Archive for October 2013

10-30-2013 Journal – Accident Follow-up   6 comments

I thought an update might be warranted since I left in such a hurry yesterday.   I’ll make it short and sweet.  My leg was broken and the knee was badly bruised but oddly enough I had very little pain with either injury.  My better-half arrived in short order and whisked me away to the local Emergency Room.

I was then lucky enough to spend a great part of my day sitting on my ass in the Emergency Room.  First I got to chat with a fortyish women at the main desk who must have had her personality removed surgically.  It was like trying to talk to my computer.  When she was finished annoying me I was wheeled down the hall about ten feet to a waiting room where I sat for twenty minutes. A rather large but friendly woman whose job it was to obtain all of my personal information then took twenty minutes doing it.  That’s just the hospital’s routine of getting all of my insurance information and anything else that may help them avoid a lawsuit down the road.  With my leg still sticking up in the air I was jockeyed around the corner, thirty feet away, for another fifteen minutes where I was soon discovered by their computer geek who entered all of my data into their computer system and then filled my pockets with a huge pile of  forms that further explained the hospitals privacy laws to me.  Ho Effing Hum!

An hour and a half has now passed and I have yet to see or smell a doctor.  I’m taken to an freezing cold examination room where I sat for another half hour and still no doctor.  A young lady who looked twenty but sounded thirteen pushed me and my new best friend, the wheelchair, down the hall to x-ray.  I was back in twenty minutes and told to wait for the doctor to arrive to explain things to me.

I become bored at that point and started nosing around their little room.  As a payback for their insensitivity in leaving me sitting forever I managed to stand long enough to steal a dozen sets of really nice latex gloves from a dispenser on the wall.  The next time I’m slicing and dicing hot peppers I can use those gloves and just grin a little.

Fifteen minutes later the doctor walks into the room, introduces himself, and states emphatically “it’s broken”.  He drops another handful of forms on the table explaining how to use my new crutches.  A nurse shows up and slaps on three ace bandages, a temporary splint, gives me a set of  crutches, and the name and telephone number of an  orthopedic doctor I need to call for an appointment.  She advised that if I called as soon as possible I might get lucky and get in to see the doctor within a day or so.  I was wheeled to my car, patted on the head, and sent on my way.

That was three hours of my life I’ll  never get back.  All I really received was a grand tour of their facility, free use of a wheelchair for three hours, three ace bandages, a fiberglass splint, and a really lovely pair of crutches.  Fortunately I called the orthopedist from my car and was able to get an appointment for tomorrow.  It would have been easier and cheaper just to cut the damn leg off and call it a day.

Trust me, I’ll keep you updated.

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10-29-2013 Journal Entry   2 comments

Well I was planning on spending some time writing about a few useless things today but it appears that won’t be happening.  I was out of bed and on my second cup of coffee and feeling pretty good.  That ended just a few minutes ago without much warning.  I was going downstairs to take out some trash and to turn on the computer.  Our main staircase is about thirty steps straight down to the ground floor and I just made that trip in just under two seconds. 

Now I’m sitting here waiting for my ride to the hospital because I think I may have broken my leg or my ankle or just injured them badly.  The pain is bad but not critical but I can’t walk on it at all.  So I crawled to the computer and I’m sitting here writing this just to keep my mind occupied for a while. 

I should have known that something bad was going to happen after the weird dreams I experienced just before waking this morning.  I dreamt about meeting up with Bill Clinton, having a few drinks at his club, and then being abandoned when he and his driver unexpectedly left me standing along the road. 

I walked a few blocks and managed to  flag down a large car which strangely enough had a cargo of inmates from a local jail.  The driver was kind enough to relay a message via radio to Slick Willie.  He was given our location and told where to met us so he could pick me up.   As his limo drove up he was standing up in the open sun roof waving at the many females walking along the side walk.  He waved to me once, winked cutely, and then drove right on by and off into the sunset. All in all it was typical of what I would have expected from that SOB.  Unfortunately Monica had been nowhere in sight during our encounter and fortunately for me Hillary was missing as well.

