Vacation and politics in the Pacific Northwest

Today, I am sharing with you a post that Jeff wrote last week (I am chronically behind on everything these days!). First, I am sharing it because the pictures of his vacation are absolutely gorgeous, and I thought you guys would enjoy them. Second, though, is Jeff’s commentary about what Trump is attempting to do to the Pacific-Northwest, arguably one of the most beautiful parts of this country. Enjoy the pics! Thanks, Jeff, for sharing your vacation with us! I’m jealous!!!

On The Fence Voters

So I spent nearly a week on the road recently, traversing the great Pacific Northwest and chilling out with my better half. There was a lot of beer and wine, a lot of unbelievable scenery, and a brief respite from the goings-on in our upside-down political world. But I must say, politics is never too far away in my daily life, even on vacation. While I wasn’t into the daily back and forth as much, I still managed to follow what was going on.

And while the vacation itself was enjoyable, as well as relaxing, I still can’t forget what’s going on in the world around me. Looking out at the majestic vistas and mountains around me, I could not help but think of how fragile our beloved ecosystem has become.

In the process of driving over 1500 miles through some of the most beautiful areas you could ever imagine…

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Jolly Monday … {Yawn}

Monday-sleepy-2Good morning … {yawn} friends … come in and make yourselves {yawn} comfy.  What?  On no, don’t mind me, I’m just really … oh, what’s that word … sleepy!  Yes, that’s it, I’m really sleepy.  Oh, it’s a long story, that involves a broken washing machine, broken central air-conditioning, cats, vacuuming the floor at 7:00 a.m., a frog, rotten bananas, a razor, and … well, it’s really quite boring.  Anyway … I did manage to ship … er, whip up a few treats for you, and I found a few things for us to start this week of on a happy foot.

Sadly, young Benjamin will not be joining us today, for he has entered the world of academia … yes, that’s right, he started kindergarten two weeks ago.  I think I’ll still put his juice box and donut out, though, just in case.  And now … let the fun begin!donuts-2


An absurd potty tale …

In the UK, an unnamed, 66-year-old man has been arrested for … stealing a toilet.  But, this wasn’t just any ol’ toilet …toilet.jpgThe toilet, titled America, is a work of art by the 58-year-old Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It had been installed for an exhibition at England’s Blenheim Palace earlier this week.  The estimated value of the toilet is $1.25 million!

Now, since this is a Jolly Monday post, and not one of my snarky snippets, I shall refrain from the snarky comment in my head about the name of the toilet and the fact that it is … well, a toilet!  Let your imaginations go to work on that one.

The toilet was actually plumbed and functional, and in fact tourists could sign on for a 3-minute … um … well … to use it in the manner toilets are intended to be used for 3 minutes.  So, when the thieves stole it, they ripped up the plumbing, causing substantial damage and flooding.  The man in police custody is believed to have accomplices, and the police are still searching for them.  But, the toilet was in the man’s possession, and has been returned to Blenheim Palace which, incidentally, is the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

Another interesting tidbit about the toilet is that back in 2017, the artist Cattelan offered to lend the toilet to none other than Donald Trump, to grace the loo at the White House … well, one of the 35 bathrooms in the White House, anyway.  Yes, I said 35 … aren’t you glad you don’t have latrine duty there???


I must confess that as I work on this post, I am struggling with ‘funny’, at least struggling to find stories that I find funny.  So, for this Jolly Monday, I believe the rest will be done in a few cartoons and memes … I hope you don’t mind … I seem to be a bit off my game today.

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Yeah, yeah … a bit risque, but I couldn’t stop laughing!

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"I thought you were out front telling the fence company how to do their job."


And just a few pictures I found to be funny …

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WTF????????  How the … ????

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This one … this is the sign I need for my front door!!!

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You all remember Dueling Banjos, right?  Composed by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith in 1954, it has been used in the Andy Griffith Show, and came into its own in the 1972 film Deliverance, which also led to a successful lawsuit by the song’s composer, as it was used in the film without Smith’s permission.  But all that is neither here nor there.  You all know how much I love Kermit the Frog, right?  Well, I came across this clip with Kermit and comedian Steve Martin doing Dueling Banjos … priceless!


