National Road Map Day–April 5, Poem 5





When was the last  time you opened a map
the paper kind that sat on your lap
Used your finger or magic marker
to trace the route before you parked her?

Some marked the stops for gas or food
no mention if either was  cheap or good,
maybe updated once a year
no indication if the route was clear.

Nowadays we use our phone
a voice that seldom leaves us alone
a gentle correction if you miss a turn
some of us take longer to learn.

Easter Eggs–Poem 4

People are like Easter eggs
of many different hues
some you find immediately
others  found with clues

A few of them are basket cases
some of them are rotten
some of them just roll arouond
others lie in cotton

You cannot always judge the egg
by the color of it's shell
Pretty is as pretty does
You need the taste and smell

Poetry Month–Poem 1

Poetry month is here once more
just like it was the year before
Limericks, sonnets, and other forms 
follow rules and the usual norms

Some poems seem to meander around
with a purpose that is seldom found
Ego poetry is not a gift
Like an unwanted guitar riff

Some like structure, some like rhyme
some think it is quite sublime
Other think of Dr. Suess
While other wonder what's the use.

I'll try to write a poem a day
Even with nothing worth while to say.




Reblog: Meet Thelonius Goat

This is a re-blog from Rick and Lavinia Ross’s Salmon Farm Blog. I think that Thelonius may be a time traveler from the constellation, Capricorn.

“So, while things are budding out and getting underway this month, we will emerge from our Gopher Hole of tales from about the farm, and tell the story of a goat.  Not just any goat, but one that could have come straight from the imagination of Ray Bradbury or Rod Serling.  We encountered this very unusual animal during one of our travels up to Washington in 2005.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the story of Thelonious Goat.”

Thelonius Goat from the blog

Non Partisan Political Jokes

Appropriate for most of the last 200 years-USA especially!   


We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author 

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed
by those who are dumber.

~Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where
there is no river.

~Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician 

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m
beginning to believe it.

~Quoted in ‘Clarence Darrow for the Defense’ by Irving Stone.

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go
out and buy some more tunnel.

~John Quinton, American actor/writer

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds
from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.

~Oscar Ameringer, “the Mark Twain of American Socialism.”

I offered my opponents a deal: “if they stop telling lies about me, I will
stop telling the truth about them”.

~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
~Texas Guinan. 19th century American businessman

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be
left to the politicians.

~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to
change the locks.

~Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924
Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)


I am reminded of a joke: What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution.  What happens if all of them drown? That is solution!!! 

I don’t like political jokes, but a lot of them get elected!

Inverse Murphy’s Laws

From an email.

Inverse Murphy’s Law(s)  

1.  Everyone has a photographic memory.  Some don’t have film.

2.  He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

3.  A day without sunshine is like, night.

4.  Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

5.  Back up my hard drive?  How do I put it in reverse?

6.  I just got lost in thought.  It was unfamiliar territory.

7.  When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

8.  Seen it all, done it all.  Can’t remember most of it.

9.  Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.

10.  I feel like I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

11.  He’s not dead.  He’s electroencephalographically challenged.

12.  She’s always late.  In fact, her ancestors arrived on the “June Flower.”

13.  You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you.

14.  I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.

15.  Honk if you love peace and quiet.

16.  Keep honking, I’m reloading.

17.  Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?

18.  Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

19.  It is hard to understand how a cemetery can raise its burial Costs and blame it on the higher cost of living.

20.  Just remember ……..  if the world didn’t suck, we’d all fall off.

21.  The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.

22.  It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.

23.  You can’t have everything.  Where would you put it?

24.  Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world population.

25.  If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

26.  The things that come to those that wait may be the things left by those who got there first

27.  Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer

28.  Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

29.  The shin bone is a device for finding furniture.

30.  A fine is a tax for doing wrong.  A tax is a fine for doing well.

31.  It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

32.  Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter since nobody listens.

33.  I wished the buck stopped here, as I could use a few.

34.  I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

35.  When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

36.  Light travels faster than sound.  This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Why Does Everyone Like Canadians?

I was just watching a Trevor Noah from the Daily Show skit about Who Hates Who. It was funny and seemed to be fairly accurate. He was emphatic about identifying who hated who but would not get into the why. He said that everybody hated the United States because we had invaded some countries, overthrew government in other countries, bombed several countries but even the countries we had liberated from the Nazis in World War II now seemed the hate us.

He finished by saying “Nobody hates the Canadians,” while he donned a maple leaf hat. That reminded me that I have heard several Americans say in passing that they will say they are Canadians when overseas to avoid the stigma of being from the United States.

Is it because Canada:

  • Invaded fewer countries
  • Has a national health care system
  • Has a dryer, gentler sense of humor than the United States
  • Is generally less prejudiced except for the French/English issue although the nation is bi-lingual
  • Doesn’t overthrow other countries’ governments
  • Are usually a polite people
  • Seldom has mass shootings
  • Treats its indigenous people much better
  • ???

