A young couple moved into a new neighborhood.  The next morning while they are eating breakfast, The young woman saw her neighbor hanging the laundry outside.

“That laundry is not very clean”, she said.  “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly.  Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.  I wonder who taught her this.”

The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look!

What I Done in Texas

This story comes from my e-mail inbox.  It was sent to me by a friend from high school, which was long ago and far away. :)   I hope you like it.

A cowboy rode into town and stopped at a saloon for a drink. Unfortunately,
the locals had a habit of picking on strangers. So when he finished his
drink, he found his horse had been stolen. He went back into the bar,
handily flipped his gun into the air, caught it above his head and fired a
shot into the ceiling. “Which one of you sidewinders stole my hoss?” he

No one answered.

“All right, I’m gonna have anotha’ beer, and if my hoss ain’t back outside
by the time I finish, I’m gonna do what I done in Texas! and I don’t like
to have to do what I done in Texas!”

Some of the locals shifted restlessly. The cowboy had another beer, walked
outside, and his horse was back! He saddled up and started to ride out of
town. The bartender wandered out of the bar and asked, “Say partner,
before you go. . .what happened in Texas?”

The cowboy turned back and said, “I had to walk home.”

Research Provides Insight and Understanding

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was?

Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what’s known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next.

Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.

It’s not aging, it’s the door! Thank goodness for studies like this.

Timely Aphorisms

An aphorism is a concise statement of principle or of truth.  I received the following list of aphorisms from my friend, Roy.  They seem particularly timely to me today.  What do you think? :think:

  • It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you place the blame.
  • We have enough “youth.  How about a fountain of “smart”?
  • A Fool and his money can throw one heck of a party
  • Money isn’t everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive You might hit a bump and spill something.
  • If at first you don’t succeed skydiving is not for you
  • We are born naked, wet and hungry.  Then things get worse.
  • Red meat is not bad for you Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
  • Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  • “You know why a banana is like a politician?”
    “He comes in and first he is green, then he turns yellow and then he’s rotten.”
  • “I think Congressmen should wear uniforms, you know, like NASCAR drivers, so we could identify their corporate sponsors.”
  • The reason Politicians try so hard to get re-elected is that they would ‘hate’ to have to make a living under the laws they’ve passed.

Try to keep that smile on your face as you interact with others today. :gum:

Perfectly Done

It has been a while since I shared an item from my e-mail inbox with you.  Not many items that come way are worth passing along.  Yesterday, I received an e-mail from my good friend, Roy.  This story is worthy of a read.  To put it in context, Roy and I are in the same Sunday School class where we have been studying the life of David.  In class, we had a discussion of how David was prepared to be king.  As in our own life, sometimes events didn’t seem to make much sense.  Later, the significance becomes clear.  Here is the story that Roy sent me:

A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in all circumstances would always say “my king, do not be discouraged, because everything God does is perfect. He makes no mistakes!”

One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his majesty from losing a finger.

Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman asked “Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger.”

The slave replied: “My king, despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good, and he knows why these things happened. What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!”

Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.

Later, the King left for another hunt, this time alone. He was captured by savages who engaged in human sacrifices.

On the altar and ready to sacrifice the sovereign, the savages discovered that their victim did not have one of his fingers. According to them, only a whole person with all his/her parts intact could be offered to their gods. The King without a finger was deemed an abominable sacrifice for their gods. So they released the King.

Upon his return to the palace, the King authorized the release of his slave. He received the slave affectionately.

He asked his slave, “my dear, God was really good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: if God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?”

The slave answered, “my King, if I had gone with you on this hunt, I would have been sacrificed instead because I have no missing finger. Remember everything God does is perfect. He is never wrong. He let you put me in jail so I would not be with you on the hunt.”

My life story is another illustration of this point.  I will not trouble you with that.


If I don’t post tomorrow, it will be because it took longer to move the computers to the basement than I thought.  Sylvia and I used to have our computers in the basement.  It is comfortable there–especially in the heat of summer.  Early morning in the [upstairs] office is very nice, but by midday it becomes very hot and afternoons are torrid.

