Monthly Archives: January 2017

A Sweet Gift that Ain’t What It Used to Be


I know that Christmas was more than a month ago; however, I am just getting around to enjoying one of my presents.  I think I am a pretty simple and easy person to buy for. One of my sons gave me a Life Savers Hard Candy Sweet Storybook.  This is a gift that I have received off and on since I was a child and I have always been quite happy to receive it.

As a book, the plot line is rather thin and short. It is a rather contrived story about how the five fruity flavors of Life Savers had powered the reindeer on their trip around the world and saved Christmas.  Gee, I always thought it was Rudolph and his nose so bright that averted a December twenty-fourth crises.

I will enjoy the six rolls of five flavor Life Savers which, according to the nutritional information on the back, will yield 42 servings of Life Savers of 2 pieces or, in my case, about five servings of one roll.

Here I will risk sounding like the crotchety old guy that I am slowly but steadily becoming and say that the Sweet Storybook ain’t as good as it used to be. While this may be a familiar refrain from someone my age, in this case the assessment is indisputable.  First of all today’s storybook is one-sided with six rolls of five flavor Life Savers while the storybook of my childhood was two-sided with five rolls on each side.  That is a whopping forty percent reduction in the number of rolls of Life Savers.  Secondly, today’s storybook includes six five flavor rolls.  The storybook of my childhood had more variety.  If I recall correctly, there were two rolls of five flavor, two rolls of wintergreen, two rolls of pep-o-mint, two rolls of cherry and two rolls of butter run.  As a kid, I think I ate the five flavor rolls last because they were my least favorite in the bunch.  Pep-o-mint was probably my favorite.  Perhaps there have been production issues with pep-o-mint because the impetus of the crisis mentioned in the aforementioned story of the storybook is a lack of peppermints for the reindeer.

I do appreciate the gift and I will enjoy the Life Savers.  My teeth and my diet probably appreciate the fact that there are six instead of ten rolls.  Yet, I will still say that this is one item that ain’t what it used to be.

Friday Funny January 27, 2017 Danger! More Product Warnings!


Happy Friday!  It is a rough and dangerous world that we live in.  Who knows what might befall us around the next corner or with the next product that we purchase?  Thankfully, we have warning labels to keep us alert to the imminent dangers that await.  Here are some warnings that might not exactly be the most informative and useful.  


“If you cannot read (…) warnings, do not use this product.” 

A warning label found on a baby stroller cautions the user to “Remove child before folding.”

A snow blower warns, “Do not use snow thrower on roof.”

A container of underarm deodorant says, “Caution: Do not spray in eyes.”

A cartridge for a laser printer warns, “Do not eat toner.”

A 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow warns, “Not intended for highway use.”

A cardboard car sun shield that keeps sun off the dashboard warns, “Do not drive with sun shield in place.”

A bathroom heater says, “This product is not to be used in bathrooms.”

A can of self-defense pepper spray warns users, “May irritate eyes.”

“Use care when operating a car (…)” (on a bottle of DOG pills) 

“Do not drive car or operate machinery.” (on a bottle of CHILDREN’s cough medicine).

“Do not hold the wrong end of a chainsaw” 

A chainsaw manual provides the sage advice – “Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand.”

“Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth.” — On a novelty rock garden set called “Popcorn Rock.”

“Caution: Shoots rubber bands.” — On a product called “Rubber Band Shooter.”

“Warning: May contain small parts.” — On a Frisbee.

Thought for the Week

I am one of those people who just can’t help getting a kick out of life — even when it’s a kick in the teeth. ~Polly Adler


Patience Is a Virtue, Unfortunately the Gene Does Not Always Get Passed Down

05-07-2011 12;18;44PM

It is often and correctly said that patience is a virtue.  I have discovered over the years the unfortunate truth that this particular virtue does not simply get passed down from one generation to the next.  My Father is one of the most patient individuals I have ever met, no one would say the same thing about me.

