsessed with a very old question: is there life on Mars? I pondered this myself for what seemed like hours, just before hitting my head on the pillow last night.

Well, DUH! Bet those science folks spent some big bucks researching this no-brainer. Of COURSE there’s life on Mars!! Lots of other places, too. Folks in Hollywood have known this for years. My good friend Vexor the Sarganian laughed openly about the stupidity of Earthling scientists, and has often helped movie makers get the real picture. “Lobster Men from Mars,” for example. Lots of diffent kinds of folks out there on the other planets. Earthlings are just too arrogant to embrace that idea. Or maybe we’re just chicken!

Vexor is, of course, from Sargan: the 5th planet of Sector 23vx in the Skoldern Galaxy. A pretty cool dude, and he’s been around, if you know what I mean. Got that 479 Megazip Crambo-Leaper a couple yargons ago, and he’s been tearing up the Interstellar Speedway ever since. He took me for a ride once, but I get starsick; and, well, I’ll just be staying on Earth for a while (I barfed on his crystal- regulated zoomophone).

Anyhower, he’s known about life “out there” for years. When I asked him about Mars, I think it upset him, though at first he just got this blank look on his face. Then he scrunched up his eyes, and blurted out, “Where the heck ya think all those chocolate candies come from?? Says `Mars’ on the back, don’t it?? Jeez, man, don’t you pay attention?” I sat there, dumbfounded, as he continued to illustrate my cosmic ignorance.

“You can even smell them making the chocolate from here,” he ranted. “All you have to do is go to Hershey, Pennsylvania and look through a telescope at the beautiful Red Planet. Before you know it, you’ll smell chocolate.”

“What’s so special about Hershey… hey, wait a minute,” I said, grinning. “That’s where the Hershey bar factories are, you Moogle Framer! Ha, you got me there. Ha ha.” Vexor laughed too, and slapped me on the back playfully with his dretzel. Then he put me in my place again by noting that he hadn’t been called a Moogel Framer in over 43 durns. I guess I used an obsolete expression. “Nice try, though, you silly Zoff Pinkler!” he chortled. He thought that was pretty darned funny, but I was getting a bit impatient. Vexor picked up on my frustration pretty quickly, and being the sensitive Sarganian that he is, he returned to Mars as the focus of the conversation.

“Yep, you may remember reading in the National Globe Star Enquirer that Elvis is alive. He’s making records on Mars, and doing quite well, thank you. His favorite candy is his own creation, the Hunka-Hunka bar. Some kind of cross between chocolate and a peanut butter sandwich.”

“What, no Snickers??” I asked this of him with a pretty strong tone. I was a bit shocked that Vexor hadn’t mentioned what I considered to be one of the best chocolate bars in the universe. “Of course,” I continued, “they are becoming the amazing shrinking candy bar. Something happened with the size lately, and they’re not quite as big as they used to be. Still cost just as much, though. Perhaps they should be renamed `Sneakers’.”

Vexor started tapping his pedplarbs and fidgeting with a small piece of croob. When I quit rambling, he started anew. “You wanna gab about junk food or you wanna hear about Mars??” He was almost shouting at me, so I shut up. “OK. Now, where was I?” he continued. “O yeah. Elvis. He bought one of those fancy belts from Leroy, too. Helped him bring a lot more folks into his concerts at the Martian Mosh Pit there in New Kramia.”

I was puzzled. “Leroy??” I queried. “Who’s this Leroy?”

“Duh,” Vexor chided. “Don’t you Earthrats know anything? Leroy Aster! You know, the inventor of the Asteroid Belt! All those shiny things on his custom made belts really bring in the crowds. Gotta have good technicians to train the lights on them just the right way, of course. Those Gleebnoogles from Jupiter really go nuts for that stuff. Spend thousands of smoglards just to get a peek!”

He had a great time reminiscing. He paused and tilted his head back, rolled his eyes and shook with laughter as he recalled some of the fun he and his girlfriend Vosk had at some of those Elvis concerts last month. Wasn’t long before I was being treated to his best bag of dehydrated skunyon and a tall glass of brak-ma-gar.

Then the alarm clock went off…

But wait!! Perhaps it wasn’t a dream!! I forgot about Marvin!!!

An Ounce Of Prevention

I am SO MUCH looking forward to Monday!! Why? Well I’m retired, so it’s not work… actually while working I don’t believe I was ever happy about Mondays. Unless I was on vacation.

