Friday, November 26, 2010

Inner Strength

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 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 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!

Sarcastic Traffic Officer Responses

The following were allegedly taken off of actual police car videos around the USA.

Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them awhile.

Take your hands off the car, and I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document.

Can you run faster than 1,200 feet per second? In case you didn't know, that is the average speed of a 9mm bullet fired from my gun.

So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?

Yes, Sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh .. did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?

You want a warning? O.K. I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket.

The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?

No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want.

I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a good personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail.

You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. .. Sign here.

If you run, you'll only go to jail tired.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Welsh Codd Bottle

I have an old bottle sitting on my desk. It's a Cood bottle from North Wales, an area where my father hails from. I obtained it during a trip there some years ago. I decided to find out about it if I could and wrote to a very friendly and helpful man, Keith in Canarvon. He's connected to Segontium Searchers who provide a 'Genealogy & Local History Research Service'.

Anyway, he said of it: This is a lovely bottle with the Welsh Leek trade mark. Codd bottles are normally very common in the UK and worth very little, but this is one that isn't seen very often. Yours appears to be in very good condition...Peter Evans was born in Ruthin in 1863/64, the son of William Evans, an engraver. By the time he was 17 years old he was working in one of the established mineral water firms in the town (R. Ellis & Son or Cambrian). He was in business for himself by 1881 and was still trading in 1911. I do not have a date when he ceased trading. The bottle would probably date to the 1890's or early 1900's.

So it sits on my desk, a bottle that through its content of mineral water, slaked the thirst of an unknown person perhaps a century ago. Little did they know it would find its way around the world to be an ornament that reminds me of a trip I took to the old country.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Miners used to take Canary birds down into mines as they were very sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide, which made them ideal for detecting any dangerous gas build-ups. As long as the canary in a coal mine kept singing, the miners knew their air supply was safe. A dead canary in a coal mine signalled an immediate evacuation.

Imagine you were a miner who found the whistling irritating. When it stopped whistling and fell off its perch, would you say "Peace at last"? No, you would realise things were getting dangerous.

Freedom is like that. There may be a group in society that you don't exactly like and if you heard they had been proscribed by authorities, think 'good job'. The point is if that group wasn't doing anything wrong but had fallen out of favour with the authorities for some reason, alarm bells should ring. Be sure that other restrictions of freedom will follow, perhaps some you are not happy about.

So when freedoms are too easily brushed aside for some in your community, see it as the canary falling off its perch. Things could be getting dangerous.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Overly Complicated World

A friend of mine who isn't into things technical bought a cell phone. He complained to me that all he wanted was a phone but got so many other features that it had him so frustrated. Why can't you just get a phone if that is what you want?

I'm more into technical things than he is but I know exactly how he feels. I bought a nice but not expensive watch a year or so ago. I use a watch to tell me the time and the date, that's all. Every six months, we have to change the clocks with daylight saving and I cannot work out how to do it without the instruction book. If I accidentally bump one of the prominent buttons on it, it changes something which I cannot work out, without - yes you guessed it - getting the manual.

Now that isn't the only thing. This watch seems to have 2,187 features, only two of which I want. The other 2,185 of them that I don't want turn a one page fact sheet into a veritable tome. I'm sure if I dug deep enough, I could find features that would tell me my heart rate, my blood pressure and stress levels...things will I need as I strive to change the time.

Is a watch made today that tells the time and date only? Is there a cell phone that is simply a phone and not a camera, media centre and goodness knows what else? There are people like me who buy things to do the job they started out doing in the first place. The clue is in their names such as watch and telephone. I refuse Google Chrome as Google 'Normal' is just fine. I refuse to install additional toolbars as the computer came with one and it works.

When a manufacturer realises there are ordinary folk who want ordinary tools - and so offer a basic model in the range - will make a killing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Poker Game

Six retired Irishmen are playin’ poker in O’Leary’s apartment when Paddy Murphy loses $500 on a single hand, clutches his chest, and drops dead at the table. Out of respect, the other five continue the game standin’ up.

At the end of the evenin’, Michael O’Connor looks around the room and says, “OK, me boys, one of us has to go ‘round and tell Paddy’s wife. Who will it be?”

They draw cards for the honor and Paul Gallagher draws the low card. “Now whatever ye do, be discreet,” the others tell him. “Let’s not be makin’ the situation any worse.”

“Don’t ye worry about a thing,” says Gallagher. “I’m the most discreet Irishman you’ll ever be meetin’! ‘Tis me middle name!”

So Gallagher goes off to Murphy’s house and knocks on the door. Mrs. Murphy answers and says, “Paul Gallagher – what is it yer wantin’ at this hour of the night?”

Gallagher replies, “Yer husband Paddy just lost $500 playin’ poker, and he’s afraid to come home!”

“$500?!” Paddy’s wife exclaims, “Tell him he can drop dead!”

Says Gallagher: “I’ll tell him!”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Learn From Older Folks

Older folks had much that we have lost...for the worse I hasten to add, such as:

They liked melody in music,
Took pride in their appearance,
Kept romance in love,
Made a commitment to marriage,
Accepted responsibility for their parenting,
Valued togetherness in the family,
Instilled learning in education,
Treated others with civility,
Spoke with refinement and respect,
Worked hard in their employment,
Showed prudence when spending.

As individuals, we can still apply these attitudes and instill in our offspring. Of course, not all older folk lived up to these things and some unsavoury things were prevalent. However, overall these qualities were given more emphasis.