Things I’ve Learned Recently

The cubicle did not get its name from its shape, but from the Latin “cubiculum” meaning bed chamber.

A male Brown Thrasher can have more than 2,500 separate songs in his repertoire.

Creede, Colorado, was named for prospector Nicholas C. Creede who later committed suicide because his wife, from whom he had separated, insisted on living with him.

The yield sign was first used in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In rural Britain and Ireland, most houses had dirt floors until the 20th century. That’s where “ground floor” came from.

Nobody knows for sure what the “tuffet” Little Miss Muffet sat on really was. The nursery rhyme is the only place in historic English where the word appears.

Queen Anne of Britain (1702-1714) was too fat to go up and down stairs. A trap door had to be cut in her bedroom floor so she could be lowered to and raised from the floor below by pulleys.

During the first four months of World War II, 4,133 people were killed on the roads of Great Britain due to the blackout restrictions enacted to thwart German bombers.

There are more chickens on the earth than there are dogs, cats, pigs, cows, and rats combined.

In Korean, the word “umchina” is used to describe someone who is better than you are at everything. Its literal meaning is “mom’s friend’s son.”

It would actually be faster to allow everybody on an airplane to attempt to board whenever they wanted than to use any of the boarding methods airlines currently use. So why the boarding groups? Because it allows airlines to charge extra for letting people board sooner.

A young Sioux boy who witnessed Custer’s Last Stand lived until 1961, when I was three.

In Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, Cary Grant’s character is mistaken for a spy named George Kaplan, who doesn’t actually exist. In 2014, a species of fly that was originally named as a subspecies of another fly that was found not to exist was renamed “prochyliza georgekaplani.”

The word “spanghew” refers to the act of flinging a frog violently into the air from the end of a stick.

The word “teetotaler” comes from the phrase “Total with a capital T,” a slogan of the temperance movement.

Venus rotates in the opposite direction of all the other planets, so the sun rises in the west.

Shel Silverstein, author of Where the Sidewalk Ends, and The Giving Tree, wrote the song “A Boy Named Sue,” which became a huge hit for Johnny Cash. Silverstein was inspired to write it by his friend who had a name generally used by girls—Jean Shepherd—who wrote The Christmas Story.

Christopher Columbus took notes in Italian, gave most of the places he discovered Portuguese names, wrote his official correspondence in Castilian Spanish, kept a public journal of his voyages in Latin and a second, private, one in Greek, used Hebrew astronomical tables, and spoke the lingual franca (a mix of Arabic, Italian, and Spanish) of Mediterranean traders. And he was typical of learned men of his day.

The word “literal” is an adjective of the Latin word littera, meaning “letter.” Centuries ago, when only a handful of educated people knew how to write (or read) and the materials for doing so were hard to come by, something that was “literally true” was of such importance that it was worth writing down.

When you say that something is “the greatest thing since sliced bread,” you’re saying it’s the greatest thing since 1928, the year a Missouri jeweler named Otto Rohwedder invented the bread-slicing machine.

Falling down stairs is second only to car accidents as a cause of accidental death. Unmarried people are more likely to fall than married people. People in good shape are more likely to fall than those in bad shape.

To prevent fires back in the days when houses were warmed and lit by fire, people covered flames at night with a lid called a coverfeu. This word developed into our word curfew.

In an average year, more people die of food poisoning contracted at church picnics than have died from contact with bats in all of recorded history.

The dining room came into existence in homes largely because people got tired of food and drink stains on their expensive, upholstered parlor furniture.

In 1907, Kellogg offered a free box of Corn Flakes to any woman who would wink at her grocer.

The Duke of Marlborough was so cheap that, to save ink, he didn’t dot his “i”s.

Many years after the United States gained its independence, an old soldier was asked why he went to fight the British at Lexington. He said “We had always governed ourselves and we always meant to. They didn’t mean we should.”

Theodore Roosevelt was the first American to earn a brown belt in judo.