So Sunday I begin the prep for a most wonderfully enjoyable procedure known as a colonoscopy. I think it’s pronounced co-LON-o-scope-eeee. Maybe not, but doesn’t that sound like fun? I can hardly wait to drink 430 times the normal dose of laxatives to clean my guts out. I had to do this before… and I “fondly” remember the happy intestinal volcanic rumbling that ensued during The Big Cleanout. I’ve always loved Intestinal Volcano. Has a way of letting you know you’re alive.

All this wonderful fun was prescribed as preparation for some happy probing of my southern torso by aliens on Monday. My exciting dining regimen for Sunday will include clear liquids and PKP (Poop Kaboom Powder). Around noon Monday they will clunk me with the anesthetic sledge hammer and have their way with my colon. Those medical people think they have me fooled… they think I am not aware of their little game. This is all an excuse for them to do pole vaulting experiments with my hiney hole. You see, when we are zonked out, they play funny games with our bodies and we just lie there with that anesthetized look on our faces. Perhaps while I’m there, they could take some of the hair from my back and plant it back on my head where it used to be. Or possibly they could do a little liposuction while they’re in there with the garden hose thingy that has the video camera on the end of it. I’m unreasonably sure the hose is what they use for the Happy Colon Scoping.

Perhaps they have a trained snake or eel that they use to climb inside and look around for clingons, or whatever else they hope to find in there. I’ve heard about polyps being removed during the procedure, and I figure that snakes and / or eels would be very good at biting those off from the inside. Of course, a snake would need some sort of breathing apparatus during all this. Maybe a snorkel or some kind of miniature aqualung. Eels probably would need something too, because although they can breathe in water with their gills, I would never send a trained eel into a poopy environment and expect it to try to breathe the kaka water. That would be cruel and inhumane treatment, even for an alien-trained poopy probing eel.

Or maybe this “procedure” is actually a ploy to extract methane from unsuspecting visitors. With all the tooting I’ll be blasting during the prep, I’m betting the gas could power a generator for the day. That would certainly help those medical folks curtail their energy bills. That’s probably it… they need the gas! I’m sure they don’t want the fertilizer from all the trips I’ll be making to the potty, because otherwise they would have specified that I collect it as I go. I believe enough fertilizer will be made to cover several acres.

While I’m sedated I’m sure they will have fun drawing cartoons on my belly with magic markers, or maybe they’ll be taking provocative photos of me posing with food and non-clear liquids. Pretty sure I’ll be craving a nice burger and a shake afterward!! All this in the name of prevention. Ya, right. Whatever. If nothing is wrong, I get to stay clear of this happy time for ten years. By then, technological advances will make a big difference. They’ll probably be able to zonk me out with a little zapper the size of a pencil. No prep, they’ll just use a machine to purge all the goodies out of my booty. Finally, rather than trained snakes or eels, they’ll be sending in the robot snakes and eels.

OK, maybe what I described about the Happy Colonoscopy Day is not what really happens. But I’ll never really know for sure now will I??

And now for something completely different…

Nitrite Ni-Nights

COVID has provided ample excuses for sitting on the TV while watching the couch (or something like that) and eating deliciously fattening foods.   But since we’ve both been vaccinated and spring is here, my Beautiful Girlfriend and I have decided we need yet another adventure in food control. Again. For the 123rd time. I think. We’re trying to make our hineys smaller; that’s the bottom line. Get it? Bottom line!! I make joking!! Ha ha!! Butt seriously folks, in order to make that happen, it means eating differently: low fat, high veggies, less carbs, more protein and fiber. You know, rocks and sticks and stuff.

Well guess what?? During a recent grocery store excursion, I was determined to find some low fat stuff that was fun to eat. Like maybe liverwurst or hot dogs or something. What??  Those are not low fat??  Well don’t ask me why, but about every six months or so I get a craving for that stuff. Yes, I know there are lips and noses and all sorts of weird stuff in hot dogs. And God only knows what all they put in liverwurst. Sure, they both have ingredient lists on the package, but you just can’t help but think they put something in there that they aren’t talking about. Although both can have sodium nitrite in them (not a good thing for your body), I don’t eat them often enough to get any nitrite nastiness. I hope… Anyway, I figured once in awhile won’t hurt. On our latest munchies mission we were looking around for some foods that wouldn’t put the lard in our booties, and guess what we found? Low fat liverwurst (known in these parts as braunschweiger) and fat free hot dogs! I grabbed a package of each, and very soon enjoyed the decadent pleasure of processed meat. A liverwurst sandwich with low fat mayo and a dab of mustard for lunch, and a couple fat free hot dogs with my stir steamed veggies for dinner. I was in hog heaven. Pun intended (there’s really no such thing as “low fat liverwurst”).

