Monthly Archives: September 2014

Differences Between Men and Women #157, Shoes


There are many, many, many differences between men and women.  The one that I would like to touch on briefly here is the attitude towards shoes.  Apparently women really like shoes.   Case in point, remember Imelda Marcos and her 3,000 pairs of shoes?  (where does one put 3,000 pairs of shoes anyway?)  Allegedly she said, “They went into  my closets looking for skeletons, but all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes.”  One summer when I was in college, I worked at the Elder-Beerman shoe warehouse.  The guys working there would sort out the orders for a store, pack the box and move onto the next order.  The women would examine the shoes being shipped out, discuss whether or not they liked them and talk about which outfit they would wear with each pair of shoes, then they would box them up.

A woman wants a pair to go with each outfit, a pair to match each purse, a pair to match each set of earrings, a pair to match the carpet, a pair to match the trash can……

Guys do not care much about shoes.  Many men might consider my shoes requirements a bit excessive because I like to always have two pairs of shoes, one black and one brown.  This covers any need that might arise.  To me the perfect shoe collection is a pair of black wing-tips and a pair of brown penny loafers.  I have yet to come across an occasion where these will not suffice.

Women like to go and buy new shoes on certain occasions:  when the seasons change, when fashions change, when the sun comes up.  Men never like to go shoe shopping, never, N-E-V-E-R.  I once managed to avoid shipping for shoes for an entire decade (1988-1998 to be exact).  I had a good pair of wing-tips and a good pair of penny loafers and I lived in a small town that had a shoe repair shop.  So, when the hole stated to appear in the bottom of the shoe, I would drop them off at the shoe shop and $15 later, they would good for another year.  Alas, most shoes these days have the bottoms glued instead of sewn and it is hard to find a shoe repair store.  So, now I have to buy a pair every year of so.  Even now, I seldom actually shop for shoes.  My wife will find a suitable pair on the clearance shelf and bring them home, problem solved.  When I actually go to buy shoes I am always amazed at how difficult it is to find a pair of wing-tips or penny loafers.  Instead there is an ever-changing variety of shoes with pointy toes and flashy buckles, I suspect all these shoes are being designed by women.

So, guys don’t fuss when the lady in your life fills up the closet with shoes, just ask her to leave enough room for your two pair.

Friday Funny September 26, 2014 Ig Noble Awards 2014


I know we have all been busy, so perhaps you missed the big ceremony at Harvard last week when the 2014 Ig Noble Prizes were awarded.  Yes, the 24th edition of the Ig Nobel Prizes to honor “achievements that first make people laugh, and then makes them think.”  The awards are physically handed out by real live Nobel Laureates in an effort to spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.  Here are my favorites from this year.


PHYSICS PRIZE [JAPAN]: Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that’s on the floor. (I wonder if they filmed their research?)

NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE [CHINA, CANADA]: Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and Kang Lee, for trying to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast. (I believe they have already been approved for funding for a follow-up study involving those who see the face of Jesus on freezer chests.)

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [AUSTRALIA, UK, USA]: Peter K. Jonason, Amy Jones, and Minna Lyons, for amassing evidence that people who habitually stay up late are, on average, more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who habitually arise early in the morning. (I guess I better quite blogging so late at night, but I am so good at it and you will keep reading the blog or something unfortunate might happen.)

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE [CZECH REPUBLIC, JAPAN, USA, INDIA]: Jaroslav Flegr, Jan Havlíček and Jitka Hanušova-Lindova, and to David Hanauer, Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa Seyfried, for investigating whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat. (I didn’t think one ever really “owns” a cat.)

ART PRIZE [ITALY]: Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro, and Paolo Livrea, for measuring the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot [in the hand] by a powerful laser beam. (I wonder how they explained the study to would-be volunteers?.)

ARCTIC SCIENCE PRIZE [NORWAY, GERMANY, USA, CANADA]: Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl, for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears. (Wonder if they would react differently to polar bears who are disguised as humans?)

Thought for the Week

Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind. ~Marston Bates

That Rings a Bell

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“Mr. Watson – Come Here – I want to see you.” With that short phrase, Alexander Graham Bell thrust us into the age of telecommunications.  The idea of being able to talk to people who were not physically close together was a revolutionary idea.  Before long the country and the world were crossed with a spider’s web of phone lines so that we could call Aunt Bertha to find out what the weather was like in Toledo.

