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|-- History 101
-- Cup of Tea
-- Tools Explained
-- The old country preacher
-- The most caring child
|-- So you
old country preacher had a teenage son, and it was getting time
the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession. Like
many young men his age, the boy
didn't really know what he wanted
to do, and he didn't seem too
concerned about it. One day, while
the boy was away at school, his
Father decided to try an experiment.
He went into the boy's room and put these objects on his study table.
1. A bible.
2. A silver dollar.
3. A bottle of whiskey.
4. A Playboy magazine.
'I'll just hide behind the door,' the old preacher said to himself. 'When he gets home from school today, I'll see which object he picks up.
If it's the bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be!
If he picks up the silver dollar, he's going to be a business man, and that would be fine, too.
But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunken bum,and Lord, what a shame that would be.
But worst of all, if he picks up the magazine he's going to be a skirt-chasing womanizer.'
The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's foot-steps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room.
The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table. With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them. Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink, while he admired this month's centerfold.
"Lord have mercy," the old preacher thought. "He's gonna run for Congress!"
SO you like Squirrels?
I never dreamed slowly cruising on my motorcycle through a residential neighborhood could be so incredibly dangerous! Little did I suspect.
I was on Brice Street - a very nice neighborhood with perfect lawns and slow traffic. As I passed an oncoming car, a brown furry missile shot out from under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me.
It was a squirrel, and must have been trying to run across the road when it encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there was no time to brake or avoid it -- it was that close. I hate to run over animals, and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but a squirrel should pose no danger to me.
I barely had time to brace for the impact. Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels, I discovered, can take care of themselves!
Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on his hind legs and facing my oncoming Valkyrie with steadfast resolve in his beady little eyes.
His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he screamed and leapt!
I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel for, "Bonzai!" or maybe, "Die you gravy-eat'n, heathen scum!” The leap was nothing short of spectacular...
He shot straight up, flew over my windshield, and impacted me squarely in the chest. Instantly, he set upon me. If I did not know better, I would have sworn he brought 20 of his little buddies along for the attack.
Snarling, hissing, and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity. As I was dressed only in a light T-shirt, summer riding gloves, and jeans this was a bit of a cause for concern. This furry little tornado was doing some damage!
Picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a T-shirt, and leather gloves, puttering at maybe 25 mph down a quiet residential street, and in the fight of his life with a squirrel, and losing...
I grabbed for him with my left hand. After a few misses, I finally managed to snag his tail. With all my strength, I flung the evil rodent off to the left of the bike, almost running into the right curb as I recoiled from the throw. That should have done it. The matter should have ended right there.
It really should have. The squirrel could have sailed into one of the pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I could have headed home. No one would have been the wiser. But this was no ordinary squirrel. This was not even an ordinary angry squirrel. This was an EVIL MUTANT ATTACK SQUIRREL OF DEATH!
Somehow he caught my gloved finger with one of his little hands and, with the force of the throw, swung around and with a resounding thump and an amazing impact, he landed squarely on my BACK and resumed his rather antisocial and extremely distracting activities. He also managed to take my left glove with him! The situation was not improved. Not improved at all.
His attacks were continuing, and now I could not reach him. I was startled, to say the least. The combination of the force of the throw, only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars, and my jerking back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand and into the throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of a Valkyrie can only have one result.
This is what the Valkyrie is made for, and she is very, very good at it.
The engine roared and the front wheel left the pavement.
The squirrel screamed in anger.
The Valkyrie screamed in ecstasy.
I screamed in .. well .. I just plain screamed.
Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a slightly squirrel-torn t-shirt, wearing only one leather glove, and roaring at maybe 50 mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential street on one wheel, with a demonic squirrel of death on his back.
The man and the squirrel are both screaming bloody murder.
With the sudden acceleration I was forced to put my other hand back on the handlebars and try to get control of the bike.
This was leaving the mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did not want to crash into somebody's tree, house, or parked car. Also, I had not yet figured out how to release the throttle... my brain was just simply overloaded. I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little effect against the massive power of the big cruiser.
About this time the squirrel decided that I was not paying sufficient attention to this very serious battle (maybe he was an evil mutant NAZI attack squirrel of death), and he came around my neck and got INSIDE my full-face helmet with me.
As the faceplate closed part way, he began hissing in my face. I am quite sure my screaming changed intensity. It had little effect on the squirrel, however. The RPMs on the Dragon maxed out (since I was not bothering with shifting at the moment), so her front end started to drop.
Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a very raggedly torn T-shirt, wearing only one leather glove, roaring at probably 80 mph, still on one wheel, with a large puffy squirrel's tail sticking out of the mostly closed full-face helmet. By now the screams are probably getting a little hoarse.
Finally I got the upper hand ... I managed to grab his tail again, pulled him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard as I could. This time it worked ... sort-of.
Spectacularly sort-of ...so to speak.
Picture a new scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have pulled off on a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do some paperwork. Suddenly a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a torn T-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing only one leather glove, moving at probably 80 mph on one wheel, and screaming bloody murder roars by, and with all his strength throws a live squirrel grenade directly into your police car.
I heard screams.
They weren't mine...
I managed to get the big motorcycle under control and dropped the front wheel to the ground. I then used maximum braking and skidded to a stop in a cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign of a busy cross street. I would have returned to 'fess up (and to get my glove back). I really would have. Really... Except for two things.
First, the cops did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned about me at the moment. When I looked back, the doors on both sides of the patrol car were flung wide open. The cop from the passenger side was on his back, doing a crab walk into somebody's front yard, quickly moving away from the car. The cop who had been in the driver's seat was standing in the street, aiming a riot shotgun at his own police car.
So, the cops were not interested in me. They often insist to "let the professionals handle it" anyway.
That was one thing. The other?
Well, I could clearly see shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery from the back seat. But I could also swear I saw the squirrel in the back window, shaking his little fist at me. That is one dangerous squirrel. And now he has a patrol car. A somewhat shredded patrol car ... but it was all his.
I took a deep breath, turned on my turn signal, made a gentle right turn off of Brice Street, and sedately left the neighborhood. I decided it was best to just buy myself a new pair of gloves. And a whole lot of Band-Aids.
$5.37. That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bueno said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Emo hairdo said the harshest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."
I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. "Only $4.68" he said cheerfully. I stood there stupefied. I am 48, not even 50 yet a mere child! Senior citizen?
I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Emo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?
I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.
Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?
"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, he said?" I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind. "Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"
I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing. That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror.
Then, a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.
Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle. Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.
I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Emo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?" All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here?" At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.
Emo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake." I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.
She offered these kind words: "It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."
All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 zone. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I'm not too old to be driving this fast.
As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanky.
The good news was I had successfully found my way home.
TOOLS EXPLAINED from
DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.
WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh sh*@'
SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used to create blood-blisters.
BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.
HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub from which you want to remove a bearing race.
TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you’ve overhauled the brakes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.
BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.
TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.
PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splattering oil on your shirt. But can also be used, as the nameimplies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.
STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.
PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.
HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.
HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, these days the hammer is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent to the object you’re trying to hit.
UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.
Cup of Tea from Linda Mondshine
One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old..
Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a gift and it was one of my favorite toys.
Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water.
After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.
My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!'
My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.
Then she says, (as only a mother would know...)
'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?'
History 101 From
For those that don't know the history ... Here is a condensed version:
Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.
The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:
1 . Liberals, and
Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.
Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.
Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement..
Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. Those became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.
Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.
Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu and French food are standard liberal fare.
Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.
Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud or Miller. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.
Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.
Here ends today's lesson in world history:
It should be noted that a Liberal might have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.
A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to tick them off.
And there you have it.
Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better. For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook Off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the San Antonio City Park.
Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili Taster named Frank, who was visiting from Chicago, IL.
Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted."
Here are the scorecard notes from the event:
CHILI # 1 - MIKE'S MANIAC MONSTER CHILI...
Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 - Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank); -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.
CHILI # 2 - AUSTIN 'S AFTERBURNER CHILI...
Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge #2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.
CHILI # 3 - FRED'S BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI...
Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 - - A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting drunk from all of the beer.
CHILI # 4 - BUBBA'S BLACK MAGIC...
Judge # 1-- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge #2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods not much of a chili.
Judge #3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300-LB woman is starting to look HOT. just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?
CHILI #5 LISA'S LEGAL LIP REMOVER...
Judge #1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge #3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming.
CHILI #6 - VERA'S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY...
Judge #1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
Judge #3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I pooped on myself when I farted and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my rear end with a snow cone.
CHILI #7 - SUSAN'S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI...
Judge #1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge #2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water.. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing it's too painful. I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.
CHILI 8 - BIG TOM'S TOENAIL CURLING CHILI...
Judge #1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. poor feller, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 - No Report