Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Most Irritating Kid ... (Part 2)

December 31, 2016

It just occurred to me that I didn’t mention in “The Most Irritating Kid in the World” (December 27), that the kids I dealt with were preschoolers.

So I don’t actually know how school-age kids might act out—maybe they are shy and withdrawn, or maybe they’re irritating, or aggressive or something.

But if you’re a preschool or day-care teacher, or a parent, and have a super-irritating kid—consider that there might be abuse.

Sadly, no child is too young to be messed with.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Mix It Up

December 29, 2016

Thought for the Day:

The only thing worse than inefficiency

Is the repetitive motion injury you get from performing a task in the most efficient way possible.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Most Irritating Kid in the World

December 27, 2016

Did you ever meet a kid that seemed to go out of his or her way to irritate people? That made you want to tear your hair out, or throw up your hands in frustration and think, “What is WRONG with you??!!”

Well, I found out the hard way that sometimes those kids are being abused. I always thought of abused kids as being meek and quiet and afraid of their own shadows; but several of the super-irritating kids I encountered were, it transpired, being sexually abused.

This doesn’t mean that every irritating kid is being abused. But being aware of this symptom might make teachers and other people keep their eyes open for other signs; and if enough of them add up—send the kid to the school counselor.

I don’t know why I’m impelled to write this right now, but that “still, small voice” is telling me to go for it. Again, not every irritating kid is at risk, but keep your eyes open, OK? Thanks.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Covering All the Bases

December 23, 2016

“Hang your stockings and say your prayers…

“Let’s give thanks to the Lord above,
’Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.”

(From “Here Comes Santa Claus”)

I admire a song that covers all the bases.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Tax Incentive That Might Make Sense

December 22, 2016

Since municipalities seem to want to hand out tax incentives to all and sundry, why don’t they give tax credits to businesses that let their employees go home early when bad weather looms?

Last Friday afternoon – early Saturday, Missouri Highway Patrol dealt with 400 crashes due to icy roads. Rush hour was, of course, a nightmare. And can anyone forget the Chicago blizzard of 2011, when hundreds of cars were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive because no one could get anywhere? There was plenty of warning that the bad weather was coming; it didn’t take anyone by surprise.

Maybe businesses could be encouraged to do the right thing by getting help in offsetting potential revenue loss. I would much rather see my tax dollars go there than to fund another sports stadium or a business expansion.
Business owners: If you’re afraid of losing revenue by letting people go home early for safety reasons, get your Disaster Plan up and running. A good plan has contingencies for working off-site, and minimizing revenue loss.

So get cracking.

The Music Pigeonhole

December 22, 2016

I think it’s funny that a radio station will play “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on an 80-degree day in November,

But not on a 15-degree day in January,

Because it’s considered a Christmas song.

Same with “Winter Wonderland”, “Jingle Bells”, “Frosty the Snowman” … Not a word about Christmas in any of them, but after December 25th, they disappear from the airwaves.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cooking Can Be Stressful, Huh?

December 18, 2016

Today’s Intriguing Headline:

You don’t have to drink to be a cook

No, but I’ll bet it helps.

(It was from the Post-Dispatch, but the article wasn’t nearly as fun as the headline makes it sound.)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Just in the Nick of Time

December 18, 2016

Henry Heimlich was 96 before he ever used the Heimlich Maneuver, a procedure that he helped develop
. It happened last May.

And none too soon.

Dr. Heimlich died yesterday. At least he got to use the procedure once.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jingle All the Way

December 15, 2016

Do you ever feel guilty during the holidays? You give a Toy to a Tot; you put change in the Salvation Army bucket every time you come across one; you take a tag from the tree at church to provide a gift for the needy; and there are still tons of people asking for donations, until you’re just tapped out.

Then my church takes up a special collection for something or other, on top of the Nut and Candy Sale, and the Giving Tree. I thought, “Seriously? Because people aren’t already giving enough this season?”

