Jolly Monday — 🎃Happy Halloween!!!🎃

Good Monday morning, my friends!  How was your weekend?  Mine was a bit more fun than usual this time, for we had a get-together with our friends Maha & Ali yesterday evening.  Today is daughter Chris’ birthday (the BIG 5-0, but I’m not supposed to tell you that!), and Tuesday is Maha’s birthday … about 5 years shy of 50 … so we decided to celebrate both on Sunday.  As always, time spent with them is precious and has been sorely lacking for the past seven months or so.  And now, it’s back to the grind with a cloudy Monday morning, so let’s grab a snack — Joyful started baking at midnight, and has turned out some awesome treats, but sorry bacon-lovers, no bacon today — and find something to start the week out right!


eyes👻 Since Hallowe’en is just 5 days away, I thought I’d make this week’s Jolly Monday post Hallowe’en-themed!  I found some fun things related to Hallowe’en that I think you’ll like.  Let’s start with a couple of Hallowe’en jokes.

Chiseling with Fear

Two men were walking home after a Halloween party and
decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for
laughs. Right in the middle of the cemetery, they were
startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty
shadows.

Trembling with fear, they found an old man with a hammer and
chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones.

“Holy cow, Mister,” one of them said after catching his
breath. “You scared us half to death — we thought you were a
ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?”

“My family are such fools!” the old man grumbled. “They misspelled my
name and here I have to correct it!”

A Bat Story

batA vampire bat came flapping in from the night covered in fresh blood and parked himself on the roof of the cave to get some sleep.  Pretty soon all the other bats smelled the blood and began hassling him about where he got it.  He told them to knock it off and let him get some sleep but they persisted until finally he gave in.  “OK, follow me,” he said and flew out of the cave with hundreds of bats behind him.  Down through a valley they went, across a river and into a forest full of trees.  Finally he slowed down and all the other bats excitedly milled around him.  “Now, do you see that tree over there?” he asked.  “Yes, yes, yes!” the bats all screamed in a frenzy.  “Good,” said the first bat, “Because I DIDN’T!”

Halloween Groaner

A man was walking home alone one night when he heard a “BUMP….BUMP….BUMP…” behind him. Walking faster, he looked back, making out an image of an upright coffin banging its way down the middle of the street towards him….”BUMP…BUMP…BUMP…”

The man began to run toward his home, and the coffin boiunced  after him faster….faster…BUMPBUMPBUMP.

He ran up to his door, fumbled with his keys, opened the door, rushed in, and locked it behind him. The coffin crashed through his door, with the lid of the coffin clapping BUMP…BUMP…BUMP… on the heals of the terrified man. The man rushed upstairs to the bathroom and locked himself in, heart pounding.

With a CRASH, the coffin broke down the door, coming slowly toward  him.  The man while screaming, reached for something, anything….all he can find was a box of cough drops which he hurled at the coffin…and suddenly “the coffin stops.”  ⚰️


eyesOkay, granted that last one was pretty bad, but I bet you at least grinned.  Now here are some riddles that are sure to make you groan and roll your eyes!

What do goblins and ghosts drink when they’re hot and thirsty on Halloween? Ghoul-aid!!!

What is a Mummie’s favorite type of music? Wrap!!!!!

What do you call a witch who lives at the beach? A sand-witch.

Why did the game warden arrest the ghost? He didn’t have a haunting license.

Why didn’t the skeleton dance at the party? He had no body to dance with.

Where did the goblin throw the football? Over the ghoul line.

Why is a ghost such a messy eater?  Because he is always a goblin.

What do you call a goblin who gets too close to a bonfire? A toasty ghosty.


And you know we’ve got to have some ‘toons …

toon-14toon-13toon-12toon-11toon-10toon-9toon-8toon-7toon-6toon-5toon-4toon-3toon-3toon-2toon-1

bat


I found this cool Halloween candy quiz … answers are below … see how many you can get.  I’ll give you a hint, I got 8 out of 28 … but then, I’m not very good at these things, so I’m betting you guys will do better!

  1. A famous swashbuckling trio of old.
  2. Indian burial grounds
  3. Galaxy
  4. What bees make
  5. Round flotation device
  6. Twin letters
  7. Red Planet
  8. Not laughing out loud
  9. Can’t hold on to anything
  10. A famous author
  11. Famous former baseball player
  12. Famous New York Street
  13. A sweet sign of affection
  14. A favorite day of working people
  15. Nut happiness
  16. Pleasantly plumb
  17. Two female pronouns
  18. A feline
  19. Single women look for him
  20. Sun explosion
  21. Bite with a crunch noise
  22. Dry cow
  23. Children of the cane
  24. A lottery amount
  25. Lactic flops
  26. Determines who wins the game
  27. Home of movie stars
  28. Superman’s favorite hangout