And last, but not least, let’s have a chuckle watching these tiny baby critters …


jollyThat’s it, I’m afraid, for Jolly Monday!  I’m so glad you stopped by, and I hope you remember to share your gorgeous smiles with someone this week.  Have a safe and happy week, my dear friends!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

Snarky Snippets Just Keep Coming …

Good afternoon, friends, and welcome to an all-new episode of Snarky Snippets!  I had really hoped to settle into a more in-depth post today, but for any number of reasons, it didn’t happen.  One of those reasons is that every news site I visited this morning had an angst-inducing story right on their front page.  So, here goes …


Oh goodie … something new to lose sleep over

The headline caught my eye:

Ex-Google worker fears ‘killer robots’ could cause mass atrocities

This was in The Guardian, not some fly-by-night, off-the-wall website, so of course curiosity got the better of me and I had to delve deeper.

Laura Nolan is a former Google software engineer who resigned last year in protest at being sent to work on a project to dramatically enhance US military drone technology.  Her position is that AI killing machines not operated by humans should be banned.  For the record, I agree with her.

Nolan went to work for Google in Ireland in 2013 and became one of their top software engineers.  Then in 2017, she was sent to work on Project Maven, which takes drone technology a step further, removing to a large extent, the human factor.  According to the article in The Guardian

Instead of using large numbers of military operatives to spool through hours and hours of drone video footage of potential enemy targets, Nolan and others were asked to build a system where AI machines could differentiate people and objects at an infinitely faster rate.

Nolan has predicted that autonomous weapons being developed pose a far greater risk to the human race than remote-controlled drones. She outlined how external forces ranging from changing weather systems to machines being unable to work out complex human behaviour might throw killer robots off course, with possibly fatal consequences.

What could possibly go wrong, eh?  Plenty, according to Ms. Nolan …

“You could have a scenario where autonomous weapons that have been sent out to do a job confront unexpected radar signals in an area they are searching; there could be weather that was not factored into its software or they come across a group of armed men who appear to be insurgent enemies but in fact are out with guns hunting for food. The machine doesn’t have the discernment or common sense that the human touch has.”

It isn’t enough that we have nuclear weapons in the hands of madmen posing as world leaders, and that the earth’s atmosphere is being destroyed even as we speak, while greedy corporate executives and politicians pretend it isn’t happening, but soon we will have killing machines flying above us, deciding all on their own who or what to destroy in a given instant.  Way to go, humans … see if you can’t find more ways to hasten the demise of all life on earth.


Two thumbs up to …

United Auto Workers (UAW), who will be going on strike nationwide at midnight tonight against General Motors over the usual – wages, healthcare and profit-sharing.

Here’s the thing, though.  General Motors, in an effort to cut costs, has made healthcare more expensive for their workers.  This might be understandable if General Motors was weren’t making profits hand over fist, but … they are.  In fact, their revenue for 2018 was $38.4 billion, net income was $8.1 billion, and … with Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy, the company not only paid no taxes in 2018, but will be getting a tax refund of $104 million!!!  But they cannot take care of the people doing the work to earn them those profits.  SHAME!

This, my friends, is a classic example of capitalism run amok. Once again, this nation is putting the grotesquely bloated profits of the few ahead of the basic health and welfare of the many. And it is being supported and encouraged by Trump and Congress.


Pompeo wants war …

We may be rid of warmonger John Bolton, but there’s still Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, and he seems to see fit to start a brand-new war today.  Yesterday, attacks on Saudi oil refineries knocked out an estimated more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5% of global supply.  Yemen’s Houthi group claimed responsibility.  But, apparently Mike Pompeo, with no evidence, has decided to blame his arch-nemesis, Iran.

“Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

What. An. Idiot.

An idiot and a dangerous fool.  Iran is not taking this lying down.  A not-so-subtle warning was issued by Senior Revolutionary Guards commander Amirali Hajizadeh …

“All American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers around Iran are within the range of our missiles.”

Way to go, Mikey … start a bloody war sans cause.  Oh, and by the way, folks.  The destruction of all that oil has a price.  It is expected that tomorrow the price of oil will rise from between $5 to $10 per barrel, so look for prices at the pump to jump.