To sum it all up I composed this ditty (with a very bad rhyme scheme):

The holidays are here,
I’m supposed to spread some cheer

All they need’s a small donation
All I want is a vacation

Salvation Army gets my vote,
The ringer’s cold, even with a coat

To Toys for Tots,
I’ve already given lots

The paper prints cases
With lots of sad faces

The church wants some extry;
the Giving Tree’s in the vestry

The food bank needs bread
To come out ahead

They all need my dough,
How can I say No?

I’m sorry, St. Jude,
I don’t mean to be rude

But my wallet’s multi-tasking,
So Please—stop asking!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ya Just Can't Win

December 15, 2016

Apparently the Post-Dispatch has changed the font size on its obituaries, making them easier to read. People are appreciative.

Well, mostly.

According to one reader, the new layout “doesn’t project the solemn dignity” that the old style did. She says that the obituaries now resemble classified ads.

(After she wrote that, I looked. They seemed fine to me. But I’m not a habitual reader, so what do I know?)

Anyway—I guess you really can’t please everyone.

Festival of Lights

December 10, 2016

I like driving around at Christmas time to see the lights in the neighborhood. The other night I saw a couple of contenders for Most Intriguing Display (Home Edition):

1.      The house whose entire display consists of a lighted Eiffel Tower. Is it a reminder of fond memories? Or just something that the homeowner liked?

2.      The house that has, among other things, an inflatable dragon, and a tree that looks like it came from “The Wizard of Oz”. (I’m told that it actually came from “Frozen.” So I get the winter theme, it just looks odd to the uninitiated.)

Hey, I’m not complaining. It’s all fun to look at.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why Isn't Family Enough?

December 5, 2016

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been suckered into buying more presents than you could afford because somebody insisted on having the kind of Christmas gathering where everybody gets at least one present—on top of the presents they opened at home.

I keep hearing people talk about how much they have to buy, wrap, etc. They’re so stressed, it makes me want to weep for them.

Why isn’t being with family enough?

I’m not being sanctimonious—I like getting presents as much as anybody else. But I hate seeing people kill themselves all in the name of having a “good” Christmas.

Even if you’re staying with relatives for the holiday, can’t you just buy for your immediate family and throw in a hostess gift?

If you have people in the family who insist on buying for everybody, give them the present they crave the most: Attention.

Admire the beautifully-wrapped presents they’ve brought. Heap extravagant praise on the gift they brought you.

And if they get grumpy because you didn’t get them anything, remind them that it was supposed to be “No Gifts.” Then give them the nicely-wrapped $3 Christmas socks you brought along just for this purpose.

Repeat as many years as necessary.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Can You Plan for This?

Dear Tax Assessor:

Can you really call it an “unusually” high volume of calls

When you goof up peoples’ statements at this time every year?

The Compulsive Clappers

December 4, 2016

I went to a Christmas concert at a local university, and encountered the Compulsive Clappers.

You know how you’re supposed to clap when the conductor arrives, bows, leaves, come back; soloists play, stand, sit…Well, there are people who clap at everything, even on the rare occasions when you don’t actually need to. I’m pretty sure they would clap if somebody onstage sneezed and the conductor said, “Bless you.”

Well, in the middle of the concert we saw a video explaining why it would be so good for the choir to perform at Carnegie Hall; and why it would warm the cockles of our hearts to contribute to this venture.

At the close of the video, the Compulsive Clappers started to applaud; and I’m like, “Y’all know you’re clapping for the sales pitch, right?”

Even the people who automatically start clapping when the Compulsive Clappers do were thunderously silent for that one.

Ugly Sweaters Rule!

December 3, 2016

Ugly sweaters used to be winced at, hidden in closets, and, when enough of them had been donated to thrift stores, brought out and paraded around as jokes.

Now they have achieved cult status.

Not only can you buy a kit so can make your own Ugly Sweater; the other day I actually saw an Ugly-Sweater Cookie kit.