I suffered no ill effect, and got my processed meat craving out of the way for awhile. Well, OK, there was one effect, but I don’t really consider it a bad one. I got a free “movie” out of the deal. It’s like this, you see: I don’t eat processed meat very often. When I get that urge I mentioned earlier, I usually go in like gangbusters and have lots of yummies with chemicals that are not normally in my body. And I’ve noticed that whenever I stuff my face with things that have sodium nitrite in them, well, I have very interesting dreams…

There I was, minding my own business, on a pontoon boat with no side rails or canopy. I was one of several people on a fishing trip, and we had just sighted some huge bluegills when the guide started complaining aloud, “well, we can’t fish here. The grocery store doesn’t want us fishing in their parking lot.” I was pretty disappointed, but when I looked over the side and saw the parking lot markers on the asphalt (about 6 feet underwater) I knew that this was just the way things had to be. We motored off into the middle of the lake (or whatever it was) and slowed down while we passed a strange wooden dwelling that jutted out of the water. The structure was not painted, and had obviously been there for a very long time. Inside, people with very long noses were speaking a strange language and drawing pictographs on each other’s backs. Then suddenly, the scene changed…

I found myself in a college lecture hall, and my sixth grade teacher was having everyone stand up and do recitals that were due that morning. I got the sudden sense that my turn was quite awhile off, so I decided to take Bishop the Wonderdog (who lives in Heaven now) for a walk. We walked through a nearby neighborhood which was bordered by some woods, and stumbled upon a very large cat. My first instinct was that we had met up with a mountain lion, but the coloring was that of a domestic feline. However, this kitty was very large, probably in the neighborhood of eighty pounds or so. I expected the cat to get all poofy at the sight of my doggie, but quite the opposite happened. I heard a thrashing noise, and turned to see Bishop’s fur getting all poofed up. He was visibly trembling and excited, and his ears were flapping about and looked like small horse tails flying every which way. At this point I went back into the lecture hall, only to learn that my turn to recite had long since passed and everyone had gone home.

Now how does one analyze that dream?!? It was just plain fun!! That’s my analysis. Recreational dreaming. I’ve told stories of hot dog dreams to friends at work, and I remember a guy was envious a few days later, because he had eaten several hot dogs and had no dreams. He thought maybe he might shoot up some hot dogs before bed time, but I am pretty sure that HOT DOGS MUST NEVER BE TAKEN INTRAVENOUSLY. And really, with all the chemicals and whatnot; I wouldn’t even advise eating them at all, except for the fact that sometimes they just plain taste good. So the next time I go to the store, I’ll try to help my non-dreaming friends out and see what kind of cool dream foods they have…

Probably start in the frozen camera section. I’ve heard that deep-fried watch batteries are very delirious and full of norg oxides, which strengthen your screaming bones. While urging the ceiling tiles to quit sniffing crayons, Clamp Store Managers often shout at squid as they have cart races through the small table mazes. Ink-flavored baggage has been found to prevent shoe decay, so when the Amazing Puckered Jelly Mixer begins to twinkle in the closets, all the new employees will be happy to learn of their celery. As we move now to the chain-operated video spray, thick woolen camouflage breadsticks push other bagels out of the paper fudge racks. Now, we are sure, no foods in this whole universe are better than freeze dried pajamas.

I think I should maybe stop eating braunhotschweigerdogs for a while now…

Maybe a place like this could help me lose some weight…

Time’s Fun When You’re Having Flies

Some things in life are very wonderful, but some are very strange indeed. Take time for example. Go ahead, take some. Have you had enough time to enjoy the time you took? Well I certainly hope so. I know I have, at least most of the time. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. I am not sure why; but I’m pretty sure that it’s not really fair. I mean, I am finally a retired person, but that also means I’m an older person. And for an older person, it seems a bit weird when time whizzes past your nostrils during an ice cream storm, because just a couple years ago it was 1972 when I just met my Beautiful Girlfriend and now we’ve been married almost 48 years and the kids are grown and the grandkids are growing fast and I think maybe tomorrow they’ll be asking their Mom and Dad if they can use the car and HOLY COW this run-on sentence could get REALLY BIG with all this time stuff but I think maybe it’s time to stop already!!

With the run-on sentence I mean.

