They Are Coming to Take Me Away, Away, Away!

Ever just sit and allow your mind to wander and come up with stupid thoughts. Welcome to my world. Here is something I thought about recently – What would I do if I were wrongfully put into an insane asylum to convince them that I was sane and not just pretending to be sane?  Hmmm, must think about that one for a minute. Okay, thought about it – now where is my coffee. I cannot function with my coffee – oh, look at that, I’m sitting in my cup, no wonder I cannot find my coffee!

Let’s see, what useless information can I share with everyone this week. Oh, I know. Have you ever wondered how dollar-bill changers know if your dollar is authentic? What do I mean? Just this, you are at a vending machine, and it tells you that the machine will accept coins, and dollar bills and by that, I mean in various denominations (usually they say on the front of the machine that it will take singles, fives, tens, or even twenties). You think to yourself – now how in the world is this machine going to tell the difference between George Washington on the $1 bill; Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill; Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill; and Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?

Well, truth-be-told, and I read this somewhere – these bill changers have several authenticity tests. Ever wonder why you couldn’t just cut out a piece of paper the size of a bill and insert it into the machine and get yourself a free bag of Fritos? Here’s why – the first test is a light that measures the bill’s thickness as it is entering the machine. Having gotten past the first authenticity test, next comes the test to determine what denomination you have inserted. There is a reason why our currency has the words “one dollar,” “five dollars,” or whatever on them. There is another light source within the machine that checks for these very fine lines that make up the words – “one dollar,” “five dollars,” and so forth.

Yet another test that must be done is to make sure that the magnetic characteristics in the ink with which the U.S. mint prints is on the up and up. Three down – two more to go.

Where would we be without tests that confirm the tests done before the one being performed. Yup, test number four is a test to double-check the correctness of the first three tests.

Finally, and I am surprised you didn’t think of this one based on what I said earlier and that is – the fifth test is to measure the bill for the correct length.

See, now that you have all this knowledge, go insert your bill into your favorite vending machine and upon receiving your little bag of Doritos, sit back, relax, and enjoy, knowing that you now know how that vending machine works and provided you with the appropriate change.

Let’s see, what else can I dream up to write about that will cause us all to smile, laugh, and well, get in a good mood. What I came up with was something I want to share with you. But I must be truthful about it – I cannot take credit for what you are about to read, and I do not know who authored it. Hopefully though it will do what it is intended to do – make you smile or even quite possibly laugh.  As you read the list, think about what you are reading as it probably does resemble your daily activities: 

I call it: “If you can”

If you can start the day without caffeine.

If you can get going without pep pills.

If you can always be cheerful ignoring aches and pains.

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time.

If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when through no fault of yours something goes wrong.

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment.

If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him.

If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend.

If you can face the world without lies and deceit.

If you can conquer tension without medical help.

If you can relax without liquor.

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs.

……Then you are probably the family dog!

Let’s leave the world of the vending machines and dogs and go to some ridiculous Media Mentions.  By the way, most of these are very, very, old so do not ask where I got them – I probably read them a long time ago and came across an article or two lately that referred to them.

Here is one from a Dublin radio reporter (I told you they were old):

“Traffic is very heavy at the moment, so if you are thinking of leaving now, you’d better set off a few minutes earlier.”

This one was apparently seen in the Miami Herald some time back – way back – probably at least 20 years ago.

“Man shoots neighbor with machete.”

Here’s a good one from the Detroit Daily News:

“Weather forecast: Precipitation in the morning, rain in the afternoon.”

And finally, one from our own IRS – U.S. Internal Revenue Service form:

“Passive activity income does not include the following income for an activity that is not a passive activity.”

As I like to say when I read such dribble – “And they walk among us!”

Okay, how many of you remember the question I asked at the beginning of this week’s post? Well, I have thought about the answer. Here, let me refresh your memories: “What would I do if I were wrongfully put into an insane asylum to convince them that I was sane and not just pretending to be sane? “Well, I would probably say something like the following: “You know, I have a lot of people who believe in me – which sort of scares me. Why? Because I always knew I was real.

Until next time!

It’s a Blonde Thing!

Hello there, all my fellow bloggers. I cannot believe that it is Sunday already and apparently my week has been fuller than I thought it would be. Why do I say that “because as I sit here contemplating what to share with you, nothing comes to mind – nada, zilch, zero.”  

Seeing that my goal is to make you smile or hopefully laugh, I cannot let the week go by without writing something.  Allow me to share a joke I recently came across. But before I go any further, let me apologize to the blondes that may read this. My wife knows I love blondes (which she is not but seeing that we are heading into our 59th year of wedded bliss, I am sure she has nothing to worry about). So, please do not shoot the messenger – merely have as good a laugh as I did:

Three women who went to Mexico

Three women went to Mexico to celebrate their college graduation. They got drunk and woke up in jail to find that they’re being executed in the morning, though none of them could remember what they did the night before.

