Quip–a witty remark.  E-Quips (think e-book or email) is hopefully a witty blog  – dedicated to word play such as parodies, puns, and word parallels and stories about libraries that you may not have heard before. It has also expanded to include a few book reviews, nature and observational essays and poems,  stories about military and veterans, and tips about writers and writing. It has evolved into an online journal.  I also include select re-blogs to admire or inspire.



Hope you enjoy the ride and the fun.

Please let me know if there is word that deserves a riff or a library that has a story to share.

Thanks for joining me in the blogosphere.






Help Desk: Government vs. Industry

Like all generalizations, this is not one size fits all. To protect the guilty, I will use pseudonyms for both the product and the government department

Industry help desk for a fitness product:

Online chat with a (lack of) service rep

Hello. How may I help you?

My fitness product says its need to be reset, but I can not figure out how to do it.

What is your product, please?

Provide the name of the product.

I’m sorry before I can proceed any further, I will need a credit card number in case this requires additional help.

Thank you for your help. I’m ending this session because I will not provide my credit card number for a just in case event.

Online chat with a different (lack of) service rep.

Hello. How may I help you?

I’m having problem with my device. These are its issues. (I no longer remember what the issues are.)

Did you try this…

That is not the problem I just described.

Variations of this conversation went on for several minutes while the rep went through a canned list of options which did not address any of the issues I mentioned.

Finally I decided I could live with the issue since getting it resolved did not seem possible.

Online phone call with a US government agency dealing with beneficiary issues (and I didn’t have to wait on the line once we got through the phone maze.)

Hello, how may I help you?

Hi I have two issues. I need to designate a beneficiary and when I try, the system will not let me.

Let me walk you through the steps.

I get to a certain point and it won’t let me add any information.

Maybe it’s your pop-up blocker on your computer.

How do I find that? (Getting stressed because I know this will take a while and my mind just dumped any memory of how this problem was handled previously).

Give me a minute so I can tell you how to do this.

She gives me the steps but they do not match what I see in one browser so I asked her if she would mind if I tried another browser.

Sure, take your time. I’ll wait quietly on the line while you log in.

She waited patiently while I switch browsers, re-log into the government site, and successfully add the beneficiary.

She clears up a few ambiguous questions during this process.

Then I ask her about finding something that needed review in a form email from the agency, the second issue.

We send that message so that people can check this particular feature on the website.

Thanks you so much for your time, I really appreciate it. Can I fill out a survey?

That’s not necessary. We are here to help and are just doing our job.

Which help support would you prefer?


Funny Sports Quotes

From a forwarded email


1) Don Meredith, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback once said: “Coach Tom
Landry is such a perfectionist that if he was married to Raquel Welch,
he would expect her to cook.”

2) Harry Neale, professional hockey coach: “Last year we couldn’t win
at home and we were losing on the road. My failure as a coach was
that I couldn’t think of anyplace else to play.”

3) Reggie Jackson commenting on Tom Seaver: “Blind people come to the
ballpark just to listen to him pitch.”

4) Doug Sanders, professional golfer: “I’m working as hard as I can
to get my life and my cash to run out at the same time. If I can just
die after lunch Tuesday, everything will be perfect.”

5) Mickey Lolich, Detroit Tigers pitcher: “All the fat guys watch me
and say to their wives, ‘See, there’s a fat guy doing okay. Bring me
another beer.'”

6) Tommy LaSorda , L A Dodgers manager: “I found out that it’s not
good to talk about my troubles. Eighty percent of the people who hear
them don’t care and the other twenty percent are glad I’m having

7) E.J. Holub, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker regarding his 12 knee
operations: “My knees look like they lost a knife fight with a

8) Vic Braden, tennis instructor: “My theory is that if you buy an
ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play
tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren’t as

9) Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboys fullback when asked if Tom Landry
ever smiles: “I don’t know. I only played there for nine years.”

10) John Breen, Houston Oilers: “We were tipping off our plays.
Whenever we broke from the huddle, three backs were laughing and one
was pale as a ghost.”

11) Bum Phillips, New Orleans Saints, after viewing a lopsided loss to
the Atlanta Falcons:”The film looks suspiciously like the game

12) Al Hrabosky, major league relief pitcher: “When I’m on the road,
my greatest ambition is to get a standing boo.”

13) Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers running back on why his marriage
ceremony was before noon: “Because if it didn’t work out I didn’t
want to blow the whole day.”

14) Lou Holtz , Arkansas football coach: “I have a lifetime contract.
That means I can’t be fired during the third quarter if we’re ahead
and moving the ball.”

15) Knute Rockne, when asked why Notre Dame had lost a game: “I won’t
know until my barber tells me on Monday.”

16) Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers: “I learned a long time ago
that ‘minor surgery’ is when they do the operation on someone else,
not you.”

17) George MacIntyre, Vanderbilt football coach surveying the team
roster that included 26 freshmen and 25 sophomores: “Our biggest
concern this season will be diaper rash.”

18) Rick Venturi, Northwestern football coach: “The only difference
between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on

Golden Days of Wine and Butterflies

Gentleness hugs the psyche and nerves
Streaming sun rays caress the skin
no longer coated in humidity's sweat
Butterflies maximize the opportunity
to pollinate at will
Wine enhances the opulent mellowness
Sunflowers grow to the height of the solar panels
Accident or purpose?

 Cool white wine 
trickles silkily down 
the back of  the throat
Smooth, nutty brie
 wakes up the palate
when placed  atop
 sea salt 
on the crunchy cracker
Flowers beguile the nose
with notes of green and flora

Today is a day to savor when the weather turns like it always does

Working the Office

Seeking Entrepreneurs

  • Set your own hours
  • Establish your own territory
  • Determine how much money you want to earn
  • Pay no taxes
  • Meet a variety of people
  • Bring your own sign

Does this sound like a job that might interest you?

If so you could be one of dozens of people in many towns and cities that ‘work the office’ on many intersections. From Los Angeles to Washington, DC, you can find people ‘down on their luck’, ‘anything helps’, veteran, ‘have a family to feed. While the signs and stories may differ, the individuals are usually men. But not always, sometimes you see women or even a few adults accompanied by children.

If you drive by an intersection regularly, you may start to notice the same individuals working the same office. Sometimes they seem to have set days and hours were you can find them on site in almost any weather. Some of them have something to sit on, water or another beverage, and something eat. Some of them approach any car waiting for a red light, others wait for a sign of encouragement like a smile or a rolled down window.

On 395, at the off-ramp to 14th street in Washington, DC, the series of men who have worked that office usually sweep, rake, pick-up trash at that location. The fact that they seem to be improving that intersection may prompt motorists to reward their efforts.

Down on his luck

A panhandler brings his umbrella and seat.” by kennethkonica is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Library Produced Resources for Veterans

Did You Know? 

That the  Libraries and Veterans National Online Forum was held in September 2021.

It was promoted by the librarians at Texas A&M University Libraries, with support from a grant from the Institute of Museum and  Library Services.  The forum had keynote speakers, presentations, lightning talks, affinity groups, and a microgrant invitation.  

Out of this forum came  committees that worked on toolkits that can be used by other libraries to bring services to our veterans.  Each toolkit has a description, development outline, partners and stakeholders, recommended resources, and various assessment tools.   

The toolkits are freely available at:  https://veterans.libguides.com  And you are invited to submit one of your own. 

If you are  interested, the Veterans Committee developed the following toolkits:

A Warrior Coping with PTSD: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1192364

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1192383

Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1192225

Community Free Library: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1193291

Free Government Publications: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1192384

Greenlight a Veteran: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1196175

Homeless and Veterans Stand Down: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1193327

Preventing Veteran Suicide: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1192370

Service Animals – Veterans Administration Information & NEADS Dogs Program: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1193310

Veterans and Jobs Assistance: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1193233

Veterans Awareness Book Club: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1195463

Veterans Creative Arts Therapy: Exhibit of Paintings and Sculptures Collection: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1193317

Veterans Health Literacy Display and/or Space: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1195533

Veterans Physical Fitness Challenge: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1192374

Women Veterans Throughout History: https://veterans.libguides.com/c.php?g=1192186

Laws of Nature

From a forwarded email.