That’s the kind of dream (nightmare) I never have.  Dreaming of liberals should have immediately alerted me to the real possibility of problems today but I wasn’t paying close enough attention.   So here I sit in anticipation of a not-so-great day in an emergency room, being poked and prodded, and returning home unable to walk without crutches for the foreseeable future. 

Just freaking wonderful Bill.  I thought the days of you making me miserable were over but you’re that proverbial gift that keeps on giving.  Shoot me now.

10-28-2013 More Useless Facts   4 comments

uselessinfo

I love the English language.  I jut wanted to put that out there to help readers understand this blog is not TWITTER.  Here at Every Useless Thing we need way more than 140 characters to make a point.  The Twitter language which has been developing for the youngest of the sound bite generations leaves me #effingcold.  If you’re a constant Twitter user then you’ve already begun to think in their terms as well as write that way.  Twitter is in too much of a hurry for me which results in a blog here that’s comfortable to read and comment on.  Relax, enjoy and don’t stress out trying to get all of your thoughts on a complex subject jammed into 140 characters. Let’s begin.

* * *

One of the more interesting things for me in the language are palindromes. For those of you who don’t know, palindromes are words or phrases that spell the same forward and backward.  The palindromic words are cool but the phrases are mind boggling.

Two Words

Dump mud.

Party trap

Stack cats.

Short Phrases

Never odd or even.

Live not on evil.

Pa’s a sap.

Pull up, Bob, pull up.

Crazy Phrases

We panic in a pew.

Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.

Did Mom poop? Mom did.

* * *

I’ve always been a big fan of Harry S. Truman.  A down-to-earth president who had the unique ability to cut right threw the normal political BS and get to the point.  Reporters in those days must have loved covering him.  Here’s one of my favorite Truman quotes:

“Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day”

Another of my favorites was H. L. Mencken.  I’m especially awed by anyone who can become so famous that his words and phrases are quoted endlessly by millions of people.  He was something I’ve aspired to be my whole life.  A genuine “wise ass”.  Here’s a few of his more interesting thoughts:

“Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.”

A statement more true now than ever before in our history.  Here’s another:

“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”

I’ve been called a cynic by some and I wear that as a badge of honor. Without we cynics everyone would be an idealist.  Mencken had a thought about them as well.

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.”

   * * *

Here’s an interesting Star Wars factoid.  The name of R2-D2 came about while George Lucas was filming American Graffiti. During a sound-mixing session, editor Walter Murch asked him for R2, D2 (Reel 2, Dialogue 2) of the film. Lucas liked the name so much  that he made a note of it, and eventually found the right character for it.

* * *

What famous Hollywood comedian said the following": “I learned about sex watching neighborhood dogs.  The most important thing I learned was: Never let go of the girl’s leg no matter how hard she tries to shake you off.

nitraM evetS

* * *

That’s enough of this mind numbing useless crap for today.  There’s much more to come in the future and I’m sure you’re thrilled to death knowing that. Over and out from a cynical wiseass.

10-27-201 Kilroy Was Here!   Leave a comment

10-26-2013 One Year Anniversary   Leave a comment

I’ll begin celebrating today after posting this blog entry.  When I retired the Anti-Stupidity Blog one year ago I challenged myself to start a new blog and to write for one year, 365 posts, without missing a day and not using graphics, catchy and cutesy headlines or photographs.   It sounded easy at the time but it was anything but. 

I needed a lot of willpower but after the first six months my reserve of motivation was almost exhausted.  I worked through it and today that challenge and goal have been met. 

I’ll start fresh on October 27th (tomorrow) with an better outlook and a return to what some consider normalcy in blogging.  I’ll use the occasional photograph or two in the future but not gratuitously. The majority of these photo’s will be those I’ve taken myself.  I’ll be adding a word or two in addition to the date to indicate the general content of each post.  Since I’ve become somewhat addicted to this style of posting it will continue this way for the foreseeable future. 

I’m looking forward to the next year and I hope you are as well.  Tomorrow will be the start of something a little different but the endless quantities of totally useless information will continue.  The trivia quizzes will return and number of new twists can be expected there.  I’ll continue to comment on celebrities and their unusual activities, other inappropriate humor, and as many dirty and filthy limericks as I can find or create.  I’ll do the occasional book review and anything else that catches my fancy. 