The first one, a redhead, is strapped in the electric chair and is asked if she has any last words. She says, “I just graduated from Trinity Bible College and believe in the almighty power of God to intervene on the behalf of the innocent.”

The executioner turns on the switch and nothing happens. They all immediately fall to the floor on their knees, beg for forgiveness and release her.

The second one, a brunette, is strapped in and gives her last words: “I just graduated from Indiana University School of Law, and I believe in the power of Justice to intervene on the behalf of the innocent.”

Again, the switch is flicked, and, again, nothing happens. Immediately they fall to their knees and beg for forgiveness and release her.

The last one, a blonde is strapped in and says, “Well, I’m from the University of West Virginia and just graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and I’ll tell ya right now, ya’ll ain’t gonna electrocute nobody if you don’t plug that thing in.”

Ya’ll have a good day now you hear and stay safe.

Until next time!

Time to Start Dancing Again

Yee Haw

What is it about dancing and listening to music that makes one forget all the nonsense that seems to bother us in our everyday lives? We went to a “Sock Hop” the other evening and while the music being played was music from the 50s & 60s, we got up and did a few of our line dance routines to the music being played. One of the things we do with regards our dancing is to let others know that one does not have to wait for a certain “line dance song” to be played to get up and line dance.

For instance, one of our favorites is to dance to an oldie (I mean real oldie) entitled “In the Mood”, a favorite Glenn Miller piece but the line dance we do to this music is entitled “Come Dance With Me”. We didn’t line dance to this song because (1) the DJ didn’t play it but more importantly, (2) because not having danced since March of 2020, I doubt seriously we could have made it through the entire dance. It starts out slow but for those of you that remember the song, know it picks up the beat and goes on and on and on. Baby steps, baby steps.

And away we go

However, we were able to get up and line dance to “Neon Moon” and another oldie entitled “Slappin’ Leather”. Bottom line is that we were able to remember the dance steps to a few of our old favorites. We also were able to slow dance to a couple of songs we consider our favorites (Back to the Fifties and In the Still of the Night). Age reared its head though when the Beer Barrel Polka came on. We did get to Polka but by the time the song was over, this old man needed to sit down and sit out the next two songs.

It was our first time truly socializing since we moved to our new community, and it was rather enjoyable. Both of us enjoy line dancing and it is a great way to get our daily exercise especially since it is so hot outside right now.  So, I guess we will have to practice our line dances which will be a good thing as we were finding it a bit hard to reach our daily step count each day. We can reach it when I take the time to chase Dolly around the house but being the age I am, once I catch her, I must stop and ask, “Now what was I chasing you for”?

Well, that’s about it for this week. Didn’t have any fabulous funnies to share with you although the above paragraph quite possibly brought a smile to your face. Stay safe and stay well.

Until next time!

Old Age & Customer Service!

Here we are again – let’s see what nonsense I can provide you all with today. Being an old fart, it is rather easy to come up with something age related to talk about. Especially if you are as old as I am and give some credence to Bette Davis’s old quip: “Getting Old isn’t for Sissies!”

So, before I go any further regarding aging, I read somewhere that the most famous quote about aging is just this:

Age isn’t a number, it’s an attitude.

I try to keep a positive attitude. Perhaps my comical rants and raves assist you all in your endeavor to keep a humorous frame of mind every day. I hope so.

While it is true, now that I am older, I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but when conversing with others, many times I still get the point across. At least nowadays when someone asks me a question that I should know the answer to but don’t, I have a legitimate excuse for forgetting the right answer. I can finally blame my memory shortcomings on old age.

Although, over the years, we old fossils do come up with a trick or two when in a conversation with others and do not want to appear that we are “Out to Lunch” or not paying attention. How does this happen? Well, my educated guess is that there are times when our memory puts the “Out to Lunch” sign out but fail to let us know – you know, like giving us a hint indicating that “Elvis has left the building.”

How do we handle situations like that? Here is one little trick I learned regarding questions asked that we do not know the answer to but give an answer to anyways. When supplying someone with the wrong answer to a question being asked, and the person says, “What does that have to do with what I asked?” All one must do is respond with the statement “Oh, is that what you asked? I thought you asked me a different question, keeping in mind that you must then quickly make up a question that you thought they had asked so that the answer you provided would be correct. Did our memory step out to lunch without telling us? Probably not. What really happened was that we probably didn’t hear the question clearly because of one’s old age hearing.

Okay, let’s change the subject about getting older and our memory for a moment and discuss what many seniors deal with every day – “customer service”. Not any customer service department, I am referring to the talking computer that has a patronizing attitude. How many of you reading this remember the comment HAL makes in the 2001 film, A Space Odyssey?

I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.” 

Supposedly that is what today’s AI talking computer responses are about. We all know the purpose of talking computers being used by large businesses today. An educated guess on my part is that they are assisting with the cutting the cost of operations of the firm using them (talking computers) so that the higher mucky mucks can get larger bonuses. Others might say that they are designed to merely frustrate the customers calling for customer service. But mine is not to wonder why – mine is but to – what am I saying – I don’t even like that quote. Back to the talking computer voice mail.