Answers …

  1. Three Musketeers
  2. Mounds
  3. Milky Way
  4. Bit O’Honey
  5. Life Savers
  6. M&Ms
  7. Mars Bar
  8. Snickers, Chuckles
  9. Butterfingers
  10. O’Henry
  11. Babe Ruth
  12. 5th Avenue
  13. Candy Kiss
  14. Pay Day
  15. Almond Joy
  16. Cunky
  17. Hershey
  18. Kit Kat
  19. Goodbar, Millionaire, Sugar Daddy
  20. Star Burst
  21. Krackle, Crunch Bar
  22. Milk Duds
  23. Sugar Babies
  24. $100,000 Bar
  25. Milk Duds
  26. Skor
  27. Holywood
  28. Clark Bar

What’s your favourite Hallowe’en candy, by the way?

toon-header


Check out these pooches in their Hallowe’en finery …

dog-12dog-11dog-10dog-9dog-8dog-7dog-6dog-5dog-4dog-3dog-2dog-1


And, as always, we must have a cute critter video.  Typically, I am not a fan of putting clothing on animals … unlike humans, their fur gives them a natural beauty that is not enhanced by human attempts to “dress them up”.  However, Hallowe’en is the exception, and these will definitely make you chuckle … I hope, anyway.


And now, sadly, our Jolly Monday time has come to an end.  I have a birthday cake to bake, homemade spaghetti sauce to get started (the birthday dinner request), laundry to do, and a house to clean.  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and that you’ll share those beautiful smiles I see on your faces.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Saturday Surprise — More Squirrels!

Conversation between me, myself, and I, with name-calling and profanities removed:

Me:  It’s 11 days before the election … surely you can’t expect me to manage a Saturday Surprise post this week?

Myself:  Okay, fine, so go to bed, then, lazy.

I:  Look, you write about politics all week … don’t you want a break?

Me:  No, the political situation is important!  It’s the thing weighing most heavily on my mind, the thing that has wrecked my appetite and my sleep!  I can’t find humour today … I just can’t.

Myself:  Oh great, feel sorry for y’self, why don’t you?

I:  Look, maybe you don’t want a break, but maybe your readers would be grateful for one, don’t you think?  Think about them, not yourself.  They’re worried too, and they need something to smile about.

Me:  Well … since you put it that way …

Myself:  Then get busy, you lazy sod.

Me:  I’m going, I’m going … would you please shut up!

And so … I went in search of something to give us all a reason to smile!  And I found – squirrels!!!

Geert Weggen is a Dutch/Swedish international awarded photographer specialiced in photographing Red squirrels.  In December 2018, I did a Saturday Surprise post featuring some of his squirrel photography.  This week, he put out a new collection of adorable photos, but first, I’ll let Geert tell you a bit about himself and how this all came about …

“15 years ago, I built a house with a balcony in a small village in the middle of Sweden beside a forest. I never expected that my balcony would become a photo studio for wild animals. Now I make my living with red squirrel photography.

It all started with a fox standing in front of my door. I started to take photos of the fox. After 2 weeks of daily visits, the fox started to climb onto my balcony and climb into boxes. This was the start of creating scenes on my balcony where I would lay out food for wildlife and capture them with my camera.

The studio is built 1 meter from the ground and is directly connected with my kitchen window and the forest. This is how I make compositions at eye level, 3 meters from my window. I use food to lure animals.

There can be a total of 14 squirrels visiting my garden, but mostly, there are 6 coming daily. I do not give them much food, so that they are not dependent on me.

I have won prizes, published books, and been published in many newspapers and magazines, TV and radio broadcasts, as well as worked together with publishers and artists. I have also done commercials and organized workshops. I’ve also been featured on Bored Panda many times, and you can find the links to these articles hereherehereherehere, and here.

Although there can be many squirrels coming in my scenes simultaneously, they are rarely all perfectly in focus or the right composition; therefore, I sometimes capture 2 photos with the animals in different positions and stack them together. Another thing I do is cloning out wires, pins, or food buckets if needed.”

squirrel-1squirrel-2squirrel-3squirrel-4squirrel-5squirrel-6squirrel-7squirrel-8squirrel-9squirrel-10squirrel-11squirrel-12squirrel-13squirrel-14squirrel-15squirrel-16squirrel-17squirrel-18squirrel-19squirrel-20squirrel-21squirrel-22squirrel-23squirrel-24squirrel-25squirrel-26squirrel-27squirrel-28squirrel-29squirrel-30

Me, myself, and I all hope that the cute, furry squirrels brought a smile to your face, and we wish you a wonderful weekend!!!

Jolly Monday … OCTOBER!!!

Good morning friends!  Come in out of the cold … it’s been a while since I’ve had to say that, hasn’t it?  Yep, jacket season is back, and soon you’ll be digging out those extra blankets, winter coats, long johns, scarves & mittens!  Brrrrrrrrrrr.  Worse yet, the holidays will soon be upon us and frankly, I wouldn’t mind if we just skipped over them all this year.  But that’s a worry for another day.  Now, there aren’t as many snacks today as usual, for Joyful has been helping Roger build and decorate his new tower, and Jolly … well, Jolly tells me he’s been on an important mission, but won’t give me any details.  Do any of you have any idea what ol’ Jolly has been up to?  Anyway … it’s the start of a new week, so grab a snack from the table and let’s try to find something to start the week off with a smile, okay?


Making mask wearing palatable

Now here is one for the bacon lovers among you – Larry, David, Larry, rawgod, and Emily, sit up and take note!