Circular Logic

The government needs to do something about this COVID virus.

They recommend wearing a mask

That infringes on my rights and freedom.

Are you maintaining social distancing?

That’s another infringement.

Are you staying home?

Heck no! I have the right to go wherever and whenever I want.

Are your kids participating in hybrid or distance learning?

No, I’m paying taxes so my kids belong in school–period.

Will you get a vaccine?

No way. I don’t want to the government injecting something weird into my body.

The government just passed the new stimulus bill.

I don’t have direct checking so if I get it at all, it will take months. The government hasn’t even gotten my unemployment benefits straightened out. I’ll say this again, the government needs to do something about this COVID virus.

Circular logic

The wheels of conspiracy theories operate much faster than the wheels of government.

Do As I Say

Do as I say
not as I do
because I know much better than you

Send me your money
my PAC is the best
more  honest  and trusted than the all of the rest

I love my base
they love me back
No one will listen to your false attacks

What you don't know
can't hurt me I say
ahead of the law I'll continue to stay

From white house to big house
I travel along
Continuing to sing my siren's song

Live in the Time of Coronavirus, Pt 22: First Anniversary-What Would You Include?

The traditional 1st-anniversary gift is considered to be paper, while the modern gift is a clock, which commemorates the passage of time over this important first year.

What artifacts would you include on the first anniversary of COVID?

  1. paper mask
  2. shot record of COVID vaccinations
  3. COVID test results, perhaps showing luck or virtue
  4. snips of the changing political and social views on mask wearing
  5. changed work schedule or filing for unemployment benefits
  6. pictures of friends and family that you have not seen for a year
  7. cancelled event tickets
  8. programs for events never attended
  9. invitation to your first post-COVID gathering
  10. take-out menus
  11. 2020/21 calendars showing how empty life was, except maybe for medical appointments and Zoom meetings
  12. diary (see calendar entry)
  13. copies of all of the COVID jokes and toilet paper memes sent around by people desperate for a reason to smile or even laugh
  14. election memorabilia
  15. collection of recipes used this past year
  16. pictures of the garden or other hobbies you took up this year
  17. lessons plans from home schooling
  18. list of lessons learned
  19. changing or morphing political/cultural opinions
  20. new books read or streaming platforms watched

Live in the Time of Coronavirus, Pt 21: Work from Home Attire

Outer appearances are very important. The thought appears in ancient Babylonian writings, and Erasmus’s collection of adages (1523) refers to the fact that the statement “Clothes are the man” appeared in Homer and numerous ancient Latin sources. In sixteenth-century England it was usually put as “apparel” rather than “clothes”; Shakespeare’s Polonius pontificates, “The apparel oft proclaims the man” (Hamlet, 1.3). It was a cliché by the nineteenth century.

Where are you in the what to wear from home continuum?

  1. Wear pajamas all day
  2. Look professional from the waist up, but only on Zoom meeting days
  3. Have a complete set of elastic waist pants and coordinated t-shirts
  4. Gave away all of my professional clothes as a 2020 tax write-off
  5. Wish I still had day of the week underwear.
  6. Family stepped in with a need to do laundry intervention
  7. Pigpen is my new hero

Tenacious Sweet Gum Balls

Nothing sweet about
bird beak spikes that cling and trip
unwary humans

Decorative balls
ornamental but painful
when you trip and fall

Corona like spikes
that protect the gumball seeds
from dangers like us

Gumballs awaiting the unwary.

I have become fascinated by the gumballs that continue to swing from the branches in the brisk winter breezes long after the sweet gum leaves have called it a season. They are green and pliant early in the season becoming hardened and brown as they weather on the tree. I have seen them decorate the azaleas, boxwood, dogwoods, and hollies that catch the gum balls that fall from the trees overhead. Once upon the ground, especially if it is frozen, the tenacious little balls will roll your ankle or send you ass-bound in a New York second.

Click here to find out what you can do with these beauties, including:

1. Lay the seed pods around young plants to deter snails and slugs who would rather not tangle with them

2. Put them around plants that you also want to protect from rabbits (press the spikes in the ground a bit so they don’t blow away)

More Sea Stories with Carl Snow

Carl’s biography: A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Carl Snow graduated from the University of Maryland and had a long career in the United States Navy. Carl started out as a Radarman (RD) and advanced to first-class petty officer. He was involved in “ECM” as the Navy called it then, when a new rating was created, Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) and Carl was folded into that, advancing to chief petty officer. Then he applied for a commission as a Warrant Officer and was selected, becoming an Operations Technical Officer. After retirement as a CWO4, he worked as Assistant Editor for The Hook magazine and then as Production Editor for the Topgun Journal at the Navy Fighter Weapons School. When Topgun moved to Fallon, Nevada, Carl remained in San Diego, working as a Technical Writer, researching and writing manufacturing process documents for hi-tech electronics manufacturers.