In 1920, Babe Ruth set a new record for home runs in a season with 54. That was 33 more than anyone else had ever hit. In 1920, no other TEAM hit as many homers as Ruth did.

The ashes of at least 12 White Sox fans were scattered over the infield at old Comiskey Park.

The German word for exit is “ausfahrt.”

Hal Smith, who played Otis the town drunk on The Andy Griffith Show did the voice of Owl in the original Winnie the Pooh cartoons.

The bleachers in a stadium were so named because the sun was said to “bleach” the skin of the fans sitting on the uncovered benches.

On May 17, 1979, Randy Lerch and Bob Boone of the Phillies became the only pitcher-catcher combo in Major League history to both hit home runs before taking the field. The Phillies beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field that day, 23-22 in 10 innings. (Sally and I got engaged 44 days later.)

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Bird #550 — Eastern Screech-Owl

megascops asio

Saturday, November 2, 2019 — 2:16 pm

Littleton, Colorado — Ketring Park

Chalk this one up to eBird and a friendly birder—and some stubborn persistence on my part. An Eastern Screech-Owl has been hanging out in the same hole in the same tree for each of the past two winters. The tree is in a small park in the Denver suburb of Littleton, about an hour’s drive north of my house. When I saw on eBird that people were seeing it again this fall, I decided it was time for me to go.

I drove up on Saturday, October 26 and arrived around 8:00 am. I had seen photos of the owl in its tree, so I knew I was looking for a hole with a sawed-off branch stub on the right. I also knew the hole wasn’t terribly high because of the angle of the photos. But I had no idea where in the park the tree was. I began wandering around, checking each tree carefully. I’d made it about halfway through the park when I saw an older gentleman with a pair of binoculars (and a small dog). I asked him if he knew where the owl hung out. He did, but before he would show me, he asked me if I was going to annoy the owl. He said he’d seen people walk right up next to the tree with their cell phones. I told him I’d be good.

We walked about 200 yards to the other side of the park. (At least I had the satisfaction of knowing I hadn’t looked in the right tree yet.). We walked quietly through a cut in some bushes and came upon a clearing with two trees in the center. The one on the right had the hole I was looking for, but the owl wasn’t in view. I thanked the guy, and he took off (to say nothing of the dog).

I walked the loop trail around the park, which is maybe a mile, and checked the hole again. Still no owl. The Littleton Museum is in the park. In addition to some inside displays on local history, they have two restored working farms from the 1800’s, complete with animals. I wandered around there for an hour or so, then checked on the owl again. Still not there.

I drove about two miles away to an antique mall and wandered for a couple hours, then went back to look for the owl. Still not there. I made another loop of the park and then looked for the fifth time. Nope. I gave up for that day and headed home. I knew I’d see it eventually, as long as I was willing to continue making the drive up to Littleton.

This morning I birded around Colorado Springs and drove up to Littleton around noon. I headed straight to the park, but the owl wasn’t out. I walked the loop around the park and checked again. Still no owl. I drove to Duffyroll Cafe (where the cinnamon rolls and sandwiches are amazing) and had lunch, then drove another four miles north to check out Fifty-two 80’s, a store that specializes in 1980’s pop culture. I got back to Ketring Park a little after 2:00. As I walked toward the place where the owl hangs out, I saw an elderly couple head back into the clearing. They came back to the path less than a minute later, so I figured I’d struck out again.

I didn’t. There was the owl, pretty much taking up the entire hole.

You can tell it’s an Eastern  Screech-Owl as opposed to a Western Screech-Owl because the base of its bill is light grayish-green. On a Western, it would be dark gray or black. Also, the horizontal streaks on its chest are more noticeable whereas on the Western, they’re very thin.

If you look at a map of Colorado, you’ll see that the state is divided nearly in half north to south by I-25. If you draw another dividing line straight east to west so that it intersects the city of Castle Rock, you’ll have four roughly equal quadrants. Eastern Screech-Owls are generally resident in the northeast quarter of the state. Western Screech-Owls are generally found in the other three.