That’s right … a bacon-scented face mask!  According to Hormel, the Black Label Breathable Bacon mask uses the “the latest in bacon-smell technology” to give the wearer the experience of smelling bacon anytime they don the protection accessory.

You can register to win a bacon-scented mask until October 28 here!  I had to laugh at the warning on the website that cautioned against trying to eat the mask!  Go on, guys … enter the contest … you know you want to!


The BIG pumpkin

Every year around this time, there is a Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off contest held in Half Moon Bay in Northern California.  The prize goes to the entry having the heftiest pumpkin and is paid at $7 per pound.pumpkin-winnerThis year’s grand prize winner was Travis Gienger and his pumpkin weighed a whopping … wait for it … 2,350 pounds!  Wow … just think how many pumpkin pies and loaves of pumpkin bread you could make with that!  But … it wouldn’t even fit in my kitchen, and I surely couldn’t lift the thing!

Travis is now $16,450 richer and now owns the title of 2020 Pumpkin King of Half Moon Bay.


Jokes, jokes, jokes!

How ‘bout a few jokes, courtesy of Reader’s Digest?

  • An exercise for people who are out of shape: Begin with a five-pound potato bag in each hand. Extend your arms straight out from your sides, hold them there for a full minute, and then relax. After a few weeks, move up to ten-pound potato bags. Then try 50-pound potato bags, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. Once you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.
  • My daughter received this e-mail from a prospective student prior to the start of the semester: “Dear Professor, I won’t be able to come to any of your classes or meet for any of the tests. Is this a problem?”
  • Scene: With a patient in my medical exam room Me: How old are your kids? Patient: Forty-four and 39 from my wife who passed away, and from my second wife, 15 and 13. Me: That’s quite the age difference! Patient: Well, the older ones didn’t give me any grandkids, so I made my own.

And now, the moment that you all like best … the ‘toons!

toon-14toon-13toon-12toon-11toon-10toon-3toon-4toon-4toon-5toon-6toon-7toon-8toon-9toon-2

toon-1


Well, I don’t suppose it would be quite right to sign off without a cute animal video, now would it?  This one is guaranteed to melt your heart.


Okay, folks … I’ve got a house to clean, laundry to do, and I’ve got to try to figure out what I’m cooking for supper tonight.  You guys have jobs to go to, and other important things that keep your world right-side-up.  Thanks so much for spending a bit of your Monday morning with us, and please remember to share your gorgeous smiles with others you meet this week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Saturday Surprise — 2020 Wildlife Photographer Awards!

I thought I might struggle to find a fun thing for Saturday Surprise this week, but then … I discovered that this week the 2020 Wildlife Photographer winners were announced on October 13th, and I knew I couldn’t pass that one up!  The photos are always so great.  This is the 56th year for the contest, and for the first time ever, the awards ceremony was conducted virtually due to the pandemic.  As I told you in last year’s post about the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards,  this is the largest wildlife photography competition in the world. It is an annual international wildlife photography competition owned by the Natural History Museum.  The first competition was held in 1964, with three categories and around 600 entries. By 2008, the competition had grown to over 32,000 entries from 3100 photographers in 82 countries.  This year, there were over 49,000 entries!

And as was the case last year, I cannot possibly show you all the gorgeous photos, but have picked the ones I thought were the best of the best. You can find more at the Natural History Museum website, as well as information about the photographers and other trivia.


Of course, we must begin with the grand title winner, Sergey Gorshkov, who won with this photo titled The Embracewild-2 This picture shows the intimate moment an endangered Siberian tiger hugs an ancient Manchurian fir tree to mark it with her scent. It took Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov over 11 months to capture using motion sensor cameras.  Sergey scoured the forest for signs of Amur, or Siberian, tigers, searching for the best place to set up his camera trap. He knew his chance of photographing one was slim, but his mind was made up. “From then on, I could think of nothing else,” Sergey says. Finally, his dedication paid off: he captured a rare glimpse of this magnificent tiger in its wild habitat.


This year’s Young Photographer of the Year (ages 15-17) award went to Liina Heikkinen of Finland for this photo, titled The Fox That Got the Goosewild-13It was on a summer holiday in Helsinki that Liina, then 13, heard about a large fox family living in the city suburbs on the Finnish island of Lehtisaari. The island has both wooded areas and fox-friendly citizens, and the foxes are relatively unafraid of humans. So Heikkinen and her father spent one long July day, without a hide, watching the two adults and their six large cubs, which were almost the size of their parents, though slimmer and lankier. In another month, the cubs would be able to fend for themselves, but in July they were only catching insects and earthworms and a few rodents, and the parents were still bringing larger prey to them. On this evening, the vixen arrived with a barnacle goose. Feathers flew as the cubs began fighting over it.