And all the ugly sweaters that have been hidden away for years are saying, “Finally! Vindication!”

(Or they’re plotting to take over the world. Who knows?)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

They're Missing the Point

November 30, 2016

Radio station KZQZ plays a rant by one of its personalities, who calls a local politician a “faggot”, and sneers at him for allegedly cross-dressing.

It’s a little jarring to hear the DJs at the station play this rant, and then immediately play a Christmas song.

Either the DJs have a well-developed sense of irony;

Or they forgot that Christmas was named for the guy who said, “Love thy neighbor.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Good-Hearted Repo Man—Not an Oxymoron

November 30, 2016

Today’s pat on the back goes to Jim Ford, a repo man who felt so bad about repossessing an elderly couple’s car that he set up a GoFundMe account to help them get it back.

The response was tremendous, and the Red Bud, IL couple has their car back.

Here’s another pat on the back for all the people who contributed.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Age of Manners

November 17, 2016

In an old episode of “Hawaii Five-0” (1968), the villain and the undercover policewoman are fleeing by car from other villains. They reach their destination and, even though they’re running for their lives (and he's considering killing her), he automatically comes to her side and opens the door for her; and she automatically sits and waits for him.

The age of the well-mannered villain.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Turn Down That Noise!

November 15, 2016

When we were growing up, parents would say, “Your music is too loud! Turn down that noise!” We said that when our kids played loud music, we’d understand.

Now my daughter says, “Your music is too loud!”

“It’s Baby Blue,” I say. “At least for the opening chords, you have to have it loud!” Same goes for Baba O’Riley—the opening is best when it’s loud.

She’s not impressed. With her earbuds, she gets the music pumped straight into her eardrums, and apparently that works for her. But I still like mine booming from stereo speakers, the old-fashioned way.

Luckily, I’m home by myself enough so that I don’t have to hear anybody say, “Turn down that noise!”

But I can’t wait to see how her kids listen to their music.

TV Thought for the Day

November 15, 2016

If the characters in "Scorpion" are such geniuses,

why do they use such bad grammar?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Culturally Speaking

November 7, 2016

In my ongoing quest for Cultural Experiences That Don’t Put Me To Sleep, I went to hear a string quartet from the symphony at a local library branch. I did it because it was close, it was free, and it lasted less than an hour; for me that’s the Trifecta of a Perfect Cultural Experience.

Several things became apparent: 

1. That a kid named Andrew was much too young for cultural experiences; well before the concert started I was tired of hearing his name.

2. That even an hour of classical music is more than enough for me.

3. That people who leave theaters and concerts halls and won’t let other drivers join the line to the exit aren’t just being obnoxious because it’s late and there’s a ton of traffic; they’re being obnoxious because they’re obnoxious. It was not even 8 p.m., and it was a library parking lot, and they were still carrying on like, “If I don’t get out now, I’ll be stuck for hours!”

Maybe they’re just conditioned from their previous cultural experiences.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

You CAN Have It Both Ways

November 10, 2016

Why religion and politics don't mix:

The winners can claim that God was on their side;

while the losers can say that Satan stepped in.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jesus Shrugged?

November 8, 2016

Maybe Jesus isn’t as upset with all our theological parsing as I’d like to believe. (“Jesus Wept”, November 6, 2016). After all, He did say that brother would fight against brother, etc. And even His own Apostles didn’t always agree on the practice of Christianity.

To see evidence of this, and for a really good laugh, read Galatians 5:6-12.

Jesus Wept

November 6, 2016

Looking at the articles about Catholics and Lutherans possibly crossing religious lines for receiving Communion, with all the exhaustive theological parsing and reasoning involved, I’m reminded of what Jesus had to say on the subject:

“Do this in memory of Me.”

No list of exclusions that would void the warranty, just those six words.

Sometimes I wonder if He just sits up in Heaven and cries about what we do in the name of His religion.