Think about it for a minute – what does this computer do – it has a pre-recorded voice mail that apologizes for the delay because all the service representatives are busy taking other calls. It proceeds to give you a bunch of gobbly-gook tempting you to buy more of their services all the while telling you that someone will be with you shortly. And let us not forget the never-ending loop repeating the same spiel over and over and over.  After a while, in many cases, the customer hangs up or completely forgets why the call was made in the first place. Bottom line – the company is saved from having to address the problem.

Oh, and let’s not forget all the questions being asked of you when you do get through and try to discuss your problem with – are you ready for this – the computer assimilated voice, not a human being yet, that comes later. It happened recently when our WiFi went out.

Computer assimilated voice (CAV): Why are you calling?

Me: I would like to talk to a customer service representative.

CAV: I didn’t quite understand you. I think you said you wanted to speak to customer support. Is that correct?

Me: Yes

CAV: Okay, what do you need customer service for? Is it for your wireless telephone, home phone, television, or internet?

Me: WiFi

CAV: I didn’t quite catch that. I think you said you were calling about your WiFi. Is that correct?

Before I go any further, let me just say that after a while I got frazzled with the conversation and so I just kept hitting zero with the hope that I might bypass the computer assisted voice. It didn’t work. Shortly thereafter the computer assisted voice came back and being the optimistic person, I consider myself to be, I thought to myself: “This time it will be better”. I wanted so much to believe I was making progress.  And I did stay positive – positive that is until I heard the next phrase uttered by this computer assisted voice which said:

“Before I pass you to a service representative, I have just a few more questions.”

Just what I needed – “More questions!”

Finally, twenty minutes later, the next available customer service representative (a real live human being) finally came on the line and said:

“Good morning, what seems to be the problem?”

And I wonder why I feel like I am aging faster than an overripe banana.

Until next time!

Irony and Humor

Irony in the rain!

“The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.”  –  Oscar Wilde

Most of us realize that life never really goes as we think it should. On days we think it will be bad it is good and on days we think it will be good life can be bad.

Think about it for a minute. Remember back to when you went to work every day, day in and day out. You performed your duties to the best of your abilities because you knew if you performed well, hopefully you would be rewarded with that raise you had been looking for. The day of your annual review comes, and you are pleased to hear that you got the raise. You cannot wait to get home so you can tell your wife the good news. As you tell her, you notice that she is not smiling but instead is trying not to show you the letter she just finished reading. The letter that says your rent has been increased.

Or, and this thing actually happened to me. You have been trying for months to get switched from working nights at your factory to days and an opening becomes available, but you get passed over …again! So, you begin looking for another job. As luck would have it, you are able to find a daytime job, but you really do not want to leave the job you are at. So, you accept the daytime job but keep your nighttime job. At last, an opening comes available and once again you ask your boss to be switched from nights to days only to be turned down again. What do you do?  Do you quit and stay with the factory that offered you days (I mean let’s face it – 80-hour weeks can be brutal no matter how young you are). But there is another catch, and the story doesn’t end there. One of the requirements of this new job was that you had to join the union (your job where you worked nights was a non-union shop), just what you need – another expense!  But you know you cannot work 80 hour weeks for much longer and so you come up with the dues, join the union, and quit your night job. One week later you are laid off. 

Does one look at this as a comical event in life or a dreadful event? Is it laughable or ridiculous? Comic irony or an appalling situation? It then falls on you to choose between whether this was merely comic irony or an appalling situation. Life itself supplies the irony; it then falls on us to decide how we are going to deal with it. Preferably as a comical situation.

What it all boils down to is just this – we, ourselves, must try our best to see the humor in things that do not work. We all see things from a different point of view. The world is absurd, we need to step back and find the comic in the absurd. I mean, really, all we need to do is look for “crazy news” in today’s newspapers or on the boob tube. Then as we go through our day, we need to stop and see if we can find some incident that happened in which the relationship of what was intended and that which resulted created some irony. What do we do then?  Seek out the absurdity of the relationship and if you can laugh about it?

For instance, picture this scenario – you are sitting in on a meeting of an organization known as “The National Planning Association.” Just before the end of the meeting, the chairman of the meeting announces that they were not sure where their next year’s convention will be.

Or here is one about books – ever notice how many books there are in bookstores? You can find everything from mysteries, sci-fi; young adult; westerns; romance books, and so forth. Not to mention the numerous cookbooks with just about the same amount being diet books. See the irony here – one tells you how to prepare food and the other how not to eat it.

Bottom line is just this: “A little craziness once in a while prevents permanent brain damage.

Let me end this week’s post by saying:  

Sometimes I lie awake and ask myself “Where have I gone wrong?” Then a voice says to me: “This is going to take more than one night!”

Until next time!