Frank Deschandol’s original aim was to photograph the vibrant cuckoo wasp. In a sandy bank on a brownfield site near his home in Normandy, France, he located tiny digger wasp burrows suitable for a cuckoo wasp to use. He then set up an infrared beam that, when broken by a wasp, would trigger the super-fast shutter system he had built. Despite the extremely narrow depth of field and tiny subjects, he captured not only the cuckoo wasp but also the sand wasp.wildlifeTitled A Tale of Two Wasps, this remarkable simultaneous framing of a red-banded sand wasp (left) and a cuckoo wasp about to enter next-door nest holes is the result of painstaking preparation. The female cuckoo wasp—just 6 millimeters long—parasitizes the nests of certain solitary digger wasps, laying her eggs in her hosts’ burrows so that her larvae can feast on their eggs or larvae. The much larger red-banded sand wasp lays her eggs in her own burrow, which she provisions with caterpillars, one for each of her young to eat when they emerge.


This next one is titled The Pose … I would swear this guy used to be my boss!  This is a photo by Mogens Trolle of a young male proboscis monkey seemingly deep in thought (or asleep). wild-11


The Village Cat by Masood Hussainwild-8

Masood spent the evening tracking a tiger in a nearby forest. Just as he was heading home at sunset, his driver spotted this big cat, lying on the wall of an abandoned village school.


Late Delivery by Catherine Dobbins d’Alessiowild-20


Surprise! by Makoto Andowild-19


The Perfect Catch by Hannah Vijayanwild-16A brown bear pulls a sockeye salmon from the shallows of a river in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. The greatest concentration of bears – and tourists – is around the waterfall at Brooks River, where viewing platforms enable visitors to watch bears catching salmon leaping up the falls.

Young Hannah chose to focus on a quieter scene and a different style of fishing.

Instead of snatching at leaping fish or jumping on them, the female put her head under the water to look for one.  She catches a nutrient-rich sockeye still in its ocean form – before it has developed its reproductive red colour and pronounced jaws.  The presence of the salmon in autumn ensures the bears’ survival through the winter.  Alaskan brown bears are among the world’s largest bears. Males may eat 30 salmon a day and weigh more than 450 kilograms by the end of the summer. Females are smaller and typically weigh a third less.


Eye of the Drought by José Fragozowild-14Believe it or not, there’s a hippopotamus in there!  An eye blinks open in a mud pool as a hippopotamus emerges to take a breath – one every three to five minutes.  The challenge for José, watching in his vehicle, was to catch the moment an eye opened.

For several years, José has been watching hippos in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, a remnant of the drought-stricken Mara River.  Hippos spend the day submerged to keep their temperature constant and their sensitive skin out of the sun. They emerge at night to graze on the floodplains.


Life in the Balance by Jaime Culebraswildlife-3A Manduriacu glass frog snacks on a spider in the foothills of the Andes, in northwestern Ecuador. As big consumers of invertebrates, glass frogs play a key part in maintaining balanced ecosystems. That night, Jaime Culebras’s determination to share his passion for them had driven him to walk for four hours, in heavy rain, through the forest to reach the frogs’ streams in the Manduriacu Reserve. But the frogs were elusive and the downpour was growing heavier and heavier. As he turned back, he was thrilled to spot one small frog clinging to a branch, its eyes shimmering like mosaics.


wild-27wild-26wild-10wild-7wild-6wild-4wild-3wild-1

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful photos and critters!  Now, go have a wonderful weekend, but please, my friends, observe every possible safety measure if you’re out in public.

Jolly Monday — ALREADY???

Monday-sleepy-2Wh-wha-what???  It’s M-m-Monday already?  Says who?  ‘Cording to my calendar it’s … um … oh.  Well, from the smells coming from the kitchen it smells like Joyful has been up and at it already, so … how ‘bout you guys go see what’s for breakfast while I go get my teeth brushed, and then we’ll see what fun things we can find to start our week out, ‘k?


food-breakfast-spread


A Canadian business, Gaze Seed Company of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador submitted an ad to Facebook for publication.  But Facebook found the ad too “overtly sexual” to be posted on the social media platform.

onion-ad

WHAT … did they think the onions were mating in the basket???  According to Jackson McLean, manager at Gaze Seed Company …

“We got notified the other day that it’s an ‘overtly sexual image’ that they had to ban from the site. I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something, nude in some way.

I just thought it was funny. You’d have to have a pretty active imagination to look at that and get something sexual out of it … ‘Overtly sexual,’ as in there’s no way of mistaking it as not sexual.”

Amazing … simply amazing, given some of the offensive crud I’ve seen on Facebook!  A spokesperson for Facebook said …

“We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps, but sometimes it doesn’t know a walla walla onion from a, well, you know. We restored the ad and are sorry for the business’ trouble.”


Police in Alberta, Canada, were called to the scene of a gas station after receiving a call about a python that had somehow gotten loose inside the store.

pythonPicturing the worst, for pythons can be rather large & lethal, they cautiously entered the station.  The clerk told them it had slithered under a display of potato chips.  They began trying to coax the python out … then suddenly, he slithered back out and …

garter-snake

Yep, folks, a plain ol’ harmless garter snake, about 1/50th the size of what a python would have been.  They could have picked it up, given it a bit of loving and sent it on its way … no need for the police!  🙄


It seems that while Joyful was preparing this feast for us, Jolly was over at Phil’s Phun picking out some cartoons and memes for us …

toon-15toon-14toon-13toon-12toon-11toon-10toon-9toon-8toon-7toon-6toon-5toon-4toon-3toon-2toon-1

meme-8meme-7meme-6meme-5meme-4meme-3meme-2meme-1


And what would Jolly Monday be without a cute animal video???  I think you’ll laugh over this one with a meerkat … who knew they were such energetic critters?