For some reason one of the best illustrations of my Dad’s patience popped into my mind today.  I remember when I was sixteen and wanted to get my license, Dad and I would go for a drive, I would drive and Dad would look out the window, not saying much.  Another one of my Dad’s traits is being a man of few words, also a trait that I apparently missed out on.  The driving part was pretty easy.  But then came parallel parking.

We went someplace where they had the poles out to practice parallel parking.  If my memory is correct, it was at the back-end of the Salem Mall parking lot.  My attempts to park were not going that smoothly.  With each failed attempt, I became a bit more frustrated.  So, I did want any sixteen year old would do, I started to complain and take out my frustrations on my Father.

Even a rubber band can only be stretched so far and I had stretched my Father’s patience to its limit.   After several outbursts on my part, my Dad turned to me and with a calm voice said, “Why don’t you just settle down and try again.  If you keep going on you are going to make me mad in a little bit.”  I knew that my Dad was a patient man and I also knew that I did not want to make him made.  I quickly shut up and returned to the task of parallel parking.  I learned a lesson about patience that day which has stuck with me ever since.  By the way, I passed my driving test on the first try.

Friday Funny January 20, 2017 Before Google


Happy Friday! We live in the ever-increasing information age with so much of the world right at our fingertips.  I can type these words and fling them far and wide by hitting the “publish” button.  But there was a time not so very long ago when information was not so easily accessible, when the local library was the depository of information.  There the gatekeepers were the librarians and long before Google went to them seeking answers to our many questions.  Perhaps you have been told that “no question is a stupid question” – you have been misled.  here are some stupid questions that have been posed to librarians.


Is this the place where I can ask questions that I can’t get answers to?

Do you have a list of all the books written in the English language?

What is the copyright date of the Bible?

Can you tell me why so many Civil War battles were fought on National Park sites?

Do you have any books with photographs of Dinosaurs?

Why do so many 18th century painting have squirrels in them, and how did they tame the squirrels so they would stand still while posing for the painter?

I need to find out Ibid’s first name for my Bibliography

When writing to a sailor should one always spell the word “weigh” as in “Anchors Aweigh” out of courtesy, even when it is usually spelled “way”?

Do camels have to be licensed in India?

When one has guests, who kisses whom first?

What is the name of the person buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

Have you got any Shakespeare in proper English?

I don’t know the title or the author, but it had a number in the title. Where would I find it?

What is the life cycle of an eye-brow hair?

Is there a full moon every night in Acapulco?

What time is high noon?

Thought for the Week

A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them. ~Lemony Snicket

Rah! Rah! Go Hamsters!


I came across an article the other day about Amherst College in Massachusetts and their quest for a new mascot.  Apparently one of the front-runners is Hamsters.  One can only wonder how much  fear a small household pet would bring upon an arch rival.  However, Amherst would hardly be alone among colleges that do not have an intimidating mascot. I began my college experience as a Stetson Hatter.  There was a guy in a giant hat that covered the upper half of his body who would run around during basketball games which is not very high up on the intimidation scale.  Here are some of the other less fierce mascots that might show up at an arena or stadium near you.

Ohio State “Buckeyes” – while a buckeye is a small nut, at least it is poisonous. 

Stanford “Tree” – trees are not that intimidating, but the face they have put on it is a little creepy.

Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi “Islanders” – is the competition headed for a difficult game or a relaxing vacation?

Saint Bonaventure University “Bonnies” – perhaps if you lose they send the opponent over the ocean?

Indiana State University “Sycamores” – another tree only  this one does not even have the creepy face.

Kent State University “Golden Flashes” – add a bird head and the golden flash is transformed  into Flash the Eagle – why not be the Eagles then?

University of Pennsylvania “Quakers” – can’t we all just be Friends?

University of Richmond “Spiders” – while spiders can be a bit intimidating, few can withstand the average shoe.

Youngstown State University “Penguins” – 1) penguins are not that intimidating; 2) there are no penguins in Ohio outside of a zoo.

University of Delaware “Fightin’ Blue Hens” – at least they are fightin’ hens.

Southern Illinois University “Salukis” – would Persian Greyhounds be any better?