Forget Newton and Galileo.  Here are the real laws of nature: 

1. Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability- The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.  

5. Supermarket Law – As soon as you get in the smallest line, the cashier will have to call for help.


6. Variation Law  If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

7.Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters – The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11. Law of the Theater & Hockey Arena – At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15. Law of Logical Argument- Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

16. Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance – If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

17. Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking – A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy –As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors’ Law- If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better.. But don’t make an appointment, and you’ll stay sick. This has been proven over and over with taking children to the pediatrician. 

Golden Days of August

August's heat and humidity
have disguised the 
golden days of August

Celt's celebrated Lughnasadh 
first harvest of the season

the first golden leaves
have fallen off the trees
not yet parched and brown

golden bales of hay
still linger in fields
usually big barrels of grass
seldom the twine bound
just the right size 
for seating at
harvest fairs
or craft fair music festivals

golden peach juice
still squirts on my t-shirt
while ripening gold and red apples
foretell of fresh cider presses ahead

Flowers seem take flight
as battalions of butterflies
circle and dive around the 
colorful late summer buds

Overhead some early geese
honk as they head elsewhere

Antlered bucks make
it clear that
the rut
will begin shortly

September will gild the days
further with softening warmth
and gentler breezes hopefully
waving humidity good bye

The Conch by Ray Griffin

by Ray Griffin

I am so glad late afternoon’s storm’s wrath   
Has waned as I begin to walk along 
This isolated, pristine narrow spit
Of land tucked ‘tween the bay and sound. A calm
O’er comes me as the ocean’s face shifts from 
Disconsolance to soft translucent blue.   

Before me lie a shell-strew beach as far
As I can see. Wrenched-up from Neptune’s depths
By angry churning waves, the sundry shells
Set in mosaic patterns on the sand.
Amongst the art I see a starfish lay 

Atop the bivalves, nautilus and more.
Drawn to this star, I wonder, who are you?
I feel connection with sea star and pick
It up and gently toss it back into
The sea so that it will survive and thrive.   
My heart and soul are filled with love and joy 
As starfish sinks into the depths of home.
I sit upon the solitary beach
And think of life and love and what of me.
A symphony of sound from ocean’s roar  

Entice me forth along the shelly shore.
‘Tis there before me at the water’s edge
I see a King Conch being gently bathed 
By languid tides. He is so beautiful!
I pick him up so I can listen to

His voice as June’s Strawberry Moon ascends.
I first hear ocean’s rhythmic roar before
Conch starts to share his grace and wisdom.
He speaks to me in-sync with breaking tides:
“I am!” He firmly says: “And so are you,    

My age ’ed friend who’s lost tonight in search
Of your path lighted by the Spirit’s grace.”
Conch understands…I feel a quiver as
I shout repeatedly: “I AM! I AM!”
I smile and kiss the Conch while gazing on

Ascendent moon before I wade into
The sea.  When at waist’s depth I carefully
Release my friend back to his home so he
Might share his sage advice again with those
Who search for light in midst of tempest’s rage.

As with the tides, life circles
Round the wisdom of the sea. 

Janine’s Mission 77: 90th, 98th, 100th, and 101st Birthdays!

When missions are completed, the families usually send over pics of their veterans (with big smiles 😁) showing the cards they received. I post those pics at the bottom of this email, and on my facebook, instagram, and twitter– so make sure you’re following along on your favorite platform! You can see a number photos from many other past missions here. For those wishing to share a veteran’s birthday:please try to give me at least 2 month’s notice via email. 
Last but not least, if you are new here, thank you for joining! I hope you find this to be a fulfilling and meaningful way to do what you can, with what you’ve got, from where you are! 🤗 …and now here’s Mission 77 (4 parts). 
david hoffman
Mission 77 (part 1): Send by 8/13-8/16 Henry’s 98th A note from his daughter: Henry Clay Smith, US Army PFC, Company “M” 137th Infantry, served his country in Central Europe during WWII as a heavy machine gunner and was a Purple Heart recipient. After an honorable discharge, he returned to his hometown of Fountain Run, KY, married his sweetheart and served our God as a bi-vocational Southern Baptist minister for 50 years in south central KY. His wife passed away in 2018 after 72 years of marriage, and he currently lives with his only child, a daughter, in Brentwood, TN, which is near his two granddaughters and a grandson-in-law.  *His birthday is 8/17 and he is in charge of getting the mail, so feel free to make your envelopes extra decorative so he’s surprised every day he goes to the mail! 🙂 
Please send your cards any time between 8/13 and 8/16 to: Henry C Smith  805 Valley View Circle Brentwood, TN  37027