And especially for our friend Hugh, a double dose of Monday joy …


Well, folks, it’s that time again … time to go about our duties and try to accomplish something.  I’m always sad to see you go, but I know you’ll be back soon and we’ll have more fun!  Be sure to share those beautiful smiles I see you wearing … lot’s of people seem to have lost theirs.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Saturday Surprise — Critter Love

Given the events of the past week, I thought there couldn’t possibly be a Saturday Surprise post in me this week, and was preparing a post about … well, you’ll find out this afternoon.  But then, I came across a post on Bored Panda and … by about the 7th picture, I found a funny thing happening to my face.  The corners of my mouth were turning up and I was saying, “Awwwwww …” repeatedly!  So, long story short, I decided that I could step away from the drama & trauma of the world for just a bit and share some “awwwww … “ moments with you guys.

It seems these days that some people cannot accept any who look different from themselves, say have a different skin tone or accent.  But these critters prove that looks, fur colour, size, gender, and even species are irrelevant in the grand scheme.

According to Arizona Humane Society’s Pet Behavior and Pet Training Manager Jenny Dagnino, social relationships and friendships between animals of different species are common.

Take a look at some of these guys … I guarantee they’ll bring a smile to your face …

critters-1

This pelican befriended the dog who kept hanging out and seemed lonely.  The man who took this picture adopted the dog, but brings him back every day to visit his pelican friend.

critters-2

critters-3critters-4critters-6critters-7

Even height doesn’t matter to these two!

critters-8

Wasn’t there once a book or a film titled “The Owl and the Pussycat”?

critters-9

And I know there is both a novel and a Disney film about “The Fox and the Hound”!

critters-11critters-14

You may remember these two, Herman the pigeon who can’t fly, and Lundy the chihuahua who can’t walk, for I wrote a post about them in February.

critters-17critters-18critters-21critters-23

Yet another Fox and Hound!

critters-24critters-25critters-26

Growing up together

critters-68critters-52critters-48critters-43critters-40critters-38critters-29critters-28

critter-34

♫  So Happy Together

critter-37critters-5

Giving comfort in the time of need

critters-10

“Hey!!!  Give us back our brother!”

critters-15Now, if all these adorable critters didn’t warm your heart, then … I just don’t know what will!  Perhaps a cute critter video?

Now that you’re smiling and feeling all warm ‘n fuzzy inside, go forth and have a terrific WEEKEND!!!

Good People Doing Good Things — The Gift Of Self

Follow-Up

I want to start this week’s ‘good people’ with a follow-up to one of last week’s stories.  You may remember the woman who was at the McDonald’s drive-thru with a cranky child in the car and suddenly realized she had left her purse with her money at home.  The young man working the drive-thru did not hesitate but used his own bank card to pay for her order.  Last week, that young man, Wyatt Jones, was the ‘good people’, and in this week’s follow-up, the woman, Brittany Reed, is also a good people, as well as many others. 

Ms. Reed was so grateful to young Wyatt, but he wouldn’t accept any extra money from her.  So, she managed to contact his mother, who told her that Wyatt was working to save money to buy a car.  Ms. Reed jumped into action and started a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $5,000 to help Wyatt buy a car. 

My jaw dropped when I visited the page and found that nearly two thousand people had donated to the fund for a total of $34,820!!!Jones-fundraiserMs. Reed is certainly a good people for wanting to do something kind for Wyatt who had helped her in a time of need, but so are each and every one of those 1,900 people who have donated, some as little as $10, others $100.  I don’t know about you, but it warms my heart to know that so many people do still care about others and want to help out.  Lots of thumbs up in this one!


A good cop

We hear a lot about the bad apples in law enforcement these days, and it’s enough to make us lose faith in those who we are supposed to trust to serve and protect us.  But they aren’t all bad … there are an awful lot of police officers who are doing their best to be members of the community, to protect and instill trust.  So, when I get the chance, I like to shine a light on those officers who have gone the extra mile to do something good.  Today’s shining example of a genuinely good cop is Officer Arthur Parker of Plano, Texas. parker-2Officer Parker retired earlier this year, but he is missed by one and all at Clark High School.  Affectionately known as O.P., he had served for 34 years with the Plano Police Department, 27 of which were spent as a School Resource Officer.  When on duty directing traffic outside the school, his dance moves earned him fame.  Said Parker …

“I had a patrol call and say someone called and said there’s an officer drunk in the street. They got a real call!”

Officer-Parker-1Says the school’s principal, Janice Williams …

“My first impression was ‘oh my gosh, this is gonna be the person that’s gonna be protecting us’ because he did his normal goofy OP (Officer Parker) thing and went into some kind of character, and he’s kept me laughing ever since.”