Thanks, Ladies

November 8, 2016

Thank You to all the women who fought so hard to give all women in the U.S. the right to vote.

Some of you sacrificed your freedom and your health.

Many of you suffered ridicule and ostracism.

Thanks also to the women who fought to attend college and medical school and law school, and who fought to enter boardrooms and have your business acuity recognized.

I'm not a fighter, so I'm glad that you were, and that I can reap the benefits.

Thanks again.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Harry Caray Can Finally Rest in Peace

November 5, 2016

So, now that the Cubs have won the Series, I’ll bet sportscaster Harry Caray has organized the biggest party Heaven has ever seen,

While the inhabitants of Hell are asking for blankets, because it has finally frozen over.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

They Should Have Dropped a Stronger Hint

October 31, 2016

The city of Sunset Hills, MO, has revoked the business license of a motel owner. He says that he is being targeted unfairly, but the city feels otherwise.

I’m quoting directly from an editorial in the Post-Dispatch that ran on October 28, 2016 because, frankly, I couldn’t have said it better myself. 

Best quote in Post-Dispatch reporter Tim O'Neil's story about the decision came from Alderman Dee Baebler: “We scolded him three years ago when there was a meth lab that blew up in one of the rooms. We had a list of things to correct. But, in fact, it only got worse.”

Well, sure. An exploding meth lab deserves a stern scolding. …

Maybe next time they should pile on the pressure and send a certified letter.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Are Metabolisms Gullible?

October 30, 2016

There was another article in the paper about how your weight-loss can plateau after a while, in part because your metabolism slows to compensate for the reduced number of calories you’re eating.

The article recommended, among other things, kicking the exercise into higher gear; adding 15 or 30 minutes more to your routine.

15-30 minutes more? Who are they kidding?

I say, sneak the increase in. Start your weight-loss regimen with minimal exercise instead of a full-blown workout, then increase it gradually. So as your metabolism slows from decreased calories, maybe you can gradually increase your exercise to compensate for that without having to spend an hour or more a day doing it. Sort of trick your metabolism into thinking you're really going all out.

If anybody tries it, let me know how it goes.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Life Imitates Art

October 30, 2016

Since the 2015 James Bond movie “Spectre” featured such a dazzling Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City,

Mexico’s tourism board decided to actually throw one this year so as not to disappoint the tourists who might be expecting one.

Until this year, Mexico City had never had one.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Simple Trick for Halloween

October 29, 2016

Since so  many parents have to be careful about what their kids eat, trick-or-treating can be really stressful.

Some people are putting teal-colored pumpkins on their porches to signify that the treats they give out won't harm kids with allergies, diabetes, celiac disease, etc. 

I'm a big fan of simple solutions, so I loved this. No muss, no fuss.

Enjoy, kids. (And parents.)

A Helpful Hint for Other Bloggers

October 28, 2016

If your blog is set up to give you revenue by the number of page views you get, use the words "Hillary Clinton" in a blog.

I mentioned her in a post the other day, and the number of page views went up astronomically.

The majority of the views came from Poland. Not sure what that's about.

I don't get revenue, but I'm going to try it again today to see what happens.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Maybe I'll Stage a Sit-In

October 26, 2016

I saw an article the other day on “9 Ways Your Desk Job is Killing You.”

Shorn of the drama, it means get up and move around at work. We were designed for physical labor, and moving around helps your circulation.

Now, I do a lot of my desk work standing up. I like it. But they make it sound like sitting still at all is a death sentence. Move, move, move, they say. (I assume they want you to read their online articles while standing at the computer.)

Well, before you throw out your chair in an effort to stave off certain Death from Sitting, here’s a reminder: Every time a health craze reaches the point of hysterical headlines, it’s a pretty sure bet that somebody’s going to be backtracking about it in the not-too-distant future. Furthermore,

If we weren’t supposed to sit, our bodies wouldn’t bend this way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hacking for the Greater Good

October 23, 2016

Teams of hackers have been invited to St. Louis to come up with their best ideas on how to tackle homelessness. I think it’s a great idea. When they’re done with that, maybe they can work on something that has been puzzling me for a while.