Tomorrow is the 1st of May. Then we can all go outside and shout at the top of our lungs (or the entire lung region): “Hurray!! Hurray!! It’s the 1st of May!! Outdoor fun begins today!!” This was uttered by a friend of mine many moons ago; and it’s fun to say, but here in Beautiful West Michigan we’ve been playing outdoors for a while now. But again I say the HOLY COW thing because as of tomorrow, I will celebrate an entire year of being a retired person!! How is this possible?? I mean, I just handed in my badge and computer to the HR lady at work like a few months ago. Yeah, a few months right?? Like twelve months!! So how does one celebrate their first year of retirement?? I know, I think I’ll celebrate by not going to work… again. Ha ha, I laugh to you who are not retired yet.

Ha!

I remember the many moons leading up to retirement… I even tortured myself (and all my coworkers) with a countdown timer I installed on my computer. “What’s the count, Ken?” my friends would ask me. “Two years, 142 days, and 12 hours,” I’d reply. And yes I think I really did go back that far. Can you tell I was eager to retire? “Whatchya gonna do with all your free time?” they’d inquire. “I dunno, maybe try to sell some of my writing, hopefully grow a nice garden, maybe do some dabbling with solar energy…” and I’d trail off with some other ideas that were floating around inside my noggin.

So now it’s time to look back over the past year and list my accomplishments. Let’s see… I cooked a lot of meals. Oh and I cleaned up after a lot of meals too. Did a little laundry (not much, my Honey Pie hates when I mix stuff that’s not supposed to be washed together). Oh, and I took care of most of the household chores during the recovery time my Lovely Bride had to endure after she fell and broke her arm exactly one week after I retired. I did get some stuff planted in the garden but other chores kept me busy so the garden became a bit of a mess. “We always get food,” my sweet Honey Pie reminded me. And we did get plenty of food.

No solar projects, no selling of writing, no nothing new.

But you know what?? I wouldn’t trade this for anything. We are very fortunate people at our house. We have no debt, and have some extra cash in the bank. My wants have always remained simple. I’ve told folks numerous times that I only had three wants in life: the love of a beautiful woman, a house on enough land to grow some food, and a kick-ass stereo. I’ve been blessed with all those and much, much more. Time continues to zoom along much more quickly than I’d like; but I’m doing my best to stay grateful and actually enjoy every moment, one day at a time. And of course, I also enjoy having some fun describing that strange time-zooming aspect of the universe. I love reciting little ditties like, “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.” And my favorite came from one of my bosses from long ago. He’d smirk and say, “Hey you know what the frogs say, right? Time’s fun when you’re having flies!!” Pretty sure my old boss guy was right. We live in a swamp, and there are many frogs.

As far as I can tell, they’re having a really good time.

Wanna Buy Some Weeds?

Spring is springing here in Beautiful West Michigan, and I even got some radish seeds (already up!!) and parsnip seeds in the ground.  Got my beds tilled, just waiting for a little warmth and rain to get cracking with the planting.

Friends and family know that organic gardening is permanently embedded in my soul.  Some of them think I’m a bit off when they learn that oak leaves are one of my primary soil building materials.  I also put all our coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie and fruit waste in a compost pile along with more leaves and garden waste.  Compost has become a very valuable fertilizer.  Gardening is a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love you see.  And there’s absolutely nothing more yummy than home grown food.

I simply love all of it to pieces.

I’m a bed planter.  No, that does not mean that I dig really large holes and put bedroom furniture in them.  What it actually means is that, because I like to make the most of my miniature farm, I plant in beds about 3 feet wide rather than many single rows.  Walkways between the beds are usually 2 feet wide.  I do a lot of companion planting; which involves a little “reminder research” each year; during which time I read up on what plants like to live with each other.

Rows are nice and tidy, and relatively easy to maintain.  However, I can get much more production from beds once they get established.  Of course, bed planting also invites weeds, and for the first several weeks of the garden season it can be a challenge to keep the “uninvited guest” plants out.

Most of you call these uninvited plants weeds.  No, I’m not talking about “weed,” although I’ve grown some of that in my time too (hey, I’m a child of the sixties) (and no, we don’t grow it anymore!!) (and yes I know it’s legal, but I guess I’ve “outgrown” weed) (anyway, enough of the parentheses awreddy!!).  I guess a weed, by at least one definition, is a nuisance plant.  Many weeds are useful and even edible, however.  My Dad introduced us kids to “sour grass” when we were very small.  It’s actually called sheep sorrel, and is sometimes used sparingly in salads to perk them up a bit.  I still munch on sheep sorrel occasionally, but one mustn’t eat too much because of its high oxalic acid content.