The world is my oyster and I’ll keep searching for those proverbial pearls of wisdom to pass on to you.  Onward and Upward!

10-25-2013   2 comments

Doing a journal entry today is what I hope will be the beginning of a lazy day.  My better-half is gone until Monday to see her parents in Delaware and to spend a little quality time with her sister in Maryland. She’s on a short four day vacation but guess what, it’s also a vacation for me and the cat.

The cat doesn’t say much but I know he’s been enjoying himself a great deal.  He finally has total control and ownership of her half of the bed and is making the most of it.  He’s not all that big but if he sprawls out he can cover a pretty large area.  He hasn’t left the bed for more than a few minutes since she departed and I’m sure I can anticipate an interesting evening on Monday when she returns.  Since the cat can be almost as stubborn as my better-half it should be quite a show.

I was able to get a lot of tasks completed yesterday and spent a few hours running from store to store.  Shopping is always a chore because I find myself more interested in people watching than roaming mindlessly around looking for deals. I avoided Walmart completely because people watching there is no longer a challenge. Weirdo’s, freaks, and oddballs as far as the eye can see and that’s just the employees.

I visited another local establishment to look for a few used books and possibly a movie or two.  I picked up a copy of Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence.  It was a little cheaper than I thought it should be which usually means that it sucks and unfortunately it did. After watching it last night I discovered that even the great Spielberg can drop the ball every so often.  I dearly love science-fiction but this move  was a real stinker.  Lesson learned, buy no movies from that store that are priced less than four dollars.

My dieting continues and I’m into my third month.  My bodies adjusted to both the changes in my diet as well as the ever increasingly difficult exercise program.  The workouts have become a normal part of my weeks activities and I’m finally comfortable with them. I’m down twenty-five pounds and going strong.  I hit a plateau that lasted for almost a week where my weight refused to budge but after adjusting the workout routine I finally broke through it.  It was frustrating as hell to be working so hard and seeing no results.  At that time I was exercising twice a day, seven days a week.  I cut back to one session a day, five days a week, and almost instantly began to lose weight again.  The more weight I lose the harder it’s becoming but I just have to persevere and stay mentally strong.  I’m more than half-way to my goal and that keeps me going.

As I mentioned, today is a down day for me.  Nothing too strenuous, no exercising, and no errand running or shopping.  I plan on watching a little TV and reading a lot.  The Maine weather has gotten considerably colder in the last week so staying in and enjoying the quiet time is the perfect thing to do.  Nothing is better than a hot coffee, a good book, and a lot of peace and quiet.

This is my 364th straight day of posting without either graphics or catchy headlines to grab your attention.  My goal of one complete year without missing a day will be completed tomorrow.  Hooray for me.  I’ll be starting the second year of this blog with a fresh outlook, a clear head, catchy headlines, and all the photo’s necessary to keep it interesting. 

10-24-2013   Leave a comment

It’s time for all of you sports experts out there to find out how well or how badly you’ve done? Here are the promised answers that I intend to memorize for my own uses in our local tavern’s weekly trivia contest.  One of these days these factoids will finally pay off and win me a beer or two or three.

* * *

1.  The referee’s yellow flag. Taylor said he felt he deserved it because the ref’s “ threw it against me”  often enough.

2.  Tennis, at the 1900 games in Paris. Charlotte Cooper of Great Britain was the first gold medalist.

3.  New York Giant knuckleballer week Hoyt Wilhelm, in 1952.

4.  Jim Thorpe, in 1970. He did it a second time in 1919. Deion Sanders was the second athlete to accomplish the feat 70 years later, in 1989.

5.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 4657. Other career records he holds include number of minutes played (57,446), points scored (38,387), and field goals scored (15,837). He played from 1969 to 1989.

6.  O.J. Simpson, who racked up 2003 yards for Buffalo in 1973, breaking the previous record of 1863 yards set 10 years earlier by Jim Brown.

7.  Five.

8.  The red brick tenement that was his boyhood home once stood on the site of second base at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium.

9.  Rookie Willie Mays.

10. “Little Warrior”. O’Neal is 7’1" tall.

* * *

Here’s the obligatory joke of the day.  Those of us who are historically Microsoft customers will really appreciate this.