It so happens that the Eastern Screech-Owl is the only regularly-occurring bird in Illinois that I had never seen. I was OK with that as long as I lived in Illinois because it meant that I could see a lifer anytime I went outside, even if it was just in my own backyard. But I never saw a hint of a screech-owl there. I had heard them in central Arkansas years ago, and may have even had one or two flash across the night darkness in front of my car, but nothing I could count. But once I moved to Colorado, I decided it was time to add the species to my list.

I had my new camera with me for the first time and so I was able to get these amazing photos while never getting closer than this to the tree.

The owl paid me no attention whatsoever. It sat motionlessly for the first five minutes with its eyes closed. Then it preened its belly feathers which made it look like it had two large white tufts sticking out. But when a couple of crows flew over calling nearby, the owl began to get nervous. It looked up and around in all directions. (You can hear the crows through the background noise in the video and see the owl looking around.) After another two or three minutes, it turned and ducked back down into its hole out of sight.

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Fifty-Two 80’s

On Saturday, I drove to Littleton to see the Eastern Screech-Owl. When my first foray into Ketring Park came up empty, I decided to do some sightseeing and then return for another try. I drove about five miles north toward downtown Denver and then spent maybe 20 minutes in a store called Fifty-Two 80’s. There are 5,280 feet in a mile, and Denver is the Mile-High City, so that’s where the store got the name. The “80’s” part comes because the store features toys and pop culture merchandise from the 1980’s. My older daughter was born in 1986, so she did most of her growing up in the 1990’s. Somehow many of the fads of the 80’s seemed to have slipped by without my noticing. But there was stuff I recognized—Alf, Mork & Mindy, Gremlins

I bought a little Alf figurine for my wall and three packs of Moonraker trading cards. Sally and I went to see Moonraker in June of 1979 and then got engaged later that night. And while this is cute and endearing and all, we both think the movie is terrible.

The packs were original and unopened. I didn’t chew the 40-year-old bubble gum. It was kinda gray and green and had the texture of cement.

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Red Rocks Canyon Open Space and a New Camera

I bought a new camera with a ridiculous zoom. I’m learning not to try to take photos on full zoom because I can’t hold it steady enough at that magnification without a tripod, and I don’t want to lug a tripod with me everywhere.

But even without full zoom, I’m impressed. I went to Red Rocks Canyon on a cold November morning to look for a Golden-crowned Sparrow that had been seen there by the feeders for a couple days. Not only did I not find the sparrow, I couldn’t find the feeders. I was somewhat relieved when I saw that nobody else found the sparrow this day either.

Here’s what I did see.

Red-tailed Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk eating … a sparrow?

Belted Kingfisher

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Blue Man Group

Joshua and I went to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to see a traveling Blue Man Group show. We drove up after work and ate supper at Sam’s No. 3 diner before the show.

Our seats were front row center in the mezzanine. The show lasted an hour and a half. They did the marshmallow bit, and banged on drums that shot up color. Other than that, it was different from the first time I saw them in Chicago many years ago. They did some audience participation bits and a lot of staring into the audience and a lot of moving around the stage doing stuff with various props. There weren’t very many “songs.” Two guys not dressed in blue played drums and guitar in the background. It was amusing at times, and fun overall, but I’m not in a big rush to see them a third time. Traffic was light going home and I was back shortly after 10:00.

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The Big Blue Bear

A 40-foot tall statue of a bear stands outside the wall of windows at the Colorado Convention Center. The name of the sculpture is “I See What You Mean,” but I have never heard it called that. I’d never seen it either, until Joshua and I walked a block or so to take a look in the couple minutes we had before the Blue Man Group show.

There isn’t much else to say except that it’s big, it’s blue, and I kinda like it.