Officer-Parker-3To keep students motivated, Parker even taught himself a tune on the harmonica for every situation. For a history lesson, he plays Taps. When he’s trying to get kids to move along, he said “Play ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Luke, I am your father, go to class.’”  To the teens at Clark High, he’s a confidant and confidence booster.

According to the students …

“OP, he really tries to find that connection.”

“He’s mostly just taught me how to be confident no matter what.”

“When it’s fun. he’s always fun, when things get real, he’s strict.”

ParkerOfficer Parker may be retiring from the Plano Police Department, but he’s not leaving the students, for even in retirement he plans to use his unique style of humor and dancing to win over students.

“People are saying, hey it’s time to relax. No, it’s not! I’ve got energy. Relax? Please!  If I go to school and volunteer, I have to be there enough times to say, ‘hey, we know who he is! That’s O.P. Old person. Not Officer Parker any longer.’”

Now, Officer Parker didn’t rescue people from burning houses, didn’t donate his life savings to someone in need, so you might be asking yourself why I feature him in this week’s ‘good people’ post.  Well, folks, good people are carers, givers.  Officer Arthur Parker cares about people, particularly those young people at Plano High School, and he gave … continues to give … of the most precious thing any of us have: himself and his time.  It’s easy enough to write a check, or donate online to a worthy cause, and I’m not knocking that … not at all!  But, the most beautiful gift, I think, is the gift of self, of selflessly giving your time to someone who needs it. 

We will never know how much of a difference OP made in the lives of some of those students, but I’m betting that to some, he was literally a lifesaver. 


And a couple of short ones from CNN’s ‘Good Stuff’ newsletter …

Love’s labors found

Tim-GjoraasTim Gjoraas, a 45-year-old teacher from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, knew he may not have long to live. After battling colon cancer for several years, doctors told him it was terminal. So, Gjoraas (first row, black shirt above) decided it was finally time to repaint the outside of his house. It was something his wife had always wanted, and if ever there was a time for fulfilling wishes, it would be now. Originally, he had asked a friend to take care of the task for him next year, with the understanding that Gjoraas, sadly, may not be around to see it through. However, word got out to his community, and more than a dozen people showed up to get the job done while Gjoraas could still enjoy it. They drank craft beers, told stories, and within half a day the house was a beautiful new shade of blue. It’s just one way, Gjoraas says, that his friends and neighbors have stepped up during this difficult time. “My community has really gone to bat for my family and I over and over and over,” he said.

California firefighter Grant Newnom …

… who drove straight from a 60-hour shift with the San Jose Fire Department to help save his girlfriend’s parents’ home from an approaching wildfire.  Elise Jones, his girlfriend, was having dinner with her parents at their home in Santa Rosa when they were ordered to evacuate. When Newnom arrived on the scene, he started moving woodpiles, debris and other flammable materials away from the house and used his chainsaw to cut down nearby trees to protect the home.fireAs he was leaving, a Santa Rosa fire truck drove up. Because of its location, the Santa Rosa fire captain decided that’s where firefighters would make their fight against the impending blaze. Though the rest of the area was sadly not as lucky, the house was saved.


Critters is good people too …

I don’t know who wrote this or what the circumstances were, but it touched my heart.

“Ham saved my life yesterday. He hurt his paw but I’m alive because of his bravery.

I was working on my house where I fell and was critically injured. He ran to me and started howling and crying; he tried to drag me and ripped his foot open. Luckily he got my neighbors attention. I should be dead, but he saved me.HamThank you, Ham. You are my best friend.”


See, friends, you don’t have to be rich or have vast resources to be a good people … all you have to do is care enough to give the gift of self, to give up an hour or two of your valuable time to help someone.  I bet if we all try, we can be good people this week … what do you say?

Jolly Monday … Smile 😊

Monday-sleepy-2Good Monday morning, friends … {yawn}.  Did you all have a lovely weekend?  Mine was terribly exciting!  I got up, did laundry, cleaned, researched, read, wrote, ate, did more laundry, read some more, went to bed, repeat from step 1.  Lots of variety!  I notice the trees are starting to turn, so I guess autumn really is upon us.

Well, since it’s Monday, there must be some snacks out, and we must seek something to help us start the week with a smile, so help yourself to a treat and let’s see what we can find.

OOPS!!!  We almost forgot the most important part …


Do something nice!

Today is ‘National Do Something Nice Day’.  Now, I don’t need to tell you how to observe this one, but the folks over at the National Day Calendar place had a few simple suggestions that I thought I’d share:

  • Noticing someone’s signal in traffic and allowing them into your lane
  • Picking up the neighbor’s newspaper on your daily walk and placing it within easy reach
  • Opening a door for another person
  • Giving your place in line to the person with only three items
  • Tipping your service staff an extra dollar or two more than you usually would
  • Give a compliment
  • Encourage a student with an idea for a solution
  • Read to a child
  • Listen to someone who is lonely

As you can see, it doesn’t have to be anything big … little things mean a lot!


Costly review!

Wesley Barnes is a teacher from the U.S. who was working in Thailand.  Back in June, Mr. Barnes and a friend stayed at the Sea View Resort in Koh Chang, Thailand.  Turns out, he wasn’t very pleased with the service.  He says the staff tried to charge him a ‘corkage fee’ for alcohol he and his friend had brought on to the premises, and when he complained to the manager, the manager became aggressive and rude.  So, Barnes did what a lot of people would have done … he wrote a negative review of the hotel and published it on Tripadvisor, an online travel company.