I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.  Or maybe not. :)


First, from the e-mail inbox.

My lovely bride sent the following to me recently:

Why Grandmas Are Smart

I was out walking with my grandson. He picked up something off of the ground and started to put it in his mouth. I took the item away from him and I asked him not to do that.

“Why” my grandson asked.

“Because it’s been on the ground; you don’t know where it’s been; it’s dirty, and probably has germs,” I replied.

At this point, my grandson looked at me with total admiration and asked, “Grandma, how do you know all this stuff?? You are so smart.”

I was thinking quickly and said to him. “All grandmas know stuff.  It’s on the Grandma Test. You have to know it, or they don’t let you be a grandma.”

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but he was evidently pondering this new information.

“Oh, I get it! He beamed, So if you don’t pass the test you have to be the grandpa.”

“Exactly,” I replied with a big smile on my face.

Do you think she was sending me a message?  Before you answer, and in my own defense, let me quickly add that we do not have a grandson.

It is a funny a story and Sylvia has a wonderful sense of humor.  We both got a bit laugh out of this silly tale.  We do that a lot.


We had a visitor on Sunday and he’ll be with me again today while Sylvia is visiting her Dad.  I’ve known Jon since he was a pre-teen and we always have a good time together.  Today looks like a good day to spend in front of the TV watching Sci Fi flicks.

Tomorrow a High-School student and granddaughter of my good friend, Roy is coming to work on pre-calculus math.  I’m looking forward to that–a lot.  It has been a while since I’ve cracked the trigonometry book, but use it from time to time.  I’m actually quite excited about the opportunity.

In recent days, the skies have been leaden gray.  A sure sign of winter here in west Michigan.  At least the grass is [mostly] green.  That may change by week’s end.

Yesterday I spent a few hours fixing the color printer.  The problem?  The printer cable was loose on the back of the computer.  Why hadn’t I secured the screws that hold it in place?  Aarrrgh.  Sometimes it drives me whacky!

Company has arrived.

Headline News

Received here via e-mail

I remember my first editing assignment.  It was for a magazine that is read by more than 600,000 readers.  My supervisor and coworkers warned me that I would make a blunder–perhaps more than one.  Determination and strong will took over.  This would not happen to me.  But it did.  The text was flawless.  The footnotes were without blemish.  Nothing was wrong with the title.  Below the title, in the deck (that’s that large type section that amplifies the title and lets the reader know what the article is all about), was an error.  Fortunately, the proofreader caught the error before it went to the printer.

My friends had a laugh on me.  They explained that it is easy to miss the problems in the large type when you are tightly focused on the small print.  Isn’t that the truth?  It is all too easy to get so wrapped up in the details of life that we miss problems in the big things.

Writing headlines is an art.  The writer’s job is to tell and tease.  Tell the reader what the story is about and yet tease, so the reader wants to know more.  When well done, the result is a beautiful creation.  When poorly done . . . well, just read the following list of headlines from an e-mail sent by my friend, Roy.

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide 
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Man Struck By Lightning:  Faces Battery Charge
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Can you find a favorite here?  And will the lightning-struck man get his battery charged?

Mature Woman Driver

From my e-mail diary

This one came from my friend, Clarence.  We were high school classmates.  He has a great sense of humor and loves to send me gems such as this story about a police officer who got on the wrong side of a wily motorist.

A  mature (over 70) lady gets pulled over for  speeding…

Older  Woman:  Is there a problem, Officer?

Officer:  Ma’am, you were speeding.

Older  Woman:  Oh, I see.

Officer:  Can I see your license please?

Older  Woman:  I’d give it to you but I don’t have one. 

Officer:  Don’t have one?

Older  Woman:  Lost it, 4 years ago for drunk driving. 

Officer:  I see… Can I see your vehicle registration papers please. 

Older  Woman:  I can’t do that.

Officer:  Why not?

Older  Woman:  I stole this car.

Officer:  Stole it?