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Facebook Posts

Do you ever go to bed at night planning on getting up the next morning and taking a nap? Asking for a friend. (10/3/19)

I was recently reminded of my 8th-grade graduation. As part of the ceremony, my entire class stood up on the bleachers and sang “Joy to the World” — the “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” version. I recall practicing during rehearsals and thinking that the ceremony would likely be the most embarrassing moment of my life. And then at the last moment, my dad decided that weekend would be a good opportunity for a family vacation. I don’t think I ever thanked him. I wish I had. (5/20/19)

The cashier at Noodles got inordinately excited when I walked into the restaurant. She mistook me for a customer who talks with a pronounced English accent. I was sorry I had to disappoint her. If I was capable of pulling off even a remotely accurate facsimile, I would have. But alas! Within three or four words, any accent I attempt just sounds like Grover from Sesame Street. (3/15/19)

On long road trips, we sometimes pass the time by writing limericks about the towns we pass through. Here are a couple samples from our current trip.

There was a young lass from WaKeeney
Who decided to wear a bikini
The Kansas wind rose
And parts of her froze
Soon the bikini was no more to be seeny

This next one is based on an actual event.

There was a short girl from Checotah
Whose john cleaning skills we took note of
She wiped scum off the wall
High as she was tall
And considered that she’d done her quota (12/23/18)

You know how, with certain movies that you’ve seen again and again, you can start watching at any point and know exactly what’s happened and where you are in the story? Apparently that’s also true of any Hallmark Christmas movie whether you’ve seen it before or not. I watched three with Sally last night (after all, I’d watched two football games earlier). I am not making this up. In the first movie, the woman decided to stay in town after all, marry the guy, and buy her parents’ old house. In the second movie, the woman decided to stay in town after all, marry the guy, and buy an antique store. In the third movie, the woman decided to stay in town after all, marry the guy, and buy her grandmother’s old house AND a bookstore (exciting plot twist, that was, let me tell you). (11/23/18)

I’m motivated by what I like to call preemptive laziness. I just go ahead and get things done so I don’t have to do them. (9/9/18)

Our water heater isn’t working. I wrote this text to my wife: “I left a message on the plumber’s answering service and also texted him. I still haven’t heard back. I remember it was hard to get hold of someone last time too. I think there’s so much work around here that they’re just not hungry. I like this guy, but if he doesn’t get back to me, I’m going to try someone else. I don’t want to take cold showers for a week”

And then I accidentally sent the message to the plumber.

Two minutes later, he texted me. (8/15/18)

Ways to impress other people without actually doing anything impressive.
1. Be on time
2. Get up early
3. Read books
4. Bring all the required forms with you to the post office when applying for a passport
5. Write legibly (7/17/18)

We’re at the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. They have Diet Pepsi. On the ark. Just more evidence for my belief that it’s what we’ll all be drinking in heaven. (7/8/18)

People You’ll Meet in Colorado—A Primer

  • If someone bumps into you and then glares at you like it was your fault, they’re probably from the East Coast. Make eye contact and smile. They’ll get away from you as fast as they can.
  • If someone bumps into you and acts confused, like they’re surprised there’s anyone else on the planet, they’re either high or from California—or both. Just walk away. There’s no point in trying to carry on a conversation.
  • If someone charges up with bluster and bravado, they’re probably from Texas. Relax. That’s how they make friends. Brace yourself for an invitation to dinner.
  • If someone smiles and says hello, they’re probably Colorado natives or from the south. Most of them are as friendly as they seem.
  • If someone gives you a friendly wave in passing, they’re probably from the Midwest.
  • If someone gives you the absolute shortest possible eye contact and the briefest possible nod, they’re probably from Chicago. That’s how we communicate the message that we don’t want anything to do with you, but we’re also not going to shoot you. (2/25/18)

Hey kids. Forget the Tide Pod challenge. That’s just stupid. If you really want to prove that you’re a risk taker who can eat anything no matter how gross, film yourself eating a White Castle slider or anything from Cracker Barrel. (2/3/18)

The thoughts of a cat, explained.