After my Beautiful Girlfriend let me marry her, my interest in natural foods grew and I started gathering books on native plants and such.  Friends still think I’m a little off when I stop in my tracks and pick some wild greens for munching.  One of my personal favorites is lambs quarters, which is actually quite nutritious.  Actually tastes pretty darn good too.  Then our friend Pam introduced me to purslane, another common “weed” that is packed with nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids.  And yes, we harvest it for food.

I know now that many weeds can be yummy and useful, but I have to admit that for many years I focused on keeping “weeds” like lambs quarters and purslane OUT of the garden.  Hey, I figured if I really want to eat them, all I have to do is do a little weeding, or else venture outside the garden a bit and find all I want.

A couple years ago however, our lovely, tree-hugging daughter (the nuts don’t fall far from the tree, so to speak) informed us that she spent $4.50 on a one gallon bag of lamb’s quarters at a local organic produce market.  Upon hearing this, I had to chuckle a bit.

“You bought lamb’s quarters?!?!?” I snickered.  “I’ll have a bunch soon… how much can I get for them?” I wondered aloud.  “Yeah,” she said a bit sheepishly.  “It’s the only fresh greens they had.”

Couple days later, I called her while I was weeding out in the garden.

“Hi, this is K&K Hansen Farm calling.  I have lamb’s quarters coming, I can sell you them for $2.50 a pound.  That’s a bargain  you know.  I have a produce scale in the shed… just weigh up what you want and leave your money in the jar.”

After the joking  and poking, I asked seriously if she wanted them (for free of course).

“I’m weeding right now… if you want some of these I’ll forget to pull them out of the ground and save them for you.”

So I did.  And I did something historic:  I ACTUALLY MULCHED AROUND THE LAMB’S QUARTERS TO HELP THEM GROW BETTER.  Never in my living life would I have guessed that I’d be mulching “weeds.”

Here’s a photo to prove it!! Lamb's quarters

Then to make things even more interesting, we brought some rhubarb to one of our favorite local restaurants, Mia and Grace, and were talking to our server.  A nice gent, probably around the same age as our lovely daughter.  He mentioned that he enjoys eating both lambs quarters and purslane.  So, I approached the owners, and by golly they actually welcomed my lambsquarters and purslane.  “Yeah, nobody else is doing that around here,” Chef Jeremy remarked. The restaurant closed down a couple years ago… we really miss their food and the staff.

To this day I cultivate these “weeds.”  I already showed you the lambs quarters, but here’s a picture of some of my purslane:PurslaneMaybe I’m on the cutting edge of a burgeoning market!!  Planting could be pretty simple next year.  Just make my planting beds and water, then watch the food sprout!  Actually if you go looking about on the interwebs, you’ll find gobs of recipes for both plants.  We eat both lamb’s quarters and purslane raw as well as cooked.  They both make great additions to things like green salads, soups or stir fry dishes.

OK, maybe I’ll also plant some beans, corn, and squash and such too just for the halibut (we also love fish) (but we don’t plant fish in the garden) (they don’t grow well in the dirt) (there he goes with the parentheses again).

We have a nice sized garden that provides lots of good food; but we have no livestock.  But if we did, I’m sure they’d all behave exactly like this…

Terminologization

Words can be funny. Four egg sample, eye in joy you sing words that sound like they should bee OK to gather, butt their really knot. And then you have words that people make up; which can be really funny. However, it’s probably not polite to laugh at folks when they do it; especially if it’s unintentional.

I enjoyed just such a scenario some years ago. A friend and I were talking at work… I remember work!  Work is the opposite of retirement!!  Anyway, we were commiserating about work and then we thought that instead we should be trying to help each other stay grateful and not allow negative things to rot our souls and Holy Moly are we fortunate or what and although I didn’t talk to him with a run-on sentence you can bet your bippy I’m doing it now to illustrate this event; and anyway he says that we both need to stay positive and push the negative garbage away and I said,

“Yes, it’s poison.” And he replied, “YES!! You know, I just love the way you terminologize things!”

So!! I just kind of brooped and houted and said “aw shucks,” and off we went to our jobfulness. Then, when I was looking for something to write about for “Happy Friday!!!,” I thought this would be fun. Just to be sure I did a search on a dictionary site for “terminologize,” and the result was “Word not found in the Dictionary and Encyclopedia. Did you mean: terminology. And I yelled with great varnashification at the screen, “NO!! DIDN’T YOU SEE WHAT I TYPED IN THE SEARCH FIELD? I WANTED TO KNOW IF TERMINOLOGIZE IS A WORD!! SHEESH!!