Older  Woman:  Yes, and I killed and hacked up the  owner.

Officer:  You what?

Older  Woman:  His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see 

The Officer looks at the  woman and slowly backs away to his car and calls for back up.  Within minutes 5 police cars circle the woman’s car. A senior officer  slowly approaches the car, clasping his drawn pistol. 

Officer  2:  Ma’am, could you step out of your vehicle  please! The  woman steps out of her vehicle. 

Older  woman:  Is there a problem sir?

Officer  2:  One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and  murdered the owner.

Older  Woman:  Murdered the owner? 

Officer  2:  Yes, could you please open the trunk of your car,  please.

The  woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty  trunk. 

Officer  2:  Is this your car, ma’am?

Older  Woman:  Yes, here are the registration papers.
The officer is quite  stunned. 

Officer  2:  One of my officers claims that you do not have a driving license. 

The woman digs into her handbag and pulls out her license and hands it to the officer.

The officer examines the  license. He looks quite puzzled. 

Officer  2:  Thank you ma’am, one of my officers told me you didn’t have a  license, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked  up the owner.

Older  Woman:  Bet the liar told you I was speeding,  too.

How can you top that one?

First Grade Wisdom

From the E-mail Diary . . .

This one is another from my good friend, Roy.  Here is what he sent me regarding First-grader wisdom.  I hope you like it too.

A first-grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class.  She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It’s hard to believe these were actually done by first graders.  Their insight may surprise you. Read their answers [in italics] below.

  1. Don’t change horses until – they stop running.
  2. Strike while the – bug is close.
  3. It’s always darkest before – Daylight Saving Time.
  4. Never underestimate the power of – termites.
  5. You can lead a horse to water but – How?
  6. Don’t bite the hand that – looks dirty.
  7. No news is – impossible.
  8. A miss is as good as a – Mr.
  9. You can’t teach an old dog new – math.
  10. If you lie down with dogs, you’ll – stink in the morning.
  11. Love all, trust – me.
  12. The pen is mightier than the – pigs.
  13. An idle mind is the – best way to relax.
  14. Where there’s smoke there’s – pollution.
  15. Happy the bride who gets – all the presents.
  16. A penny saved is – not much.
  17. Two’s company, three’s – the Musketeers.
  18. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you – put on to go to bed.
  19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you – have to blow your nose.
  20. There are none so blind as – Stevie Wonder.
  21. Children should be seen and not – spanked or grounded.
  22. If at first you don’t succeed – get new batteries.
  23. You get out of something only what you – see in the picture on the box.
  24. When the blind lead the blind – get out of the way.
  25. A bird in the hand is – going to poop on you
  26. Better late than – pregnant.

Did you find one that you particularly like?  I’m sure I went to school with some of their great grandparents.  Scary isn’t it?  Have a wonderful weekend.

What a Day!

Hot and Humid

Yes, it’s that kind of day here in west Michigan.  The outlook is for this to continue through the weekend.  Perhaps the expected rain will help?

What a perfect time for the air conditioning to fail.  The repair guy should be here soon.  I’m planning to spend most of my day in the cool of the basement.  Oops gotta go . . . he’s here.

The HVAC man has just left.  He did some checks, and made some changes in the cold air return and registers.  The refrigerant was a little bit low, so he recharged that.  It took about an hour and a half.  The system seems to be working as it should now.

The weather radar shows rain headed this way, and the sky looks like it.  Still going to be hot according to the forecasters.

I have a friend’s computer to work on today.  So that will occupy most of my time once I get this written.

Puns for Intelligent People

At least that was the subject line on an e-mail from a friend and former pastor.  He has a great sense of humor.  I offer these as we prepare for the Labor Day weekend.  Enjoy.

  1. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  2. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  3. No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.
  4. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  5. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  6. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway.  One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’
  7. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
  8. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons.  The stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’
  9. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft.  Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
  10. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.  No pun in ten did.

Sylvia and Midnight join me in wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and safe Labor Day weekend.