Okay, friends … I now return you to your regularly scheduled Sunday activities.lies.png

The Week’s News In ‘Toons … 🙄

Sometimes, the news is best conveyed in pictures.  Actually, for those who support Trump, a picture is likely the only way they will get it.


On Friday, a federal appeals court resurrected the first lawsuit President Donald Trump faced over claims that his business dealings violated the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, which bars federal officials receiving payments from foreign governments.  It’s funny that Trump claims he isn’t benefiting from the presidency, that it is in fact costing him money, but there are a multitude of examples of him, his family, and his business enjoying financial gain that he would not have otherwise had.  For instance, Mike Pence, and military crews staying at his place over in Scotland.  His entire family traveling with him, on our tax dollar.  Foreign dignitaries staying at Trump hotels.  And of course, his unworkable plan to host next year’s G7 at one of his Florida resorts (ain’t gonna happen) …

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Of course, the big news of the week was the firing … or resignation … of National Security Advisor, John Bolton.  Trump says he fired him, Bolton says he resigned … either way, he is out and nobody’s quite sure who Trump will choose for his fourth NSA.  

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Those last two lead me to the other big “news” of the last couple of weeks, that which has come to be known as ‘Sharpiegate’.  Y’know … for someone who doesn’t like to be mocked or made fun of, he sure does do some really, really stupid, mock-worthy things!  He invites it …

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Just so you know that we in the U.S. aren’t the only ones having fun with the cringe-worthy news, our friends over in the UK have their share of troubles lately with Boris Johnson and Brexit.  I don’t usually say too much about Brexit, because I have friends on both sides of the issue, and really, it’s not my place to weigh in.  But, Boris Johnson, whom I have often referred to as Trump’s brother, is another matter … he is mock-worthy no matter what side of the Brexit issue you come down on …

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And then, there was Trump’s threat to ban e-cigarettes.  I weighed in on that yesterday, so I needn’t say more, but the issue for many of us is that he is obsessed with banning vaping, saying it is killing our people (six have died), while he steadfastly refuses to even consider sensible gun legislation, when on average 100 people die each day of gun-related incidents.  There is a disconnect here, and I think it’s in his brain!

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Well, folks, I think that’s about as much humour as we can take this morning, don’t you?  I’m feeling rather ill, myself.  Have a great rest of the weekend!  One for the road …

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Snarky Snippets To End The Week …

I was plugging along, working on a post about the democrats and last night’s debate, when I came across a few snippets that … well, I just couldn’t resist another snarky snippets post!  The debate post will come later, hopefully tomorrow afternoon, but for today I was sidetracked … that seems to happen a lot!


She got WHAT from WHOM???

Trump’s kids are hot on the campaign trail, stumping for daddy.  Late last month, daughter Ivanka (you know, the useless one whose sole purpose in the administration seems to be to stand by daddy fluttering her lashes) attended a “retreat” (what the Sam Heck are they retreating from?) arranged by Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Jackson Hole in the Wyoming mountains. The sole purpose was to bilk money from the wealthy potential donors in attendance.IvankaIvanka was asked what personality traits she has inherited from her parents.  She said that her mother gave her an example of how to be a powerful, successful woman, and that … wait for it … her father had given her his “moral compass”! Hoo-boy!  If that one didn’t make you nearly fall out of your seat laughing, then nothing will!  Moral compass???  What moral compass???  Well, folks, you’ve got to feel sorry for the little Trumps, if nothing else.  Ivanka and Jared have three (this family really makes the case for forced sterilization):  Arabella Rose, Joseph Frederick, and Theodore James.  See, they cannot even give the poor kids simple names … well, at least their last name isn’t Trump, though I’m not sure ‘Kushner’ is any more respectable.


Skewed priorities

I’ve heard of ‘vaping’, but never cared enough to figure out exactly what it is. I knew only that it was a replacement for smoking.  But, in the past few weeks it has been in all the headlines, as apparently a few people … I believe it is six people, to be exact … had died as a result of vaping.  I still wasn’t all that interested, and I’ll tell you why.  I am a smoker.  I started smoking at age 13, some 55 years ago.  I smoke, on average, 3 packs a day.  That is my choice, and I’m well aware of the health risks involved, and I accept full responsibility for my actions and the results of those actions.  Period.  So, if people choose vaping instead of smoking tobacco, fine, but accept that the onus is on you, not society at large.