* * *

Microsoft vs. General Motors

A few years ago at a computer expo, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

  1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
  2. Every time they repaint the lines in the road, you’ll have to buy a new car.
  3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.
  4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
  5. Apple Inc. will make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.
  6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light.
  7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.
  8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
  9. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10.  You’d have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

* * *

And finally for those of you that love limericks and beer, here’s a rather tame one proving once and for all that it’s possible for limericks to be funny without being too filthy.

There once was a girl named Ann Heuser,

Who swore that no man could surprise her.

But Pabst took a chance,

Found a Schlitz in her pants,

And now she is sadder Budweiser.

10-23-2013   Leave a comment

I think it’s a good day for another trivia quiz with questions about something of which I’m not all that familiar. As I’ve said many times before I’m not a huge sports fan but I do know that many of the readers of this blog are. With that in mind here are 10 fairly difficult sports trivia questions which should challenge even the best sports trivia fanatics.

As always I’ll list the correct answers tomorrow and you can see just how good you really are. I scored a big fat zero on this one. I hope you sports people can at least do better than that. Have fun.

* * *

1.  What souvenir did New York Giant linebacker Lawrence Taylor request from a referee after he played his last game in January 1994?

2.  What was the first sport in which women were invited to compete at the Olympics?

3.  What Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher hit a home run in his first major league at-bat and never hit another?

4.  Who was the first athlete to hit a major league home run and make a professional football touchdown in the same week?

5.  What basketball player racked up the greatest number of personal fouls during his professional career?

6.  Who was the first professional football player to run for more than 2000 yards in a season?

7.  How many baseball gloves can be made from one cow?

8.  Why did the Cincinnati Reds baseball team send an autographed second-base bag to cowboy movie star Roy Rogers?

9.  Who was scheduled to be the next batter when Bobby Thomson hit his famous home run in the 1951 National League playoffs, winning the pennant for the New York Giants?

10. What is the meaning of basketball great Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal’s given Islamic name?

* * *

As you can see I wasn’t kidding, they are tough questions. Check back tomorrow.

10-22-2013   4 comments

Are you superstitious?  Do you believe that by doing something in particular bad things could happen. Or maybe even good things? It seems that in every community, state, and country there are hundreds of these ridiculous  superstitions passed down from generation to generation. "Step on a crack and break your mother’s back" was one of the ones I specifically remember from my childhood.  It had been jumping over and walking around sidewalk cracks for years and I’m still not sure why.

Like I didn’t have other things to worry about at that age. My concerns at that time were how to meet girls, how to get a date, acne, and will I play well in the big game tomorrow. Instead I was worried about walking under ladders, seeing black cats or breaking a mirror.  Why?  No one seems to know why we’re loaded up with all this nonsense at such an early age by both family and friends who are supposed to care about us.  It’s just crazy.

I’m going to supply you with a short list of some of the good old standby’s and then a second shorter list of some odd ones from around the world.

  • Two people breaking a wishbone is said to lead to good luck for the person with the larger piece.
  • Opening an umbrella indoors is said to result in 21 days of bad luck. Some traditions hold that it is only bad luck if the umbrella is placed over the head of someone while indoors.
  • If one walks underneath an open ladder it is said to bring bad luck. Sometimes it is said that this can be undone by immediately walking backwards back underneath the ladder.
  • Breaking a mirror is said to bring bad luck for 7 years. To "undo" this, take the shards of glass and bury them underneath the moonlight. In ancient times, the mirror was said to be a window to the viewer’s soul.
  • The superstitious symbolism of a black cat crossing one’s path is dependent upon culture: some cultures consider this a sign of impending bad luck, while some cultures consider this a sign of impending good luck.
  • Once a wedding ring has been placed on the finger, it is considered bad luck to remove it.
  • At times, a horseshoe may be found above doorways. When positioned like a regular ‘U’ it supposedly collects luck. However, when it is positioned like an upside-down ‘U’ the luck supposedly drains.
  • Many believe that if all of the candles on a birthday cake are blown out with one breath, while making a silent wish, the wish will come true.
  • When you speak of bad luck, it is said that one should always knock on wood. Also knocking when speaking of good luck apparently helps with having good luck. This is an old Celtic tradition related to belief of wood spirits.
  • If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
  • It’s bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come in.
  • An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.