And of course the screen just sat there with that silly screenified look on its face.

Now in olden days, when I was much younger and much more crelbified with “Mr. Know It All” disease, I would have told my friend, “umm, I don’t think ‘terminologize’ is a word.” No, I’ve learned that kind of correctification only serves to demean my fellow humans. I’m trying to be a recovering Know It All, in addition to some other recovery stuff I try to practice.

Conversely (that’s a real word…), I enjoy making up nonsense words to make people laugh. Sometimes they don’t get and say, “huh??” but most times folks chuckle a bit and repeat the word back to me while smiling.

Had that very thing happen a couple weeks ago. I was at the gas station, and came in to pay for my fuel. Then I spied some of those yummy 2 for a dollar sausage thingies in the little dispenser. I went to get the little paper sleeve they provide to put your links in, and had a heck of a time getting my fingers to do my brain’s bidding. “I’m a bit clumsy this morning for some reason,” I chuckled. Then I added, “I think I need to declumsify. Don’t think that’s a word, but maybe it is now!” The nice cashier lady laughed and said, “hmmm… declumsify!! I like it!! Sounds good to me!” Then we bantered more pleasantries back and forth as I paid my bill. “My puppy loves these things,” I said, pointing to the sausages. “Thanks, have a nice day.” She smiled and answered, “thank YOU. And thanks for the new word!!”

One word that I didn’t make up, is doable. What a stupid word!! It’s pronounced as if it were three words: “do a bull.” Well that can be construed as being a bit naughty if you’re, say, 14 years old or above. When I look at it and apply pronunciation rules, I think it should be pronounced “doh – bull;” because when I see “o” and “a” together in other words, it’s pronounced with the long “o” sound. Four egg sample: coat, or boat, or foal.

Anyway, pleas enjoy your words, whether imaginary oar knot. Eye no eye dew!! I try to make at least one incroflabious word every day.

I think…

These two guys mastered the silliness that can be found with words that sound the same but take much different meanings…

Rocky Raccoon And The Heavily Worsened Clutter Bomb

Once upon a time, during a prehistoric era where no smellphones or even personal computers roamed Earth, there was a fine young couple who bought a house with a very nice unattached two car garage. They marveled at the amazing amount of prospective storage space that was found in this garage! They liked it so much, they slowly but surely filled it with very important things like motor oil, a wheelbarrow, a garden tractor, a 30 gallon drum for used motor oil, nails, screws, scraps of lumber, coolers (in the rafters), bicycles, a tent, some lawn furniture, more nails, nuts, bolts, washers, old electronic things that were “way too good to toss out,” brooms, rakes, paint, bags of concrete mix, a snowblower, saws, axes, splitting mauls, hammers, socket sets, drills, and many, many other doodads and thingamabobs that, if listed, would just serve to make this run-on sentence even more ridiculously long than it is already.

So then winter came.

“Hey, it sure would be nice to put cars in the garage during the winter!!” the Beautiful Wife proclaimed. “Yeah, it would,” the Sheepish Hubby murmured. However, there was simply no room for such a practical ideal to be implemented. “We’ll need to move some stuff out of the garage to do that,” he continued. “Not sure where we can put all the stuff!!”

Several years passed, and the fine young couple (OK, the Sheepish Hubby) finally got their hineys in gear and cleared enough room for cars to actually be inside the garage!! And they got a new garage door with an automatic opener and everything!! Wow!! What a cool thing to wake up on a frosty morning and not have to scrape either frost or bird poop off the windows!! Amazing!! Boy are we glad we did this!!

One might ask, “what happened to all the stuff??” Well I wish you hadn’t asked that. You see, being the frugal (or maybe fanatical) person I am (more like was, I’m better now… kinda), I did take lots of stuff to Goodwill, and some stuff went to the dump. But all the “useful” stuff got crammed into every nook and cranny. I carefully placed all these “goodies” in the shelves, on top of the shelves, under the workbench, on top of the workbench, on the shelf above the workbench, in the window sills, between the studs, and in the rafters above the cars. Initially it looked OK, but after several years of stuffing things, using things, and rearranging things (sometimes just tossing things), the innards of our poor garage looked as if a giant clutter bomb was detonated; scattering “useful” thingamabobs and doodads in every direction.

I’m retired now, and one of my goals for retirement is to clean the garage. Sounds like a commendable goal, right? Sure!! Great plan!! I can only imagine all the cool stuff I’ll find that I’ve completely forgotten about!! It will be awesome when it’s all done, even if it takes me a month or more (be nice now, it’s been a bit of a mess for several years).