But what did finally catch my attention was when it was announced that Trump is considering a ban on flavoured electronic cigarettes.  The reason?

“We can’t allow people to get sick. And we can’t have our youth be so affected.”

Oh … oh oh oh … the IRONY!!!  This, from the ‘man’ who has fought tooth and nail to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and cause some 20 million people to lose their access to affordable health care!  This from the ‘man’ who refuses to even consider the most minimal of gun regulations, due to pressure from his buddies over at the NRA!

There is not even any evidence thus far that it was vaping that caused the six deaths.  Consider the most recent case, a 50-year-old man from Kansas who had a history of underlying health issues!  Not a child, not even a healthy adult!  Six cases … and he’s going to ban it!  Heck, last year in the U.S., five people died from eating lettuce contaminated with E. coli from contaminated water that was used to irrigate the crops.  Simply testing the water would have prevented it, but Trump & Co. even then refused to make testing of irrigation water mandatory.  And … Trump did not ban lettuce … I know this because I just bought some on Wednesday.

There have been 22 school shootings in the U.S. in 2019 thus far.  Six deaths possibly related to vaping, and he’ll ban e-cigarettes, but 22 school shootings don’t even warrant a consideration of enhanced gun safety laws???  This, folks, is a problem.  This is an upside-down setting of priorities. The only thing I can figure is that the vaping industry doesn’t have a strong enough lobby.


And, since nobody … not even me … does snarky better than the late-night hosts, let’s let Jimmy Kimmel start our weekend out with bunch of laughs!


Have a great weekend, my friends!

The Purpose of Life?

My mind is in a state of rambling and introspection today …

What, for most humans, is the purpose of life?  I’m not asking about the ‘meaning’ of life, for that will be something very unique and personal to each of us … what gives your life or mine meaning is not necessarily universal.  But, what I am asking is the purpose … what justifies me or you taking up space and using valuable resources on this planet?

No, I haven’t lost my bloomin’ mind … I’m just cleaning it out a bit.  Much of the news over the past few weeks/months/years, have led me to ask this question, have taken my mind down a path that needs to be explored.  And no, this isn’t in the least bit a deep philosophical discussion, but rather an ideological one.

Is the purpose of life to gather as much wealth, as many toys and shiny objects as possible during the course of one’s life?  It sure does seem that some people would answer in that way.  Think … here in the U.S., people applauded when the fool-on-the-hill rolled back environmental regulations in order to benefit the fossil fuel industries.  Why?  Well, the robber barons in the coal and oil industries applauded because it extended, albeit briefly, their ability to make money at the expense of the planet, the future.  Other people applauded because they hoped it meant their jobs in those industries would be secure, at least for a few more years, for they know no other trade.  And some applauded simply because it was Barack Obama, an African-American, under whose tutelage the regulations had been established in the first place.

Donald Trump ran in 2016 on the buzz-phrase, “make America great again”, but what does ‘great’ mean?  My vision of a ‘great nation’ is different than that of those who wear the silly red hats and cheer Trump’s slogan.  My vision of what makes the U.S. … or any nation, for that matter … great is diversity, people of all nationalities, all getting along together.  In my vision of a great nation, people help each other just because it’s the right thing, the compassionate thing to do, not because there is something in it for them.  But, in the maga crowd’s view, I think greatness is defined differently.  I think it is defined in terms of relative wealth and of bigotry.  I think the maga crowd wish to turn this into a nation of straight, white, Christians, and in my book, that would be hell on earth.

So, what is the purpose of life?  And please note that I am not coming at this question from any religious viewpoint … that speaks, again, to the ‘meaning’ rather than the purpose.  To me, I would feel I had fulfilled my purpose if I made other people happy, if something I did improved the quality of life on earth for as many as possible.  I’ve no interest in wealth, am quite content with the basic essentials (essentials, of course, includes books!)  Do you think Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell or any other politician in our government today would be satisfied with such?  Or what about the CEOs of Exxon-Mobil, Amazon or Nike?