I recall growing ho that we had one phone in the house,.  It was black, it was attached to the wall by a cord and it had a rotary dial on the front. (As far back as I can remember, we had a private line, but my wife can remember a party line when they still lived on the farm.  (For those of you who do not know what a party line is, it is kind of like an audio version of Facebook without the option of picking your friends.)  If you are my age perhaps you remember watching The Beverly Hillbillys and recall when Jed wanted to place a phone call, Granny would always remind him, “Don’t forget to spin the wheel Jed!”

When my Dad wanted to call my Grandfather who lived in Florida, he would pick up the phone, dial the Operator, tell her the name, number and location and wait for the Operator to call back and tell him his call was connected.  It was a rare and exciting event to talk ‘long-distance.”  We thought we really had something when we obtained an extension cord for the phone that allowed us to carry the phone into another room in the house so we could have a little privacy.

When I headed off to college, I would make long-distance collect calls home on Saturday mornings to keep in touch.  The dorms had one phone on the floor which meant any long conversation was punctuated with someone pacing back and forth nearby wondering when in the world the phone would be free again.

All that sounds so quaint today.  I just purchased a new smart phone along with everyone in my family.  A phone that is a lit smarter than I am.  These phones can make calls, text, get directions, find places to eat, provide weather reports, keep up on the latest scores, manage appointments and on and on and on.  Why a come phones can even be used as a remote control for your TV! (I remember when the TV did not even have a remote control!!)

Now that I have the world in my hand, it seems like the last thing anyone wants to use a phone for is to talk!  If Mr. Graham had invented the phone in 2014, instead of calling his assistant, he probably would have texted him.


Maybe I will take my smart phone back, get a rotary phone spin the wheel one more time!



Friday Funny September 19, 2014 Signs You are Having a Bad Day

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Happy Friday!  Any Friday is a good day, but here are a number of signs that you just might be having as bad day.


You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.

You get to work and find a “60 Minutes” news team waiting in your office.

Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.  

Your twin sibling forgets your birthday.

Your 4-year-old tells you that it’s almost impossible to flush a grapefruit down the toilet.

You realize that you just sprayed spot remover under your arms instead of deodorant.

You realize that you just brushed your teeth with preparation H instead of tooth paste.

It costs more to fill up your car than it did to buy it.

The bird singing outside your window is a vulture.

Your income tax refund check bounces.

You mother asks you to stop calling.

You call your wife and tell her that you would like to eat out tonight and when you get home there is a sandwich on the front porch.

The doctor tells you you’re in fine health…..for someone twice your age.

Your doctor tells you that you are allergic to ice cream.

Everyone loves your driver’s license picture.

The health inspector condemns your office coffee maker.

People think you are 55…and you are.

A black cat crosses your path and drops dead. 

It takes you three hours to make minute rice. 

The fortune teller charges you half price. 

Your plants do better when you don’t talk to them. 

The Optimist Club rejects your application.

You put both contact lenses in the same eye. (I have actually managed to do this!)

Thought for the Week

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.  ~Frank A. Clark

Bobble heads


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I suppose we all have strange, quirky things that interest us.  Things that get us excited while other people just scratch their heads in wonder.  For me, one of these is collecting bobble heads.  As a child I come home from a Cincinnati Reds game with a bobble head sometime in the late 1960’s.  The head was made of something like paper mache and though I did my best to take care of it, the years took a toll and the remnants went into the trash decades ago. 

But in recent years, bobble heads have become quite popular.  No longer are there just team bobble heads but now there are bobble heads that kind of, sort of, actually look like the players.  The Cincinnati Reds began giving away bobble heads In 2001.  That year I took my boys and my Dad to one of the games never thinking that the Danny Graves bobble head would be much of a draw, I was wrong.  The 10,000 bobble heads were long gone by the time we arrived at the game.  The highlight of the game was the first appearance in several years of Jose Rijo, seeing him trot from the bullpen to the mound really was a very memorable moment.  So, I left the game without a bobble head, but with a great memory.