End of story, right?  Not quite …

Last month, much to his surprise, Mr. Barnes was arrested and spent two days in jail until he was able to make bail, and he now faces a possible two-year prison sentence!  Why?  For writing a negative review!  The Sea View Resort accused Wesley Barnes of “a slanderous campaign” over the reviews, and filed a police complaint under the country’s harsh defamation laws.  Defamation is a criminal offense in Thailand, carrying a maximum sentence of two years in prison, along with a 200,000 baht (£4,915 or $6,363) fine.

The latest news this month is that the hotel has reached out to Mr. Barnes hoping to mediate a settlement and they are scheduled to meet this week.  Best guess is that if Mr. Barnes offers them enough cash, they will drop the case.

Let this be a lesson if you travel to Thailand … don’t complain!!!


I found these cool pics over at Phil’s place when I went in search of some ‘toons … yes, photoshopped, but still cool …

moon-pic-1moon-pic-2


jollyHi, it’s me, Jolly!  Gwammie let me pick out some cute animal pictures … I hope you likes dem …

cute-pic-1cute-pic-2cute-pic-3


And now … the moment you’ve all been waiting for … ‘TOONS!!!!

toon-2toon-4toon-5toon-6toon-8toon-9toon-10toon-11toon-13toon-14toon-15toon-16toon-17

And a few fun memes …

meme-1meme-2meme-3meme-4meme-5meme-6meme-7


And of course, since we now know the health benefits of watching cute animal videos … we must have one to make this Monday really jolly!


Well, folks, that’s all we’ve got for this Monday morning … I hope we’ve managed to start your week off with a smile and … well, I wish we could make sure those smiles stay with you throughout the week, but since we can’t, there’s a big basket of smiles by the door … take a few extras as you leave, and feel free to pop back in for more if you need them!

Monday-basket-smiles

Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Saturday Surprise — Cursing Parrots and Cute Critters

Well, it’s certainly been another of those exhausting, nerve-wracking weeks, hasn’t it?  Time for just a bit of humour, for ‘just a bit’ is likely all I can muster tonight, but I wanted to see if I could help you start the weekend with a smile.


Curses!!!

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Park located in Friskney, England, adopted five African grey parrots back in August, but you won’t see them on display if you go there.  The parrots, Billy, Elsie, Eric, Jade and Tyson, seemed to be causing the zoo some problems, or rather their language was.  Turns out they knew more swear words than a lot of humans and they weren’t afraid to use them. parrotWith more colorful language than plumage, the birds used different curse words in different British accents, but they were all unprintably coarse. At one point, a group of women walking past the aviary thought the lewd comments shouted at them were from a hidden staff member.  The park had no complaints — in fact, visitors reveled in swearing right back at the birds — but the park officials feared children and parents might not enjoy the experience as much.  So, the parrots were moved into a temporary space away from the public eye, giving them time to be around more family-friendly birds and hopefully clean up their language.

Steve Nichols, the chief executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, said …

“When a parrot swears, it’s very difficult for other humans not to laugh. And when we laugh, that’s a positive response. And therefore, what they do is they learn both the laugh and the swear word. It’s not so bad with one on its own, but then, if you get five together, once one swears and another one laughs, and another one laughs, before you know it, it sounds like a group of teenagers or an old working men’s club.  Billy is the worst one.”

Now that the birds have been removed from the public exhibits, some guests are arriving who have heard about the vulgar birds but don’t know which cage they’re in. So they have taken to swearing at all of the birds, hoping they’ll get some abuse back!  Personally, I find this entire thing hysterically funny, but I’m sure there are some who would be offended.  The birds seem to have calmed and are due to be back in the public venue soon.


I was RIGHT (for once)

Y’know how I always try to end Jolly Monday and sometimes Saturday Surprise with a cute or funny animal video?  I’ve just always thought it seemed like seeing cute critters would start the day off right.  Well, turns out there is scientific evidence to support my theory!quokkaA new study conducted by the University of Leeds has discovered that watching videos of cute animals is great for your health!

Tourism Western Australia and The University of Leeds partnered up to explore the physiological and psychological impact of cute animals on students and staff at the University of Leeds.

The sessions involved 19 subjects — 15 students and four staff members — and was intentionally timed during winter exams, a time when stress is at a significantly high level. The participants were asked to watch a 30-minute slide show that included photos and video clips of various cute animals, such as puppies, kittens and quokkas.

In all cases, the study saw blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety go down in participants, 30 minutes after watching the video.

The average heart rate of all participants fell from 72.2 bpm to 67.4 bpm: A reduction in heart rate of 6.65% in just 30 minutes.

The average blood pressure across all participants dropped from 136/88 to 115/71. In percentage terms, this represents a 14.9% drop in systolic blood pressure and a 18.28% drop in diastolic blood pressure.