david hoffman
Mission 77 (part 2): Send by 8/16 Zeke’s 90th A note from his family friend Kami: Zeke Gandara was in the 76th Engineers B Company, 24th Infantry Division. He enlisted in 1949-1952. He was in Korea from July 1950 – Nov 1951.
Please send your cards on or before 8/16 to this address:  Zeke Gandara
6832 S. 90th Street
Lincoln, NE 68521
david hoffman
Mission 77 (part 3): Send by 8/16 Bob’s 100th A note from his daughter Linda: My Dad, Robert (Bob) Huerter will be turning 100 years old on August 22nd. We will be celebrating on Saturday, August 20th, in Chanute, KS. Bob enlisted in the Navy Air Force in September, 1942. He was called to service January, 1943. After graduation in Pensacola, Florida in November, 1944, he was stationed in Northern Africa with an Air Sea Rescue Squadron. Bob was a Naval Aviator, Lieutenant Junior Grade. On one of his missions he was able to visit the Vatican in Rome. After serving his term in the service his honorable discharge was in January, 1946. Bob returned home (Goff, KS) after the service and then worked for Goodyear in Topeka, KS for several years. Bob joined the KS Highway Patrol in 1949 starting out in Topeka, then was transferred to Concordia, KS and was transferred to Chanute, KS retiring in 1982. He worked at Chanute TV for several years after his retirement. He was hired at the Friskel Funeral Home in Chanute and was employed there part time until he was 90 years old. Robert still lives in Chanute. Please wish him a Happy Birthday by sending cards to him at his assisted living facility. Thank you! Please send your cards on or before 8/16 to this address:  Robert Huerter
Guest Home Estates II
1202 S. Plummer
Chanute, KS 66720

david hoffman
Mission 77 (part 4): Send by 8/24 Pat’s 101st! You may remember Pat from Mission 56. We sent cards for her 100th birthday.   A member of Janine’s Team live near her town and has become her friend and they recently met at their local VFW. During their visit, she talked about how much she loved receiving cards from everyone on her 100th. She saved them all and reads through them often!  In fact, she is still writing people back from last year.  She said, “I wonder if they will send some for my 101st birthday.” (She doesn’t know it, but the answer is …. YES we will!!) A bit more about Pat: She is a WWII veteran who served in the Navy and was with the first group of women that were sent over to Pearl Harbor after the bombing.. She taught Reading and writing to the troops.
Pat is a remarkable woman. She owns and maintains her own home. Drives herself. Is the treasurer for her local Eastern Star. Makes blankets for veterans at the VA hospital. Makes prayer shawls for people that are ill. The list goes on and on. 

Please send your cards on or before 8/24 to this address:  Pat Rudd 1065 E. 10th Street  St. Cloud, FL 34769
Help spread this mission by sharing it!
Interested in booking Janine Stange to speak at your corporate, school, or organization’s virtual – or in-person event? Find out more
Below are updates on past missions: 
Mission 72 (part 2): Complete! Clyde’s 96th A note from his daughter Linda: I want all involved with the birthday card missions to know how incredibly awesome they are and how much surprise and joy and they bring to the veterans and how much their efforts, cards and messages are appreciated by the vets and their families. I did not tell my dad anything and then one day he goes to get his mail from the box and had 25 birthday cards and more and more continued to arrive. When he told me about the first big haul I said wow, that’s really nice to be getting cards even 2 weeks before your birthday! His reply was so funny. He said slowly, well, yeah…but I don’t know any of these people! But they seem to know me, that I was in the Navy, a bricklayer, a fireman, etc! LOLI still didn’t tell him. He read every card and the personal messages and memories people included about their service/occupations/relatives who served were just priceless! He brought a stash of his cards to our birthday gathering and went around questioning each of my siblings and his grandchildren ….Do you know anything about these? (as he held up his cards) Finally, when he confronted me, I said ..maybe! Why? Are you happy or aggravated? When he said he was honored, I told him how it was coordinated by a wonderful, patriotic young lady named Janine…..she’s the attractive woman in the “picture’ you received Dad! . He even received a card from a young boy who was doing a report for school who wrote a nice letter and asked him questions and included a SASE for him to reply! What a great way to share history and connect the old and the new generations! May the Lord bless you and your card angels/warriors and keep you happy and healthy. You are making many birthdays, some of which may be the last one celebrated on earth, extra, extra special! Thank you doesn’t seem like enough!
Mission 75: Complete! Francis’ 97th A note from Francis’ son: Thanks very much to all for arranging this wonderful celebration of my father’s 97th birthday and WWII service! Our birthday party yesterday was a happy and huge success!
We received 243 cards (stack shown in basket) and captured the moment in this family photo: from L to R, son David, FD “Turk” Therkelson, wife Willene, and my sister, Shari.