I think the first game I attended and left with a bobble head was in 2002.  It was Johnny Bench bobble head night for the first 10,000 fans.  I worked downtown at the time and I remember looking out the window and seeing people starting to line up shortly after 4:00 for the 7:10 game.  I took off work a little early, got in line and left with my bobble head.  Little did I know what I had started.

The next year, 2003 was perhaps the most memorable approach the Reds took to a bobble head giveaway.  This time it was Gapper, the, well no one is quite sure what Gapper is, but he is a mascot of the Reds.  Someone in the front office had the bright idea that they would only give these to first 10,000 kids 12 and under.    These were just as fragile and breakable as any bobble head and I have often wondered how many of the 10,000 made it out of the stadium still intact.  I was at this game and fortunately, two of my sons were under 12 and so I managed to finagle one of these.  Gapper is now apparently one of the more expensive and difficult to find bobble heads.

Over the last decade, I started making plans to attend games when there was a bobble head giveaway and scouring ebay to obtain the ones I have missed.  There have been a few times that I have not been able to attend the game, but have been able to send someone, usually my sons, in my place to watch the game and bring me a bobble head.  I believe that the collection now stands at 51 and is ready for a rest until the next baseball season.  

This may just sound silly to you, but it is one of my little quirks.  There are not that many and they do not take up that much space and serve to keep the baseball season alive all year round.  Now, may baseball card collection is another story for another day.






Friday Funny September 12, 2014 A Baker’s Dozen of Puns

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Happy Friday!  I hope you have had a great week.  Let’s kick off this weekend with some puns you can share or torment your friends and co-workers with.


I always prayed before my trigonometry tests. I was hoping for a sine from above.

I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

No one knew she had a dental implant until it came out in a conversation.

I wrote a novel about a fellow who had a small garden. It didn’t have much of a plot.

I was going to buy a book on phobias, but I was afraid it wouldn’t help me.

I was going to join the optimist club but I did not think they would approve my application.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

Going vegetarian is a missed steak. 

My friend’s bakery burned down last night. Now his business is toast.

What is the difference between a nicely dressed man on a tricycle and a poorly dressed man on a bicycle? A tire.

I tried talking about our future but she just kept bringing up my past. It was a tense conversation.

The other day I held the door open for a clown. I thought it was a nice jester.

Yesterday I accidentally swallowed some food coloring. The doctor says I’m OK, but I feel like I’ve dyed a little inside.

Thought for the Week

The goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability. ~Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia, 1849


Wave Goodbye


The world is full of mysteries like the Bermuda Triangle, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and the Wave. The Wave –  when sports fans stand and raise their arms, section by section, creating a wave-like crest throughout a stadium or arena.  As with most mysteries, there is no consensus on the origin of the Wave.  Most stories of the phenomenon’s origin suggest that the wave first started appearing at North American sporting events during the late 1970s and early 1980s.   One story attributes the origin of the Wave to Krazy George Henderson (what sane person would create the wave?) who allegedly led a wave on October 15, 1981 at a baseball game in Oakland, California.  Just a few weeks later, on October 31, 1981 (Halloween no less), a Wave was created at a University of Washington football game in Seattle.  So while Krazy George claims to have created it, the folks in Seattle claim to have popularized it.  It appears safe to say that the Wave is just something else we can add to the long list of things that can be blamed on the West Coast.

While the Wave might have been interesting and amusing the first three dozen times I was at a game and saw it, I think it is has served its purpose, if it had one.  Yet, if you go to a baseball game this month, at a half-full stadium, the odds are that about two-thirds through the game some yahoo will try to get the Wave started.  And said yahoo will probably pick the most critical moment of the game to do so and he will think he is doing something cool, unique, and new.  He would be wrong on all counts.

Take a moment and reflect on the 1980’s.  This was the decade that gave us  Rubik’s Cubes, Cabbage Patch Kids, boom boxes, break dancing, Care Bears, Mullet hair, and parachute pants.  Do we really want to keep the 80’s around?

The next time you are at a sporting event and the Wave starts, I urge you to fight the temptation and just calmly keep your seat.  Let the Wave die as a slight ripple.  It is time to just say good-bye to the wave!