In my view, the purpose of life should be about making life better for everyone, not just for oneself, or even one’s family.  I fail to understand what pleasure is derived from gathering wealth just for the sake of wealth.  The only purpose I see in wealth is the ability to use such wealth to help others, to help find ways to improve the quality of life for as many people as possible.  But instead, those who value their wealth over humanity are using their wealth to destroy all life on earth.  They are using it to build more factories that spew more chemicals into the earth’s atmosphere.  They are using it to develop harmful products that enable them to grow more food but are killing the bees – bees without whom we will all die sooner than later.  They are using it to build and buy weapons, both for military and civilians, that have the sole purpose of killing.

Socialist?  Yeah, I pretty much lean that way these days.  I would much prefer to see equality among all than the scant 1%, or I believe it is now ½%, living in houses with gold-plated toilets while others go to bed with empty bellies.  I would like to see people getting along rather than the bitter gulf that exists between the political parties and their followers these days.  I would like to see people throw their guns into the sea, deciding that life has more value than the false sense of power the gun gives them.  I would like to see all people caring enough about future generations of all life forms to make the sacrifices necessary to protect and preserve the planet and its resources.

I think that our lives can have purpose, and for many they do, but that purpose isn’t money.  If one’s purpose is to amass great wealth, then I posit that the person truly has no purpose at all.  Thanks for putting up with my rambling thoughts for the day … and now … back to the news of the day.  I see Trump just fired John Bolton. More chaos. Sigh.

Jaw-Dropping Snarky Snippets …

The radar is busy tonight, so many different things on the screen that have me gritting my teeth and wearing the scowl that seems to be permanently etched on my face.  The first snippet is one that will give you nightmares.


He can’t keep a secret …

Just yesterday evening, CNN reported that a Russian spy who was operating in a high-level capacity within Putin’s government, was extracted by the U.S. in mid-2017, in part because high-ranking intelligence officials feared that Trump’s inability to keep his mouth shut would put the spy’s life in danger.  Believe it or not, Trump sycophant Mike Pompeo, who was then the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was behind the move.

The decision was made shortly after the May 2017 meeting in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, much to the horror of the intelligence community.

There were other reasons the intelligence community felt the “asset” might be compromised, but think about this one for just a minute, folks.  The ‘man’ who holds the highest position in the government of a nation of some 330 million people, a ‘man’ who is privy to nearly every bit of classified information in the nation, is not trusted by his own intelligence people, cannot be trusted to keep a secret, to keep his mouth shut.  He needs a keeper … make that a tag-team of keepers … lest he give his buddy Putin the nuclear codes!  Ponder on that one as you drift off to sleep tonight.


Irresponsible to the nth degree …

I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry … instead I held my head and let forth a string of language that is not appropriate for this blog.  Former Goldman Sachs executive and current Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that there will likely be more tax cuts in 2020!  What made me laugh about the whole thing was remembering 1988 when George Bush, Sr., said repeatedly – “Read my lips:  no new taxes”, and now I would applaud a president who promised “No new tax cuts!  My how times change.

“I think there’s no question the U.S. economy is in very good shape. As we look around the world, there’s no question that China is slowing, Europe is slowing — the U.S. is the bright spot of the world. And regards to a middle-class tax cut, you know, we’ll be looking at tax cuts 2.0, something that will be something we’ll consider next year. But right now, the economy is in very, very good shape.”

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Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury

Trump and Mnuchin obviously need lessons in how budgets and economies work.  Our national debt is spiraling out of control, currently at $22 trillion and growing every day, and they want to give another tax cut?  Crazy!  Why?  Because, my friends, next November 3rd we will all go vote for either Trump or a democrat … and Trump figures if he can tout another tax cut that won’t help any but his rich friends, we will all fall to our knees and kiss his feet and then go to the polls and vote for him.  This, my friends, is madness.  Just about the very last thing this nation needs is another tax cut.

