Tuesday, March 29, 2011

World's Oldest Jokes

Reuters reported a few years ago on the world's oldest jokes. The bathroom humor involved in the jokes dating back to 1900 BC prove that the human sense of humor has not gotten better in nearly 4000 years.

How bad are the old saws? Well ...

The first joke comes from ancient Sumeria circa 1900 BC:
Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap.
I'm sure you could come up with a slight rewording that you heard before you completed high school. Proves that really bad humor has been with us a long time.

Leaving aside some Pharaoh and nearly nude nubile women jokes from the 1600 BC era, you might wonder about the jokes of relatively modern ancient cultures. Well, the Anglo-Saxon's from the 10th century left behind this bawdy question and answer joke:
Question - What hangs at a man's thigh and wants to poke the hole that it's often poked before?Answer - A key.
I think I heard that one before I was out of grade school. How about you?

Monday, March 28, 2011


Last night was one of those nights when the phase of moon and the barometric pressure and ... all came together to make sleeping an euphoric experience. I can't tell you how rare it is any more when the sinuses are clear and the aches and pains are gone and laying down is so pleasant. It was great.

Of course, I have been paying for the glorious night of sleep with an itchy nose all day. That might be because of the combined thunder and snow and rain storm that has dropped in today. It has gone from sunny and clear to thundering and raining to snow flurries and back to thunder and rain and then sunny again in the space of a couple of hours. Spring must really and truly be afoot.

The weather, especially the thunder, means that Molly the wonder dog has been Molly the trembling ball of nerves, trying to crawl into my lap all day. Once the thunder fully recedes into the distance, she'll collapse on the floor of my office and sleep for a few hours. (In fact, she is asleep now.) So maybe she'll have a euphoric sleep as well.

On a completely unrelated note and somewhat related to J. Cosmo's cryptic comments about J.R. (from Dallas), what is the show or shows that you actually watch as scheduled? Note that tivo or DVR or online viewing via hulu or netflix doesn't count. I want to know if there is a show or shows you actually watch as and when scheduled by the networks and cable companies. (None is an acceptable answer as well.) I have a deep suspicion that there are very few people who follow program provider's scheduling whims anymore. but I want to see if I am wrong.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What? You didn't know?

Given the comments on the previous post about the picture of the armpit sniffers, it is clear to me that many of you weren't aware of the great career opportunities in sniffology. Just think, you too could have a business card with your title listed as Armpit Sniffer.

A job as an armpit sniffer entails sniffing armpits of people of all sizes, who stand in a line with their arms in the air. Generally, the work is as a tester for deodorant manufacturer. After all, the cosmetic companies employ hundreds of armpit sniffers to make sure that we all smell good at all times. The power of antiperspirants and deodorants is still tested by sniffing, using human noses, in hot rooms. Sniffers generally sniff about 60 armpits an hour, or close to 500 in a busy day. Each sniff of an offensive odor is recorded on a scale of 1 to 10.

There is an established protocol for sniffology, including the requirement that the sniffers sense of smell should not be dulled by cigarettes or coffee or other odors. The people on whom the deodorant or antiperspirant is tested can be all men, all women, or mixed. Even the fact that humans are one of the sweatiest species on the planet does not deter the intrepid sniffologist (in spite of the fact that many people find the odor and job completely intolerable).

Some tidbits of odd information about/from sniffological studies and professional sniffers:

  • Studies using women sniffers on male subjects have determined that women are more drawn to the odor of men who are genetically dissimilar to them.
  • Professional sniffers are trained to understand everything about the human body and the role of the sweat glands.
  • When asked how it feels to be an armpit sniffer,  a professional replied "if you've sniffed one, you've sniffed them all."

So the next time you think you hate your job, remember that it could be worse!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I must have BO (Body Odor). Either that or Molly has it. Why you ask?

When Molly and I went for our walk yesterday, we went to the park. The walking path around the park is about three quarters of a mile long, so eight laps and you have your 6 miles done. In any case, when Molly and I got to the park we ran into people and dogs galore during the first lap. We must have seen 20 or 30 people. But ... by the second lap there was nary a person to be seen walking in either direction. We saw no one else for all the rest of our laps. The only explanation I can think of is that we had really bad BO or something. It must have been as bad for them as for the ladies in the armpit sniffing line below.