We spend tons of money reclaiming neighborhoods and property that have deteriorated so badly that demolition seems to be the best way to deal with them. Taking into account such factors as rights of the citizen (no forced relocation or Eminent Domain tactics), economics (not pouring money into subsidies), etc., how can we identify and shore up neighborhoods that are starting to go downhill?

I’m curious about whether they would be able come up with anything.

Rolling with the Punches

October 23, 2016

After Hillary Clinton referred to some supporters of Donald Trump as “a basket of deplorables,” columnist Dana Milbank mentioned seeing a Trump supporter wearing a “Les Deplorables” T-shirt and pin.

Hey, I thought it was cute.

Monday, October 24, 2016


October 24, 2016

For the third time in recent weeks here in St. Louis, a parent has gone into a convenience store for just a minute, left a baby or a toddler in the car with the keys in the ignition, and the car has been jacked with the child inside.

All the kids have been recovered safely (but not always in the best circumstances). But, who does this—leaves a kid in the car with the keys in the ignition, even for a minute? Who even leaves the keys in the ignition without having a kid in the car?

Do we really need to spell it out for people?

Take the kid, take the keys.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

There’s a Right Way to Spend Their Money?

October 22, 2016

I read a puzzling article today. It says that today’s generation (the Millennials) focus more on experiences—travel, hobbies, meals, etc.—than buying “stuff”, so they’re not contributing to the economy as much as previous generations.

That argument doesn’t make sense to me—they’re still spending money, even if it’s on restaurants or travel instead of big TVs. They’re just not spending money in the traditional way—buying houses. The article even says that Millennials are one reason restaurants have been doing so well, and hiring so many workers.

So just because they’re not buying what other people have bought in the past doesn’t make them economic drones. They’re just not tying themselves down.

Frankly, I’m with them, as long as they keep enough to pay the rent and not sponge off their parents.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thanks for the Thanksgiving Break

October 18, 2016

I was steamed a couple of years ago because so many stores were opening on Thanksgiving and not giving their employees a chance to celebrate the holiday with their families.

This year, Mall of America and several other malls have decided to close. (Some stores never did open on Thanksgiving, which I thought was swell.) So I thought I'd just give them a pat on the back and say "Thanks." It's nice to write about people being considerate of each other.

I hope this trend toward employee-friendliness catches on and becomes the norm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Behavior Modification

October 12, 2016

Donald Trump asserted that he could grab a woman’s crotch with no consequences.

I only hope he tries it on a woman who knows the martial arts form Pyung Ahn Oh Dan. It has two moves that would decisively discourage a repeat performance.

New Invention: The Anti-Grope

October 12, 2016

Recent news items have convinced me that we need an invention that will squirt mace at anyone who gets handsy. Kind of like those water-squirting flowers that clowns wear. It would have sensors that would react to pressure in certain places. One wrong move and, whammo!

I can’t wait.

How Many Tapes are There?

October 12, 2016

I’ll bet that there are lots of people—politicians and regular folks alike—who are praying that their comments have not been and never will be recorded.

Think of how many fewer politicians would hold office if they were.

Think of how many people would be sleeping on couches for weeks.

It Has Come to Our Attention…

October 11, 2016

Donald Trump was caught on tape bragging about groping women. Now his fellow party members, reeling at the idea that someone in politics could be a sexual predator, are disavowing him.

Because they had no idea that he had ever behaved inappropriately. (Apparently the party’s vetting process had some gaps.)

Seriously: Are they appalled at his behavior, or appalled because now they can’t get away with pretending that they don’t know about it?

Remember Mark Foley, and how many people in Congress turned a blind eye to his behavior before somebody leaked the e-mails? Only then did the outrage and disavowals begin. And he was preying on minors!