To further cut taxes is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, yet those who are easily fooled will applaud, will believe that they are getting something … never mind that their grocery bills have increased by $40 per month as a result of Trump’s tariffs, and never mind that the cost of a gallon of gasoline has increased by 43% since 2016.  Meanwhile, the companies to whom you give your hard-earned dollars like Exxon, Amazon, Netflix, Delta, IBM, etc., will happily pay no taxes at all.  Don’t be fooled, folks … sooner or later, the economy will reflect the perfidy of cutting income by removing taxes from the ones who can most afford it.


Dynasty???  I think not …

Trump’s creepy re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, has a plan …

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Brad Parscale, Trump campaign manager

“The Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades, propelling the Republican Party into a new party. One that will adapt to changing cultures. One must continue to adapt while keeping the conservative values that we believe in. I think they’re all amazing people, with amazing capabilities. I think you see that from Don Jr. I think you see that from Ivanka. You see it from Jared.”

I think that Mr. Parscale defines the word ‘amazing’ much differently than the rest of us.  I find them all a bit ignorant and a whole lot ugly, both inside and out.  One Trump is more than enough, thank you Brad.  If I believed his prediction for a single minute, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post, but would be headed to the nearest point of exit from this country.


Science vs Trump …

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Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce

Remember last week’s fiasco with Trump, the sharpie, Hurricane Dorian and Alabama?  Well, today the New York Times reported that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross actually threatened to fire top employees at NOAA, the federal scientific agency responsible for weather forecasts, for correcting Trump’s dangerous misinformation.  I said last week that it is a very dangerous situation when any politician, but especially one with the power of the president, can control what scientific information the public has access to.  That Trump’s minion Ross was all too willing to do his bidding, to fire scientists to assuage Trump’s ego, is horrendous.

We also found out that it was Ross himself who contacted Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where Ross was traveling and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president.  Fix it???  It wasn’t broken!  It was accurate … it was Trump’s statement that needed fixing, that was erroneous.

So now, do all scientists need to petition Trump for permission to state their findings on every front?


Still more competition!

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Mark Sanford, 2020 GOP Candidate

Yet another republican has thrown his hat in the ring for the party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential election.  First there was Bill Weld, then Joe Walsh, and now Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina.  This one must really frighten Trump for some reason, as he became somewhat unhinged … oh wait, he was already unhinged, wasn’t he?  In a series of tweets, Trump attacked Sanford …

“When the former Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, @MarkSanford, was reported missing, only to then say he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend, it sounded like his political career was over. It was, but then he ran for Congress and won, only to lose his re-elect after I Tweeted my endorsement, on Election Day, for his opponent. But now take heart, he is back, and running for President of the United States. The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go!”

‘Twould seem Trump is running a bit scared, eh?  I will have more about Sanford, but for tonight, I am out of steam!


The conclusion to this collection of snippets can only be one thing:  Trump must go!Trump-must-go

 

Jolly M-M-Monday!!!

Good Monday morning, my friends, and welcome!  Please overlook the messy house … with the air-conditioning out this weekend, I haven’t felt like doing much to the house.  How was your weekend?  I didn’t bake for you this morning, again because the house is hot and muggy, but Jolly dug up a few things, and we made sure to remember Benjamin’s donut with sprinkles and juice box!  And rawgod’s tea.  And even Larry’s bacon!  So, grab a bite and let’s find some fun stuff to start our week off with a laugh or two, shall we?

 

 

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Sorry, Larry, you’ll have to cook it yourself, for it’s too hot to have the oven on!

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Polite intruders …

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find a stranger cooking himself breakfast in your kitchen.  It happened in Safety Harbour, Florida, about 15 miles from Tampa Bay.  The residents of the house woke to the smell of breakfast, and when they went to the kitchen to investigate, there was a man, Gavin Crim, cooking himself a nice little breakfast.  He was polite … told the owners to go on back to sleep, he’d clean up after himself.

Apparently, conscientious burglars were a bit of a thing in Florida last week: On Monday, a woman in Pensicola returned home to discover a man holding a purple Swiffer mop and attempting to clean up her house.

Shortly after 3:00 a.m., police responded to a call from a woman claiming a strange man was in the house. The woman, who requested anonymity, said she had barricaded herself in a back room.