Then a horrible thing happened: I left the garage door open last week, and an intruder decided to invade. I knew this was true, because I got up to go pee and saw that someone (or something) had tripped the light beam at the bottom of the garage door opener, which turned the light on. “Oh fobblecronk!!” I said to myself. OK, I may have said something stronger. I figured it was a stray cat or dog or something in there, so I pressed the button on the remote by the kitchen window (so we can open the door from inside the house) to open and close the garage door a couple times. I was hoping someone would come zooming out, but nothing.

The next day, I opened the garage door, and walked outside to hop in the car. My eyeballs popped out of my head, twirled around my ears a couple times, went to my stomach and came back to my eyeball sockets. The invader had obviously been trapped inside all night, and in an effort to escape, it knocked all the stuff off the window sills. Oh, and the stuff on the workbench was tossed around. Well, suffice it to say that pretty much everything that could have been disturbed had been. It was very apparent to me that we had a raccoon problem. I figured it must be hiding under the workbench, but no. I looked up, didn’t see anything. Moved the crap out from under the car so I could get out, went to the store, came back, parked, closed the door.

Day number 2: more mess. Bigger mess. MUCH bigger mess. “OK, where are you??” I thought out loud. Looked again under the workbench. Nope. Up above? Nothing obvious. Got on a step ladder for a better look, there he (or maybe she) was. Got down off the ladder and grabbed a fish net. Ha, ha ha on me! No way. Very silly idea. Instead, the critter easily evaded me and decided to curl up into the rafters next to where the roof meets the studs. Went inside and got my extra set of welding gloves. I’m gonna grab this thing and let it go. Ummm NOOO!!! BAD IDEA!! Yes, I did try to grab it, but it instantly started to bury its head and growl. Instantly, I envisioned my face being eaten off my skull by an angry raccoon; so I decided to step down and step back. Baited a live trap, set it in the garage, left the side door open. Checked in the middle of the night, no Rocky Raccoon. And yes, by this time I started calling it Rocky; after the Beatles tune you know. After a second late night check, still nothing in the trap. Took the trap outside, left the side door open, went to bed. Morning came and Rocky was not in the trap, but Rocky was gone!! Yay!! And for those who are not aware, Rocky is not necessarily a gender specific name: we have a dear friend named Richelle, and she goes by Rocky.

Our cars are not currently sleeping in the garage at night. I have my work cut out for me: oil spills, nails, screws, tools, cans scattered everywhere. The clutter bomb debris from days of yore would be a welcome sight right now. Oh well. I think maybe I’ll try to keep the garage door closed from now on.

Good plan, yes?

Well this week’s video contains some rather corny humor. This one is from 1970, back when many homes still had TVs from the Stone Age which only rendered two colors: black and white.

Monkeys On Their Bus Ride to England

Well there we were, snarfing some homemade assorted fried rice with green beans and garlic from the garden and lots of other veggies from the grocery store and some dead crustaceans (a.k.a. shrimp), dead chicken muscles (a.k.a. chicken meat) and also dead pig muscles (a.k.a. mork peat); when My Beautiful Girlfriend announced, “it’s time to give your Papa some ideas for Happy Friday!!!” so they began hurling (not food) sentences at me in the form of interview questions and now it’s time to switch to that idea rather than allow this run-on sentence to continue any farther.

When asked what the title of this silly story should be, Gabe quickly blurted, “Monkeys On Their Bus Ride to England!!” This quickly ushered in a mock interview session in which his older brother Oliver assumed the role of interviewer.

Oliver: “Where are they in the world when they get on the bus?”

Gabe: “They are not in the world they’re on Jupiter.”

Oliver: “Is the bus that the monkeys are on going so fast on Jupiter that it somehow broke through the atmosphere and landed on earth?”

Gabe: “Well no, they did not go fast in the bus to get out of the atmosphere. They built a ginormous ramp, and it took them one day to get to earth. They landed in a field 5000 million miles away from England. The field was floating on a ginormous balloon on the water. A balloon was there to keep the field from sinking in the water.”

Oliver: “What country were they closest to one they landed?”

Gabe: “They were closest to China and four different countries.”

Oliver: “Are there any cows on this island?”

Gabe: “No but there are a crap ton of pigs!”

Oliver: “These aliens are confused.”

Gabe: “These aren’t aliens, they are just regular monkeys.”

At this time my Lovely Bride interjected that she was wondering if these monkeys were going to do any sightseeing. Perhaps they would see Big Ben or perhaps the Queen?