What do you think?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mishmash -or- How the mind rambles on

It was a glorious weekend here with temperatures in the 70s and winds mostly below 25 mph. L and I spent time walking with Molly, enjoying the sun in shorts and Ts. Spring must really be getting here. (Although I note that the weather forecast for the rest of this week is for wind and more wind. There is a reason why this area is famed as the "Saudi Light" of wind for all the wind turbines in the energy fields.)
(Photo by Wolfgang Schlegl )

Of course, there is a blizzard coming. Why you might ask? Well, I was in attendance at church on Sunday with L and the MIL. L and I snuck in late and hid in the back so mom wouldn't see me. She was being awarded with the Silent Disciple honor and it was a secret that she didn't know about. (One of the few times I knew something church related that mom didn't. {*grin*}) The award clearly caught mom by surprise and she was moved to tears. It was great to see all her peers congratulating her. Yea mom! (The reason for the blizzard is the rarity of my attendance at Sunday services. Once every 3-5 years is about right. I am more than willing to work and help, I just don't like Sunday services.)

I had to write a dunning letter this weekend, an experience that is fortunately rare. As some of you know, I sit on a Boy Scout troop committee and serve as treasurer for the troop as well. (This is the same troop I was a scout in and the Son was a scout in ... as described here and here.) One of the checks from the annual popcorn sale was returned for NSF.

This is a rare happenstance - it was only the second bad check in all the years I have been the treasurer for the troop. Two bad checks out of literally hundreds or even thousands is a pretty good record. It bears out my belief that people in this area honor their commitments and understand that the funds raised go to defray the costs of going on summer camps at places like Yellowstone, etc. Many of the boys would not be able to afford the expense of the summer camp trip without the mechanism of popcorn sales and the community steps up to help. In the back of my mind, I assume it was just a mistake on the check writer's part.

Last but not least, the taxes are done. L balanced it out pretty close - we ended up owing the state a whole $3. I think we can handle that. {*grin*}

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bad Hair(less) Day

Today has been one of those days. You know the type. Things go wrong and nothing works like it should and you aren't quite thinking straight.

It started this morning with the phone service for the Animal Officers missing (all of their phones being unreachable with the dreaded "You do not exist!" message from the cellular carrier).  That left all the calls routing to me with no way to get the officers to respond. Finally got that sorted out by 1pm when the cellular carrier finally fessed up to screwing it up. You never want to hear the words "Oh, we changed all our internal coding last night and forgot to handle your subset." Getting everyone to pull the batteries out of their handsets and then pull their sim cards for long enough to reset and putting it all back together again was interesting. It seems that many good animal people are a bit technology challenged and can't figure out how to open their phones without detailed instruction. Which is hard to do when their phones aren't working. Thank heavens for internet connectivity and email and laptop video.

The day of snafus left me a bit discombobulated (and of course well behind schedule on all the things I had planned to get done). It was in the upper 60s and glorious outside and I didn't get to enjoy it. Then, as I was making supper, I found myself opening the microwave to get a fork and putting a dish of food in the silverware drawer to heat it up. Needless to say, that was untenable. But I did finally get the meal made and it was edible, so I couldn't have made too many really bad errors during preparation.

I'll leave you with this succinct view of the current idiocy occurring in congress:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nectar of the Forgotten Gods

Do you ever have foods that you forget how good they taste until you have them again? I do.

The other night I made strawberry Jello (sugar free, of course) with pineapple (ditto) in it. I hadn't made that in a while and had forgotten how good it is. In fact, it was so good that I had it for breakfast. Strawberry Jello with pineapple and a side of cottage cheese. The breakfast of the gods -Yum!

In any case, it brought to mind several thoughts:

  • Do you have foods that tickle your taste buds but that you forget/fail to make for long periods?
  • Do you eat foods at non-traditional meal times (like Jello for breakfast)?
  • Do you find yourself falling into food ruts (like an apple and a piece of cheese for breakfast everyday)?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Pi Today, Gone Tomorrow

After all the excitement of Pi Day (3/14), I'm not sure a nerd like me can survive. Next to the upcoming glory of Avogadro's Day (6/02), nothing else is so exciting. For the non-nerds out there, Pi is a constant fundamental to Euclidean geometry, Avogadro's number is a constant fundamental to chemistry as we know it. Together, they define what kind of universe we are experiencing.