Carl retired for good in March 2011 and volunteers in the Midway Museum Research Library in San Diego, California.

On Getting Face-time in Thailand

Ah, Pattaya Beach, the first port call coming out of the I.O (Indian Ocean). I don’t think that I am in the picture; my days of “scouting local talent” were far behind me by then. About the only thing I ever got in Pattaya Beach were a pair of ornamental brass dolphins (somewhere in one of the sheds by now) that I had to carry back to the ship by boat. They weighed about 30 pounds when I bought them and I swore they were 200 pounds by the time I got them back to the ship. I went a couple of times for the freshest sea food in the world at a restaurant called Dolph Rijk’s. The fish were unloaded on the beach and carried across the road to the restaurant. Delicious and you could watch the boxing matches across the street while you ate. Once in a while the admiral would host a battle-group party for all the ship’s officers at the Holiday Inn hotel up the beach. These were mandatory, “face-time” events; you’d go and make sure your department head saw you, and maybe do something obnoxious so he’d remember that you were there. Two drinks and about twenty minutes of mingling usually satisfied the face time requirement. An engineering junior officer brought a local girl to one of admiral Brown’s parties. She was dressed in a frilly lace top and long native Thai wrap-around skirt. He twirled her on the dance floor and her skirt unraveled, leaving no doubt that she had no underwear on. They hastily exited the hotel and the general consensus was that it was an intentional, though raunchy, attempt at face time.

On Man Overboard Dummy

The helicopter squadrons (both) ready room was in the area where the F-8 Crusader “mini-museum” is now. The first time we had a man overboard drill after I became ATO (Air Transfer Officer) we had an argument when the helo crew dumped the water-soaked Oscar dummy in the ATO shack. I soon found out that, being a “passenger” in the helo, he belonged to us until we got him back to the forecastle and turned him over to the Boatswain’s Mates. After that, when there was a man overboard drill one of my airmen always met the helo and hustled the dummy down to the forecastle. Live and learn.

On Where do Oscars (Man Overboard Dummy) come from

We could probably find a photo of Oscar in one of the cruise books and send it to the “cushion lady” in the Air Wing Department. They were all home-made by the Boatswain’s Mates, usually by cutting up old kapok life jackets. We may be able to get an active-duty ship to donate one in exchange for attribution in the exhibit.

On Helo Rotor-over

I remember the Wessex coming over. He brought the British admiral to see our admiral and they tied it down on spot three. The pilot was a warrant officer and, since their passenger was staying for lunch it fell to me to entertain him until time to man up for departure. One of the chiefs from HC-1 (Helicopter Combat Support Squadron-1) took the crewman under his wing and I took the pilot down to the dirty shirt locker for lunch. He was taken with the “auto dog.”

Afterward I took him around the ship to see some of the spaces he was interested in. He asked if we’d ever seen a “rotor-over,” which turned out to be the helicopter equivalent of a wing-over in an airplane. He asked if we’d like to see him do one upon take off. I called the Boss on the Mouse when we were manning up and requested permission for the helo to do a rotor-over. He said it was okay, just don’t hit anything. I called for the admiral at the flag mess and escorted him to the helo. The Boss alerted the flight deck crew to watch the helo for some aerobatics.

As soon as he was clear of the deck, he accelerated and made a couple of passes up the starboard side and then after the second pass, he climbed and “rolled” the helicopter then dove aft and crossed the fantail and took off for the admiral’s flagship. I always assumed that the British admiral knew about the maneuver and was okay with it. We were all impressed.

On Will Rogers

Speaking of Will Rogers, I’m reminded of his comment, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” When I was on Enterprise (CVN-65), our CIC Officer, a certain commander Wheeler, apparently not well regarded, was transferring from the ship. Some of the officers in CIC wore tee-shirts that read, “CDR Wheeler never met Will Rogers!”

Snow Reveries









 
Gently falling snow
muffles sound; shortens distance
Magnifies details.

Flakes limn the branches.
Black and white outlines sharpen
while contours soften.

Tracks abound in snow
tires, squirrel, human, bird, dog.
Each path visible.

Snow still coming down
coating trees, grass and rooftops.
Melting on pavement.

How can tree roots drink
up snow so quickly that it
leaves behind bare ground?

Snowman on fire pit
Do wet logs hide underneath
smoldering in pique?

Snow What!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so we are supposed to have six more weeks of winter. It’s a tradition dating all the way back to 1887. According to Stormfax Almanac, Phil is only 39% accurate with his predictions. Admittedly, it’s tough to get it right for the entire country.

Last Sunday, amidst the falling snow, neighborhood children (with more than a little help from their Dads), created at least two snow men and one small snow child. The creator of the snowman with the scarf actually crawled around through the snow pushing the snow ball that became the snowman’s base. His kids helped patch of the uneven spots in the snowball.