1. You are sitting. Therefore, you must want a cat on your lap.
2. You have a cat on your lap. Therefore, you must want to pet it.
3. You have chosen not to pet the cat on your lap. Therefore, you must want to be bitten on the arm.
4. You have indicated that you don’t want to be bitten on the arm. Therefore, you’ve given the cat permission to go into the next room and do something it knows it’s not supposed to do. (1/18/18)

This weekend I was birding in a park near downtown Colorado Springs. A woman about 500 yards away started hysterically screaming “Help me!” over and over. I’m apparently not the guy you want around in an emergency because it didn’t really register with me. Until, that is, when a guy came sprinting up behind me yelling, “Coming past you. Got a gun.” That got my attention. Turns out the woman’s little dog was getting hassled by a larger dog. The big dog’s owner pulled it away long before the sprinting guy got there. I’m not sure what I could’ve done anyway. “Coming past you. Got binoculars” doesn’t seem like it would be helpful in many situations—unless, perhaps, someone was screaming for help with identifying a tricky bird. (12/4/17)

This probably won’t be possible a year from now. It may not be possible a month from now the way housing developments are popping up around here. But tonight I walked a mile and a half from my house and saw a herd of wild Pronghorns. And I think that’s pretty cool. (10/25/17)

I think I should receive a lifetime achievement award for my many years of returning library books both cleaner and in better shape than I received them at check-out. (9/23/17)

I’m still trying to cope with the fact that nobody in Colorado knows how to make pizza. And now I discover that Einstein Bros. out here don’t sell bagel dogs. Seriously, how do these people even live? (8/29/17)

1,150 — feet above sea level of the Massey house outside Altoona, Pennsylvania, where I was born.

646 — feet above sea level of Des Plaines, Illinois, where I grew up.

864 — feet above sea level of Cary, Illinois, where we lived for 19 years.

1,624 — feet above sea level of my parents’ house in northern Wisconsin, where we got married.

5,280 — one mile above sea level

6,684 — feet above sea level of Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, the highest point in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

6,758 — feet above sea level of our new house in Colorado Springs. (8/2/17)

Today I ate my last funnel cake ever. (5/27/17)

Typical Colorado Conversation
Me: You have to work all weekend?
Kid working the counter at McDonalds: Nah. Just today. Tomorrow I’m taking my dog to the vet and then detailing my car.
Me: What kind of car do you have?
Kid: An ’02 Mustang.
Me: That’s cool.
Kid: Actually, I have three.
Me: Three Mustangs?
Kid: Yeah.
Me: On a McDonald’s salary. Well done.
Kid: Not really. I used to work at a marijuana dispensary.

At which point the conversation was hijacked by two of his coworkers who had never known that about him and thought it was the coolest thing ever. (5/27/17)

Waiting in airports would be less boring if we were allowed to try to hit people on the moving sidewalk with rubber-band rockets. (2/12/17)

Palmer Park in Colorado Springs is the only place I’ve ever hiked where I felt I was in equal danger of running into a mountain lion or a full-service car wash around every bend. (2/9/17)

I was thinking about buying a worry stone, but I didn’t know if I’d pick the right color, and I wasn’t sure where I would keep it, and I was concerned that I might lose it, and I thought it might cost too much, and I didn’t even know if it would work. (2/4/17)

During our house hunting in Colorado, we came upon a clueless homeowner who stood in his kitchen chatting with his wife while we were touring his house. His four kids were spaced throughout the rooms. It made things very awkward. I felt like an intruder, so instead of just opening random doors, I asked him how to get to the basement. He replied, “The basement’s downstairs “

Oh … your house has one of THOSE! I never would have guessed. (12/29/16)

Two observations: 1) I look forward to the day I can listen to a Cubs’ World Series broadcast in which every sentence doesn’t end with, “for the first time since 1945.” 2) I like statistics and odd records as much as the next guy. Maybe more. But COME ON Fox. “He is the first Puerto Rican shortstop with a wife and two daughters and a Z in his last name to ever get two hits off a 6’5″ lefty with halitosis” isn’t a record. It’s just a coincidence. (10/26/16)

It’s a sad thing to replace old carpeting. There are so many memories … Here’s where our old cat used to pee all the time. See that slightly-brownish patch in the corner of the hallway? That’s where our dog always threw up. This pink spot? This is where our daughter spilled a bottle of nail polish and didn’t bother cleaning it up before it dried.