 

  • Pirates around the world believed that piercing the ears with such precious metals as silver and gold improved one’s eyesight.
    Amber beads, worn as a necklace, can protect against illness or cure colds.
  • There are numerous sailors’ superstitions, such as: it is considered bad luck for a ship to set sail on a Friday, to bring anything blue aboard, to stick a knife into the deck, to leave a hatch cover upside-down, to say "pig", or to eat walnuts aboard, and to sail with a woman on board.
  • In Russia it is believed that before traveling a person should, apparently, sit on their luggage.
  • In Sweden it is believed that if you collect seven or nine different flowers on midsummer eve and place them under your pillow, you will dream of your future spouse.
  • It is bad luck in Great Britain to put new shoes on a bed or a table (this comes from the tradition of dressing a corpse in new clothes and shoes and laying them out so everyone can give their respects).
  • Placing keys on a table in Sweden is considered unlucky.
  • Placing a hat on the bed is, apparently, bad luck in certain European countries.
  • In some parts of England, rum is used to wash a baby’s head for good luck.
  • According to an age old custom, carrying a dead shrew in your pocket wards off rheumatism.

Just to be on the safe side you should write these all down and take time to memorize them.  Then when the time is right pass them on to your children and grandchildren.  It’s only fair that we do our part in keeping these really stupid traditions alive. 

Someday when you have a free moment take a seat near a sidewalk and relax with a hot cup of coffee.  Then watch the passers-by and see how many refuse to step on the sidewalk cracks.  You’ll be amazed.

10-21-2013   2 comments

I’ve spent most of my adult life working with an odd assortment of people.  I was an investigator in the Army which required me to interrogate people who spoke little or no English through an interpreter.  A difficult task at best since many times the interpreter only knew enough English to get by.  Years later as a police officer I was introduced to a host of criminal types, drug users, child abusers, and perverts.  The first and most important thing during those interviews and interrogations required a reasonable knowledge of the  subjects motivations and state of mind.  For the most part it was an interesting and emotionally draining experience.

I had an excellent rate of success in my endeavors because I was able to develop a quick rapport with my subjects in a very short period of time.  This remained the case through more than ten thousand interviews conducted in the years just prior to my retirement.  I felt I had the ability to interrogate, interview, and understand anyone regardless of the situation.  I was flexible enough to adapt to their way of thinking, find the problem, and fix it with a minimum of effort. Was I over confident?  I didn’t think so at the time but I do now. 

I finally met my match recently when I was dropped into a situation that befuddled me.  I had little or no experience with young children and when my step-grandson was born my education in dealing with people took a strange turn.  He communicates with his world of adults during this first year without language.  He uses hand gestures and a collection of facial expressions to get his messages across which continue to puzzle most of us.  He’s within a month or two from actually speaking understandable words and he’s currently babbling a constant stream of unintelligible nonsense.  It appears to make some sort of sense to him but leaves us adults dazed and confused.

My best chance of understanding him will occur once he decides to start saying something I can understand.  I decided to do a little more research into the mind set of a very young person who has no apparent life experience to draw from. How tough can it be I asked?  Where do I start?  I found the following article while surfing the Net and as soon as I read it I knew it held the answers I’d been looking for.  A simple and brief list of how the mind of a very young child is motivated and feels about the things and people around them. The list is funny but without a doubt as close to the truth as I could find. See what you think.

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all of the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it
    automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

I’m going to post a copy of this list on my frig and read it as many times as necessary each and every time the little guy pisses me off or does something inappropriate.  This list explains everything in a way even I can understand.  Be patient, no screaming or yelling, and no punishing for things he doesn’t yet understand.  Just stand back and gently guide him in the direction we want him to go.  They’ll be plenty of time later for guidance and instructions once he can talk and reply.  Being able to speak and ask questions will make things  so much easier for us both (I hope).

Being the first born grandchild in a family is a nice place to find yourself.  I was the first born grandchild in my family and I milked it for all it was worth with my grandparents. I’m about to experience the whole thing again but from the opposite perspective. It should be interesting.