Anxiety rates also went down by 35%, measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

In a post-study questionnaire, some of the participants comments included:

“I felt happy and calm”

“I wanted to be on that beach with those little kangaroo things (quokkas)

The study also found that most participants preferred video clips over still images, particularly of animals interacting with humans.  And so, rather than me rambling on and on, let’s watch a cute animal video!!!

And … got time for one more?


And on that note, I hope you guys have something fun planned for the weekend!  Keep safe and be happy, my friends!

Good People Doing Good Things

Good people come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all colours and can be found almost anywhere, but sometimes you have to look for them, for they don’t go about tooting their own horns, making a public spectacle of themselves.  It’s encouraging, I think, to find these people and know that kindness & compassion still exist.


A simple act of kindness

Izayah Edwards is a senior at Merrillville High School in Crown Point, Indiana.  According to his bio on his scholarship application …

“My ultimate goal in life would be to become a pediatrician and help kids in need. I am most passionate about my education, I work hard. I am a great candidate because I am self driven and things that I set out to do, I give my all.”

About a month ago, Isayah began working as a bagger at the Jewel-Osco supermarket in his town.  One day last week, an elderly woman was checking out and as he was bagging her groceries, he saw her struggling … counting and re-counting the bills in her wallet, but coming up a little short.  Izayah, according to a woman who was next in line, didn’t hesitate, but pulled out his own wallet and quietly handed the woman a $20 bill.Izayah-EdwardsThe woman who was next in line snapped a photo and posted it on Facebook, and from there the story went viral.  Last I heard, Indiana State Representative Lisa Beck is planning to honor him at a ceremony with Crown Point’s mayor soon.  This young man is going to be a fine pediatrician someday … I believe in him.


Another young person steps up to the plate

It seems that the youth of today haven’t yet discovered greed and selfishness … let’s hope they never do!

This one happened at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Waynesville, Ohio.  I will let the recipient of the kindness, Brittany Reed, tell you the story …

“Tonight as I was leaving football practice with my three kiddos my 4 year old was so tired he started crying and acting a fool as we were getting in the van. My 7 year old daughter started crying because I told her we were having red potatoes as a side for dinner and clearly she wasn’t a fan sooo I threw my hands up and said FORGET it – McDonald’s tonight!

We go through the drive through, order food, all three kids are now crying for one reason or the other. I go to pay – I LEFT MY PURSE AT HOME. Welp now I wanted to cry. I look at the young man with tears in my eyes just from being stressed and annoyed and say ‘hun I am so sorry but I have to cancel that order I left my purse at home when we went to football tonight’ WITHOUT HESITATION he takes out his wallet and swipes his card before I could even say ‘no I will be right back!’

I was like ‘wait no hun it’s ok I will come back through’ then he replies ‘no it’s totally fine, my pleasure’.

I snapped a quick picture and asked his name to which he replied Wyatt Jones ma’am. I told him I would be right back with cash for him and he tried hard to talk me out of it.Wyatt-JonesI just want his parents to know how KIND and COMPASSIONATE your son was tonight! He made this stressed out momma pause for a moment and realize this is exactly what we parents are trying to do, raise great humans. Well Wyatt sir, you are an amazing human!!!

I went back and handed him cash and had to make him take it because he didn’t want to take more than he had paid but I wanted him to know that when you put good out in the world it comes back to you ten fold!

Wyatt, do not let this world change your kind heart young man for its people like YOU that will change this world for the better!”

I fully agree.


A helping hand from across the border …

The wildfires on the West Coast are devastating … millions of acres of land has been razed, homes destroyed, lives and livestock lost.  Firefighters are exhausted, their numbers nowhere near sufficient to control these horrific fires.  Last Wednesday, help arrived in the form of firefighters from Mexico’s National Forestry Commission.  The five crews from Mexico — a total of 100 firefighters — will help fight the Sequoia Complex Fire, which spans more than 144,000 acres.Mexican-firefighteresAccording to Eduardo Cruz, the Mexican agency’s national fire director …

“Fires do not have borders, fires do not have different languages and cultures. In the end we all speak the same language when it comes to fighting fire.”

I try hard to keep politics out of my Wednesday ‘good people’ posts, but I cannot help mentioning how so many people in this country have followed the rhetoric of the person in the Oval Office in denigrating Mexicans, and yet just look … they are risking their lives, giving of their own time away from their families, to help us save homes, land and people.  Remember this next time you hear someone put down Hispanics or Mexicans … or any other ethnicity.  There are good people everywhere.  For my part, I offer a heartfelt thanks to these wonderful firefighters for their assistance!


Good critters doing good things

Magawa, a giant African pouched rat, has been awarded a British charity’s top civilian award for animal bravery, receiving the honor for searching out unexploded landmines in Cambodia.  The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, PDSA, started as a free veterinary clinic in 1917 and has honored heroic animals since 1943.MagawaMagawa was trained by a Belgian organization that has taught rats to find landmines for more than 20 years. The group, APOPO, works with programs in Cambodia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to clear millions of mines left behind from wars and conflicts.

Magawa is the group’s most successful rat, having cleared more than 141,000 square meters of land, the equivalent of some 20 soccer fields.  Before Magawa, all the recipients were dogs.