Gabe: “They thought maybe they would go see big Ben and the queen but instead they chose to go to the Eiffel tower to see the other crap ton of pigs.”

Oliver started to resume the “interview,” but Gabe quickly took over. “I’ll question myself,” he said. “Where did they go after they went to the Eiffel tower and saw the other crap ton of pigs? They went back to the balloon to see the first crap ton of pigs! The End.”

We all had a chuckle while I e-mailed the results of the interview to myself so I could more easily transcribe the notes I dictated to my phone along the way. Afterward we all sat down to crunch on some delicious remote controls dipped in chocolate flavored motor oil and watched “Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring” until it was too late to keep our eyes open. So now I am sending this to all of YOU and that’s just all you get for this week, with the exception of course of the silly video I like to put at the end.

Thank you and good night.

P.S.: Hope the raccoon finds the live trap I set in the garage. I’m really tired of that critter tearing it up in there!!

Crybaby Cocka-roach… In Coffee?!?!?

So there I was, 639.8 feet above sea level (yes, I checked), no plane, no parachute, throwing firewood into the basement because I was trying to beat the rains and get the dry wood into the house so we could be nice and cozy warm and fuzzy with fireplace warmth and loveliness; when suddenly the guy on the radio stops between songs to tell me that there are bugs in my coffee, and of course that was a good excuse to write a long overdue run-on sentence because I haven’t done that in at least 14.82 milliseconds or maybe even more.

The announcer guy told me something I really didn’t want to know: when you buy a bag of pre-ground coffee in the store, you can expect to have a little roasted cockroach deliciousness added. Then my brain went straight to childhood (as it often does), and I remembered the chant, “crybaby cocka-roach nyaa nyaa na boo boo!!” This of course was used to taunt someone who was likely brought to tears from some cruel trick that was played on them. Now my childish adult brain is taunting me by repeating (albeit silently): “crybaby cocka-roach roasted in your cawww-feeee!!”

Gack!!

My wife and I became “coffee snobs” some years ago, or at least we thought so. Turns out there are many who are way more fanatical about coffee than we are. We bought a somewhat fancy grinder… did you know you can spend lots of money on those things?? Once we acquired the grinder we started seeking out all different whole bean coffees to see what we liked the best. Then one day we bought some 8 O’Clock whole bean coffee and loved it!! Very nice flavor and a pretty fair price. After several grinding sessions, we thought what the heck, might as well try the pre-ground variety. And guess what?? Tasted just as good. Upon that discovery we shelved the grinder with the reasoning that hey, why put miles on our grinder when the pre-ground is just as yummy?

Then I get this stupid announcement about the cocka-roaches. And yes, I know they are normally called cockroaches; but where we grew up on Long Island it was not at all uncommon to hear the much more endearing term “cocka-roaches” uttered instead. Anyway, I’m going to continue to buy the pre-ground coffee; and just keep telling myself, “8 O’Clock is a very good brand. They probably keep out the cocka-roaches… I hope.”

Before sitting down to write about this phenomenon, I hopped onto the interwebs for what was really a refresher course. Pretty much everything we eat has some kind of hitchhiker bug (or parts of them) in it; and it’s actually allowed by the FDA. There are various allowable percentages of insect parts and even rat hairs for many foods. Doesn’t that just make you hungry?? Mmmmm me too!!

Of course, food packagers don’t advertise this; ever. I am a dedicated label reader when I go to the grocery store. Because of this, I’ve changed some of my purchasing habits. For example, I rarely by shredded cheese, or the plastic cans of parmesan or Romano cheese you can shake onto your spaghetti or whatever. Why? Because packages of both shredded and grated cheeses usually contain an “anti-caking agent” which is often powdered cellulose, also known as sawdust. Hey, at least they fess up!! But in all my years of perusing food labels, I have never once seen any mentions like “may contain ‘2 or more 3 mm or longer larvae, cast skins, larval or cast skin fragments, the aggregate length of insects or insect parts exceeds 12 mm in 24 pounds’ ”; which, according to Wikipedia, is the allowable content of corn borer larvae in canned sweet corn.

Even though all this sounds gross, anyone who believes we humans can grow and eat as much food as we do and never eat any of the bugs that live on it is fooling themselves. It’s just a reality of being at the top of the food chain!! When we were kids, if our half eaten apple hit the ground, Mom would give it a quick rinse, hand it back to us and say “you gotta eat a peck of dirt before you die!!”

She never mentioned we’d also be eating bugs.

This week’s cartoon has nothing to do with food or bugs… but it’s one I’ve never seen.