The Missouri legislature had its own problems with sexual predators. But as long as nobody went public with them, no politicians were outraged and nobody was called to account.

From now on, maybe our politicians should be a little more pro-active, and stop criminal behavior by their peers before it becomes public, and before people realize that they were complicit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

October 9, 2016

I like the phrase, “It’s a sign.” It usually means, “I’m glomming onto this coincidence to bolster the decision I’m making.” But not always. Sometimes signs really are signs. Last week I got a bunch of them.

On Wednesday I was debating going to class. I said, “If I finish getting dinner ready before it’s time to leave, I’ll go.” (This dish usually takes forever.) That food cooked in record time. So I went.

The next day I was going to go to class when the handyman was finished working at our house. But he was running late and didn’t even get to the house until it was long past time for me to leave. A definite sign that I shouldn’t go. (But why two conflicting signs about going to class? Hey, I never said it made sense.)

The morning after that, I said, “I should probably start looking at that Facebook issue from last summer.” (I’m not a swift mover.) “If I have time before work, I’ll get to it.”

I didn’t have time; but as I was going downstairs to grab my lunch and go, I got a call: “The computers are down, don’t come in to work.”

So I headed straight back up the stairs and worked on Facebook. I mean, is that a sign, or is that a sign?

When I went shopping later that day, I found a blouse that was a great style, of great quality, and on super-sale. “A sign.” But they didn’t have my size. “Oops. Bad sign.”

Other malls in the area had it in my size, but I wasn’t interested enough to start traipsing around after it, so I let it go.

But on Monday… “The computers are still down, come in late.”

And that gave me time to go to a mall near my job that just happened to have the blouse in my size…

What could I do? It was a sign.

It's All in the Presentation

October 5, 2016

On my morning walk I passed a house that had a charming Fall decoration on the porch: tucked in the corner was a two-tiered plant stand, with a mum on the top tier and a pumpkin on the bottom one. It was very simple, but it looked great, and I marveled at how some people just have a knack for that sort of thing.

Farther down I passed a house where, in the spirit of the season, the homeowner had plunked a pumpkin on the front porch.

I think I’ll keep an eye on the first house to see what else they come up with for the various seasons.

And, since we have the same style of decorating, I wonder if I should introduce myself to the homeowner of the second house and see if we have other things in common.

Credit Where Credit is Due

October 10, 2016

Ya gotta give The Donald credit:

Ever since he became the front-runner, we haven’t heard that tired old cliché about voting for a candidate who believes in Family Values.

So I guess we owe him one.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

One Fewer Obstacle to Voting

October 3, 2016

There was an article in yesterday’s paper (the St. Louis paper, no less!) about mobile polling places in Ada County, Idaho. Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane said that the voting trailers give voters the advantage of not having to figure out where their regular polling place is located.

This might sound silly to anybody who hadn’t had to deal with the strange system of polling places in Ada County; but to those of us who have suffered through it, he makes perfect sense. (See “Only in Idaho—I Hope”, May 2010).

Monday, October 3, 2016

If Only They had Used the Past Perfect Tense...

July 15, 2016

I keep seeing books—library books, published books, books which have presumably been somewhat edited or proofread—whose authors write, “If I would have known, I would have done it differently…” It drives me nuts.

For all you budding authors, please note: It’s

“If I had known, I would have…”

“If I had seen her, I would have avoided her.”

“If Mom had known my friend hated broccoli, she wouldn’t have served it.”

The first part of the sentence uses the Past Perfect tense, and the second part uses the Conditional Perfect.

I’m not going to lie to you: I didn’t remember they were called the Past Perfect Tense and the Conditional Perfect Tense until I looked it up; but I did know how to use them. (Thanks, Mom.)

And now you do, too.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rice Paddy Artwork

September 25, 2016

Do yourself a favor and look at the Yahoo! article called “China’s Rice Terraces: The Most Beautiful in the World.”

The stained-glass quality of the rice fields is incredible.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Step Away from the Box...