Wichita State University “Wheatshockers” – the mascot looks pretty mean…for a shock of wheat.

Delta State University “Fighting Okra” – one wonders why there are not more sports teams with veritable related mascots.

Scottsdale Community College “Fighting Artichokes” – well there is another fighting vegetable.

University of Akron “Zips” – I am not sure what a zip is and I have no idea what it has to do with a kangaroo.

Saint Louis University “Billikens” –  a mythical good-luck figure who represents “things as they ought to be” – well mascots out to be a bit more intimidating.

University of Evansville “Purple Aces” – watch out for paper cuts!

University of California Santa Cruz “Fighting Banana Slugs” – it is all fun and games until someone brings out a salt shaker.

Friday Funny January 13, 2017 Triskaidekaphobia


Happy Friday the 13th!  Hopefully you do not suffer from Triskaidekaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th.  This is a day just like any other day.  However, if you find any of the things below happening to you this day, you might want to just slow down and be extra careful,


You finally receive a note from your crush and it is Restraining Order.

You switch to Nationwide only to discover that they are not on your side.

You find out that after planning you own birthday party, you are not invited to it.

You try to be cool and get hypothermia.

You run away from home with the family dog and only see posters for the dog.

You discover that your pet rock has run away.

You go to visit your parents only to discover that they have moved and not left a forwarding address.

You wake up to a bird singing outside your window and realize that it is a vulture.

Your twin sibling forgets your birthday.

You are halfway through your breakfast cereal when you realize the flakes are moving around the bowl on their own.

Thought for the Week

I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five. ~Steven Wright

Ten Worst Movies I Have Seen


The days are short, gloomy and cold.  This is the time of year that is well suited to stay in and watch a movie.  There are a lot of really good movies out there and there are a lot of movies out there that are not very good.  In fact there are a lot of really, really bad movies out there.  I will offer up the ten worst movies that I have every watched and you can learn from my experience or, if you are a glutton for punishment, you can dig up one of these “classics” on the internet or at the library and explore the horizon of really bad cinema.

Don’t forget the popcorn!

It Happens Every Spring (1949) – A scientist discovers a formula which causes a baseball to be repelled by wood. He promptly joins a major league baseball team and leads them to the World Series. They definitely struck out with this baseball movie.

The Food of the Gods (1976) – traveling friends discover an entire island crawling with animals that have grown to giant size. Watch out for the rats!  (Note to self – never go to an unnamed, unexplored island, nothing good ever happens on these.)

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1979) – scientists band together to save the world from mutated tomatoes that KILL! You will never look at a tomato the same way again.  Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?  It makes no difference this is a bad movie, however, even a movie this bad can  have a sequel. 

Kazaam (1996) – Shaquille O’Neal stars as a powerful genie – how could this be bad?

Going Ape ( 1981) – When his father – who owned a circus – dies, Oscar inherits 5 million dollars – and 3 orangutans – stars Tony Danza and an orangutan, not sure who did the better acting.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) – Martians kidnap Santa in an effort to make their bratty kids happy.

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) – Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop humans from creating the Solaranite bomb. This one is always near the top of any list of the worst movies ever made.  This one is so bad, you need to see it.

The Brain that Wouldn’t Die (1962) – A doctor experimenting with transplant techniques keeps his girlfriend’s head alive when she is decapitated in a car crash. Yes, this one is a real love story.  Hard as it might be to believe, the girlfriend does not really appreciate all that the boyfriend does for her.

Ice Pirates (1984) – In the far future water is the most valuable substance. Two space pirates are captured, sold to a princess, and recruited to help her find her missing father. A Space Opera with sword fights, explosions, fighting robots, monsters, bar fights and time warps – something bad for everyone.

Yor Hunter from the Future (1983) – Yor, a prehistoric warrior, comes to question his origins, particularly with regard to a mysterious medallion he wears. When he learns of a desert goddess who supposedly wears the same medallion, Yor decides that he must find her and learn his true identity. Along the way, he encounters ape-men, dinosaurs, and a strange futuristic society. I still have no idea what this movie was about.

What is the worst movie you have ever watched?