It almost makes me want to cry. (10/9/16)

I just overheard this conversation between Sally and Lindy

“I’m going to buy you cheddar pretzels.”

“You don’t need to. You already bought me kitty litter.” (7/30/16)

So I’m standing in the cereal aisle at the store perusing the options when a store employee comes by and asks what I’m looking for. I say, “Life.”

And she asks, “Life cereal”?

Yes, cereal. What else? Is this a regular destination for people searching for greater meaning? (7/7/16)

There is one reality TV show I would watch. Gather a bunch of regular folks who have never golfed. Dress them up in goofy golf clothes, give them a set of clubs but no lessons or practice, just a 15-minute primer on the basic rules and objectives of the game. Take them to a famous course like Augusta or St. Andrews or Pebble Beach and have them play a serious three rounds with all the tournament rules except without a maximum stroke limit per hole. Low score wins a huge cash prize. Spectators watch at their own risk. Even use regular sports commentators to cover the action. “(Whispering) It looks like he’s grabbed a 3 wood here Stan. Does that surprise you?” “A little bit, Bob, seeing as his ball is only five inches from the hole.” (5/19/16)

I’m not in the running, but on the off chance that you decide to vote for me for President and I somehow win, I make the following promises:

1) I will outlaw leaf blowers.
2) I will suspend the driver’s license of anyone who doesn’t know how to merge into traffic properly.
3) I will follow the lead of the Catholic Church when it decided that certain popes were not really popes after all and designated them as “anti-popes.” In similar fashion, I will designate several past Presidents as “anti-presidents.”
4) I will insist that product labels no longer contain words that have no meaning — like “100%,” “home made,” “organic,” “healthy,” and “fresh.”
5) I will eliminate the designated hitter.
6) I will order Bill Watterson to start writing Calvin and Hobbes strips again.
7) I will get one of those devices for my car that turns all the traffic lights green in the direction I’m going.
8) I will shut off my alarm clock and start each day whenever I happen to wake up.
9) I will make it illegal to discuss reality television in public.
10) I will pass a law stating that if it’s OK for your cat to go into your neighbor’s yard and chase birds and use his garden as a litter box and annoy his indoor cat, then it’s OK for his dog to go into your yard and chase your cat and leave piles and bark whenever you’re trying to sleep. (5/18/16)

We might still change our minds, but at this point my brother-in-law and I are planning on casting write-in votes for each other for president so we can check “Get a vote for president” off our bucket lists – if we had bucket lists.

Sally, getting out of the car: “There are two reasons I’m moving slowly, and you know what they are.

Me: Because you’re an old fart?

Sally: OK, three reasons. (3/15/16)

For the first time in my life I’m considering contacting a business and offering to endorse its product.

The spots, which are absolutely true, would go something like this.

I was out of town one night when we had a wind storm. A strong gust pushed against the door to our deck and set off the alarm. My wife slept through the alarm. The security company called to see if we were OK. My wife slept on. They called a family member who lives nearby who then also tried to call. My wife never woke up. The alarm was still going off. The security company called the police. They came and walked around the outside of the house to see if everything was OK. Still my wife slept. She found out about all this in the morning.

Mack’s Ear Plugs — You can sleep through ANYTHING

My daughter didn’t have her key with her one night. She came home late, after my wife and I were in bed. She knocked and rang the doorbell repeatedly. She called both our cell phones. We never woke up. Finally she gave up and drove 20 miles to a friend’s house and slept on the couch.

Mack’s Ear Plugs — You can sleep through ANYTHING

One evening in February, we had a light snow that made surfaces slick. My daughter managed to get her car parked at the top of our driveway. But during the night, the car slid down the slope and into the street where it was blocking traffic. Someone called the police. Four of them came to our house and tried to wake us. They knocked and rang the doorbell repeatedly. My daughter finally heard them and went out and moved her car. My wife and I didn’t know any of this was going on.