September 18, 2016

I’m not good at craft projects. At all. Today I saw an article from Good Housekeeping that showcased dozens of “easy” projects that had gone so, so wrong.

It was comforting.

It was also a good reminder to stay away from the Clairol aisle.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

September 18, 2016

I’ve always wanted enough money to be able to hop on a plane and go somewhere at a moment’s notice; so if somebody calls and says, “The leaves in the Berkshires are at their peak,” or “The cherry blossoms in DC are wonderful,” I could go see them right then, instead of planning a trip that might get me there at the wrong time, because the leaves didn’t turn or the cherries didn’t bloom when they were supposed to.

Well, I’m told that Pere Marquette Park, which is about an hour from here, has lovely leaves in the Fall. And it’s way cheaper than flying to the Berkshires, and quicker than driving to Door County, Wisconsin.

Ask and ye shall receive…something, even if it’s not your own private jet.

Now I just have to find a nice cherry orchard close by…

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

More Sales Tactics

August 28, 2016

Bait and Switch may be an outdated sales tactic, but Planned Obsolescence obviously is not. 

How else do you explain plastic stove utensils, or white dishcloths?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Beating the Egg White Myth

August 22, 2016

Once again I’ve disproved (as I have so many, many times) the myth that egg whites won’t whip properly if you get yolk in them. I got a big ol’ glop in there this time, but I spooned it out, and they beat up beautifully.

So if you automatically throw out your egg whites when you get some yolk in there, you really don’t need to. Otherwise, several poultry farmers could have retired on my bad egg-cracking.

You may not think this is post-worthy, but it’s my blog, and I’m bored, so what the heck.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

All Grown Up

August 1, 2016

There was a letter in “Dear Abby” in July from a woman who said that her grandmother constantly nagged her about not cleaning the bathroom every day. Abby agreed that deep-cleaning every day wasn’t necessary.

I think I might have added,

Unless your grandmother lives with you, why are you even arguing about it? Just say, “I hear you, Grandma,” or “Thanks for the input, Grandma,” and go on about your business.

It’s what grown-ups do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Morning Gems

July 15, 2016

Did you ever notice how the dew sparkles when your back is to the sun? When I take off my glasses, it looks like thousands of little gems twinkling. It really perks up the morning walks.

And here’s a twofer: The higher the grass, the more sparkles you get. So if you’re looking for a way to make people smile—including yourself—let that grass get just a little higher.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Looking for Artwork? Buy Stamps.

August 9, 2016

If you’re looking for inexpensive but impressive artwork, check out the USPS website. We’ve been collecting canceled stamps for a church project, and I’m amazed at how beautiful some of them are. I like a lot of the sets, but National Parks and Views of Our Planets have some really stunning pictures.

Of course, it won’t be impressive when it’s hung on your wall, but you can carry it around with you just to give yourself a lift every now and then.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bait and Switch is So Yesterday

July 31, 2016
When I was in school I learned about a sales tactic called “Bait and Switch.” A company would advertise a product at a low price; then when the customer came in, the salesman would plug a more advanced model for a much higher price. Sometimes the advertised item wouldn’t even be in stock.

That’s happened to me a number of times, most recently this morning. And judging by the remarks of a fellow customer, she’s experienced the phenomenon a number of times also.
I don’t think that retailers have caught up with today’s shoppers. These days when they whet our appetites for a must-have, and then can’t deliver, we won’t be content with a rain check, or a substitute. These days we have recourse.

It’s called Amazon.

Choosing the Right Candidate

August 2, 2016

I won’t lie; when I vote I usually say, “Please, Lord, let us pick the right person.”

A lot of candidates tout their faith as a selling point. Do they say that prayer, too? How do they feel if they don’t win?