On a more serious note, please keep the people of Japan in your thoughts. They are in the midst of a once in a lifetime disaster. (And beware the spammers and scammers if you donate to the relief efforts.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Full Circle

Remember how I said that the weather went from snow and cold last Monday to the 70s by Thursday followed by wind, etc.?

This is the view this morning from the front door:

Yup, it is snowing to commemorate the joy of springing forward for daylight savings time. Nothing like cyclic weather to proclaim late winter.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term March Madness, doesn't it?

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Joy of Coming Spring and Other Oddities

This has been a typical late winter week of weather here on the high plains. Monday and Tuesday it was cold and it snowed. Wednesday was undecided. Thursday it was warm, close to 70. Today it is warm but the wind is howling at a sustained 40 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. What will tomorrow bring? Who knows?

Enough about the weather. Let's get on with another topic of late winter - dieting. It seems that the impending arrival of spring has a certain group of people diving head first into the idea of getting rid of the "winter excess". Some have resorted to the more mechanistic approaches:
Others have been a bit more organic in their approach:
In any case, it can suck the fun right out of luncheon meetings when the diet monster is in full rage. Especially if you are the only one not eating a salad. {*grin*}

That brings my meandering mind to the topic of brown rice. The other night L was bemoaning (on the phone to me) the amount of time it takes to fix brown rice up in the mountains because of the altitude. The boiling point of water is so reduced at the close to 2 mile altitude that it takes forever (and at least twice as much water) to prepare brown rice there. Given that it is a 40 minute task down here at just less than one mile of elevation, you can imagine how long and frustrating it is up in the mountains. In any case, I could tell that L was frustrated. (After all, why call me to kill the time while the rice quasi-boiled away. Watching brown rice boil is not noted to be a source of high entertainment value. I can't picture that talking to me while I fixed my supper and watching her rice bubble away has a much higher rating.)

More later ...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

When did?

This weekend L and I took her mother out to celebrate her 80th birthday at the steakhouse. One of the topics of discussion that came up was "When did it become acceptable for people to wear hats indoors?" There is nothing that says "lack of respect" like the idiots that wear their hat indoors at restaurants, sporting events, even funerals. It has reached the point that one often has to request that people remove their hats for any event.

As we looked around the restaurant, it seemed that at least half the males were wearing their dirty, sweat stained, baseball hats. (Although this being a rural area, many of the hats had farm and seed company logos rather than a baseball team.) And it struck me that sometime in the last 30 years it has become socially acceptable to for people to wear their hats in all manner of inappropriate places. I have been to funerals where those same people have had to be reminded to remove their hats in the church. Likewise for the national anthem, religious services, oaths of office, etc.

Even when the hat idiots are reminded to remove their hats, the result is often a blank stare of complete incomprehension. Somewhere through the years, the idea that wearing a hat indoors was disrespectful to the others present and to ones self has disappeared from our culture. So when did it go and why?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And the winner ...

... for the oddest call of the week thus far - Mr. Elliot of Los Angeles.
The call went as follows:
<ring ring>
Me: Dan Jones
Him: Hello, my name is Mr. Elliot. I'm not sure where I got this number, but is Dan Jones still the mayor of Sterling.
Me: No, that is Larry Fetzer.
Him: So he was just elected?
Me: No, about a year and a half ago.
Him: How long is the mayoral term?
Me: Two years.
Him: Oh!
Him: You're probably wondering why I called? Well, we are playing a trivia game here in LA and we needed those answers. Thank you. Bye.

Which leaves me with questions:

  • Why play trivia during the day?
  • Why ask obscure questions about small rural Colorado town when playing trivia in LA?
  • Why not go to the Sterling city website and look up the answers? After all, you did enough searching to associate me and find my number - why not finish the job.
Oh well, I can now say that I have officially been a part of a trivia question and answer from half a continent away. Can you say that?
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