Mission 73 (part 2): Complete! Charles Mitchell’s 100th Thank you so much for helping Make Charlie’s 100th birthday on the 4th of July over the top special…He loved receiving all the thoughtful cards.. -Joanne Daniels (friend)
Mission 73 (part 1): Complete! Marjie’s 99th Marjie’s 99th today! She was completely surprised and thrilled … and will spend many days opening up each card !!! Thank you so much! Karen Murphy
Mission 71 (part 1): Complete!

David Hoffman’s 75th

Dearest Janine,
I didn’t tell David about your card missions until his birthday (May 3); so for three plus weeks, he kept saying “I don’t know these folks “, or “How do they know so much about me?” every time he received one of his 300 plus cards. We were both so incredibly touched by each and every one! America is blessed with so many wonderful people and you have brought them together. Thank you so much!!!
Sincerely, Olivia 
PS: I wish I could have gotten all the cards in the picture….AMAZING all the handmade and David specific (GTO, Army) cards he received. AND a scrapbook page!!!

August 5 is National Underwear Day

Here is a brief report:

National Underwear Day was originally created by the brand Freshpair in 2003, as a campaign promoting a positive body image. Although men were part of the initiative as well, the focus was more on women, and how society perceives their body image. This was during a time when being confident in one’s bare skin was somewhat a new concept, and market trends were rapidly changing. The movement went viral, and National Underwear Day has been celebrated on August 5 every year since.

The first underwear dates back to prehistoric times — with humans wearing a loincloth. During the Middle Ages, men wore linen shorts or ‘braies.’ Women wore a ‘shift’ under their dresses. In Britain, pants were long drawers covering the whole leg. (In fact, the word, ‘panties’ evolved from a shortened version of the word ‘pants.’) But women’s knickers didn’t appear until the 19th century.

While underwear is primarily for protecting clothes from getting stained, the rising demand for lingerie led to more fashionable varieties of underwear. Lady Duff-Gordon of Lucile was the first to create lingerie that freed women from tight corsets. Breakthrough brand Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 and made underwear and nightwear both fun and functional for daily wear.

National Underwear Day celebrates boxers, briefs, sports bras, and even some swimsuits. If it is worn underneath your clothing, it is an undergarment worth celebrating!

This helps explain why in Britain women wear trouser suits, while in the States, women wear pants suits.

Kid Friendly Underwear jokes

Q: How do you put a fire out in hot pants?

A: Panty hose.

Q: Mr. Reagan, do you were boxers or briefs?

A. Depends.

Q: What are you doing under there?

A: Under where?

Punchline: You just said Underwear.

Semper Ubi, Sub Ubi

Always Wear, Under Wear

Q: What kind of things does a math teacher wear?

A: Algebras.

Who’s Rights Are Right?

As your rights more important
than my rights?
Are you religious convictions more worthy
than mine are?
Does might mean right?
Does white mean right (whether skin or color of a cowboy's hat)?
Why is it ok to demand that you not have to get the jab or wear a mask
but it is not right to have access to an abortion, contraception, 
or even accurate information on that topic?

When up is down and in is out
when no listens, they scream and shout
who knows what life is all about?