Voting Help

August 2, 2016

A sign at the polling place has the handicapped graphic and says:

Curbside Voting Available
    Request Within

Monday, August 1, 2016

Maybe He Should Stay Away from the Movies

August 1, 2016

A Missouri man scared away a black bear that had wandered near his home; then he followed the bear into the woods and killed it as it sat in a ditch. The man said that he had seen the movie “The Revenant”, and was unnerved by it.

I’ll bet that a lot of hockey players are hoping this guy hasn’t watched the “Friday the 13th” movies.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Prove It

July 30, 2016

Another business is asking for tax breaks in return for expanding its headquarters in the area. The business estimates that it will bring hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of jobs to the area in the next few years.

I say, “Prove it.” 

Once you’ve established that your projections were accurate, and that you have in fact been an overall boon for the area, we can talk about tax breaks.

And incidentally, what you’re doing is called “Cost of business.” Pay for it.

Friday, July 29, 2016


July 29, 2016

I don't normally look at Facebook's Friend Suggestions, but I was scrolling through and noticed that one of the suggestions was a woman I work with.

I haven't listed my job on my profile, and we have no friends in common. They must be doing some serious data mining!

It creeped me out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Most Incongruous Event Name

July 26, 2016

In the newsletter from the St. Louis Rescue and Restore Coalition:

Human Trafficking and You Game Night

Monday, July 25, 2016

He’s Just a Thoughtful Guy

June 30, 2016

Missouri Senator Dave Schatz drafted a bill to make gun licensing a one-time process in Missouri—none of those pesky renewals every five years. He says he’s trying to save people time and money.

It was thoughtful of him to try to save his constituents all that time.

What would really be swell is if we didn’t have to renew our driver’s licenses or car registrations every two years.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The High Life

July 17, 2016


“You know it's a fancy restaurant when they shrink-wrap your doggie-bag carton.”

Workplace Perks

July 14, 2016

I’m lucky enough to work on the first floor of my office building, so that when I want to step out for a breath of fresh air, it’s easy. It really improves my mood.

It would be cool if office buildings came with balconies on the higher floors so that people up there could step out for air, too.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Shallow Is as Shallow Does

July 15, 2016

I keep running across mystery books where an average-looking woman somehow lands a dream guy, who chooses her over the glamorous women he’s met. Her personality/charm/spunk/whatever wins the day. She finds a guy who is not shallow!

What I’m not finding are books where the average-looking or good-looking woman goes for an average-looking guy whose charm/spunk/personality outweighs the fact that he’s not a hunk.

Where are the non-shallow women?

Only Ten Thousand?

July 18, 2016

I don’t know why people make such a big deal about getting 10,000 steps in a day. I can do that just wandering from room to room, trying to remember what I set out to do in the first place.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Can’t Turn My Back On It For Five Minutes

July 15, 2016

“Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”  (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

If you substitute “Futility” for “vanity”, it describes my efforts to keep my kitchen floor swept.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Versatile Stones

May 17, 2016

I never really paid attention to The Rolling Stones when I was growing up. But I’ve found them to be very useful over the past couple of decades. You can do warm-ups and exercises to them: from “Time is On My Side” to “19th Nervous Breakdown”, they run the gamut of great songs to stretch and work out to.

“Play with Fire” is great for learning to do martial arts punches properly—nice and slow, with a good one-two-three rhythm on the chorus for low, medium and high punches; while “Paint it Black” gives you a good rhythm to punch to once you’ve got the proper form down. I learned a Pyong form to “Heart of Stone”; and “As Tears Go By” has excellent rhythms for my physical therapy.

They’ve got it all.

No matter what age I am, it's a Stones Age.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Who Programmed This Thing, Anyhow?

July 2, 2016

Auto-correct on my phone has some curious omissions: I was texting a reply to a voice message about fettuccine, but I was spelling it wrong. Instead of correcting fettuccine, the auto-correct filled in “Destruction” and, later, “Tetracycline.” I think the programmer may have issues.

And when I texted someone about taking selfies, it didn’t have that word in its dictionary, either. Imagine—a cell phone that’s never heard of selfies!