Mack’s Ear Plugs — You can sleep through ANYTHING

What do you think? Would they pay me for this campaign? (2/17/16)

Step number 19 in the instructions for every IKEA product should be “take apart everything you’ve put together so far and then put it back together again correctly this time.” (2/5/16)

I’m not absolutely certain, but I think I’ve found a reference to the Packers in Scripture — I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree (Psalm 37:35). (2/5/16)

When you check into an empty motel, do you think:

A. Good. This will be a quiet night.
B. What does everybody else know that I don’t?
C. I’m probably going to be murdered tonight. (12/21/15)

Christmas songs can be put into three categories. Those I like (of which there are maybe three); those I don’t like (especially Little Drummer Boy and Holly Jolly Christmas); and all the rest, which to my brain all sound like the same song that just goes on for hours and hours every day for five long weeks. (11/28/15)

Whenever I see a guy walk out of the men’s room without washing his hands, I wash mine for twice as long. I know this doesn’t really accomplish anything, but somehow it feels like I’ve restored some balance to the world. (11/19/15)

Apparently my hotel is hosting a door slammers’ convention. Who knew? (11/5/15)

I put this idea out there once before but nobody did anything about it so I’m trying again.

We need to rework daylight savings time so it occurs on a daily basis. Skip forward an hour every afternoon around 2:30 when the work day is starting to drag and then fall back an hour every evening to gain an extra hour of sleep.

Anybody? (11/2/15)

According to the Gallup Organization, 1957 was the happiest year ever recorded in the United States of America. It was the year I was created. Coincidence? I don’t think so. (11/1/15)

However long I live, at my funeral they will truthfully be able to say “He never bought anything in response to a pop-up ad on the Internet.” (9/23/15)

As for National Donut Day — One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike (Romans 14:5). (6/5/15)

A comprehensive list of all the things I like about hot summer weather.

1. The garden hose is more pliable. (5/18/15)

This is the funniest thing I’ve read today: “Nestled in a grove of trees next to a bucolic field in Eastern Indiana stands the state’s highest point, Hoosier Hill, which, at 1,257 feet above sea level sets a record which is danger of being broken by a landfill.” (3/10/15)

Had an interesting conversation with the woman who came to our house this morning to refinance our mortgage. She was convinced that since …
1. We have antiques, therefore we must like to watch Gunsmoke.
2. I was wearing a flannel shirt, therefore I must enjoy hunting.
3. I watch birds, therefore I must believe they evolved from dinosaurs.
4. I have a daughter who lives in Missouri, therefore I must be in favor of “Obama’s high speed train to St. Louis” and am probably a Democrat

It was a bit tricky to keep up at times. (2/21/15)

What we need is a way to vote “against” a candidate — to subtract a vote from his count without having to pick one of the other clowns. (11/3/14)

10 MLB teams I could never cheer for even if I lived in their city.

1. Mets – still bitter about 1969
2. Phillies – even their die-hard fans don’t cheer them
3. Dodgers – wouldn’t want to deal with six hour drives to the park
4. White Sox – because I do and I don’t
5. Marlins – I’ve always thought of them more as a synchronized swimming team
6. Giant – because Barry Bonds
7. Padres – still bitter about 1984. And the mustard-colored uniforms made me ill.
8. Astros – moot really. I would never live in Houston
9. Reds – they seem really smug with nothing to be smug about
10. Indians – if I found myself living in Cleveland I’d be too busy wondering where I’d gone wrong (10/22/14)

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I’m kinda sorta training to hike the Incline. I headed to the Palmer Lake Reservoir Trail in the later afternoon. I managed to climb to the top of the upper reservoir without stopping. I even passed three people on the way. I rested a bit before heading back down and enjoyed watching a tame beaver swimming and diving in the lake.

I hiked the trail again on a cold, blustery Sunday morning. I had to stop four times on the way up this time. I didn’t see a beaver, or much else in the way of wildlife, but there was still a chilly beauty to the place.

Posted in Mammals | Leave a comment