When officers arrived, they found Tyler Matthew Smith still holding a Swiffer. Apparently Smith, 33, had already swept up glass he broke to get into the home into a dustpan. “It appeared Smith had attempted to clean up the mess,” reads the Pensacola Police Department report.  Okay, well … I guess it pays to be polite if you’re in somebody else’s home, right?


Some pricey sneakers!

What did you pay for your last pair of sneakers?  I’m a frugal person, and it nearly killed me to replace my old ones back in July 2018 … after all, I had only had them for 6 or 7 years, but they were holey and the sole had come loose on one, which meant I was in danger of falling flat on my face.  But, when I found a new pair of Reeboks that I thought would meet my needs, I nearly had heart failure seeing the price tag of $48.19!!!  I think the pair before that cost only around $29!  I mean … it’s shoes, not a new computer!!!  To add insult to injury, I’m not all that happy with them, but … they are going to have to last for the rest of my life at that price!  Anyway …

Sotheby’s auction house and retailer Stadium Goods have paired up in an online auction of … the world’s rarest sneakers!  Now, before you get all excited and think about owning a pair of these gems, check the status of your bank balance, and if it isn’t at least 5 digits, don’t bother.  Take a gander at this one, for example …

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This is the Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoe, a handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, and one of only a few pair in existence.  These are expected to fetch around $160,000 at auction.  Pick your jaws up off the floor now.  Or how about these …shoes-2

They are the Nike SB Dunk Low with artwork by French painter Bernard Buffet.  Um, okay, but if you bought those and paid say even a lowball $50,000 for them, could you really bring yourself to wear them out walking, or even to the grocery store?

Now these …

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… are the once-fictional sneaker worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part 2. Nike released only 26 pairs of the 2016 self-lacing version, the proceeds of which benefited the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Due to the power-lacing feature and extreme rarity, a size 11 pair up for auction is estimated to sell for up to $70,000.  Self-lacing???  Who knew?

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These are more to my liking …

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The “Chanel x Pharrell x Adidas NMD Hu TR – 1-of-1 for Karl Lagerfeld” is said to be one of the most coveted models in the collection.  It was released only at a special Chanel pop-up shop at Colette in Paris in extremely limited quantities, but this shoe is even more special. It features a modified design that replaces “Chanel” across the top of the right shoe with “Karl” and was given exclusively to Karl Lagerfeld as a gift from Pharrell.  Sorry folks, but no, I am definitely not paying $50,000 for a pair of shoes to slog through the mud in!

As I say at least 10 times a week … Some people got more money than sense.


Cheers for Governor Sununu!

Wendy Auger of Rochester, New Hampshire, has had the same vanity license plate for some 15 years now.  It reads “PB4WEGO”.  Suddenly this year, Wendy got a ‘recall letter’ from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, asking her to turn in her plates for new ones.  Why?  Because apparently, after 15 years, somebody figured out what her license plate says and decided they “do not conform to legal requirements”.  Why?  Because the state says phrases related to “excretory acts” aren’t permitted.  Oh for Pete’s Sake!!!  Has the State of New Hampshire nothing better to worry about?PB4WEGO“I’m not a political activist. But this is a non-offensive thing that I’ve had and it’s part of who we are as a family and who I am and there was zero reason for them to take it away.”

Well, Ms. Auger’s story somehow came to the attention of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who rallied to the cause!  According to the governor …

“Upon this being brought to my attention, I reached out to the Division of Motor Vehicles and strongly urged them to allow Wendy to keep the license plate she has had for the last 15 years.  I recently left a message on her phone to share the good news that her plate will not be recalled.”

What a nice governor … don’t you just wish all politicos were like that?


And speaking of license plates …

In Australia, starting this year, drivers can get license plates with emojis!  😄 😉 😎 😍 ☺️ Plates will still need three letters and two numbers, as the emojis will not be included in official registration numbers. However drivers can decorate them with one of five decorative emojis — “laugh out loud,” “wink,” “sunglasses,” “heart eyes” or “smile” — for up to AU$500 ($350).

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I was looking for a few knock-knock jokes to knock you guys out with, but first … I came across this one …

Two country dudes are walking down a dirt path. One man has a big sack over his shoulder. The other man asks what’s in the sack.

The first man says, “I got me some chickens for dinner tonight.”

The other man asks how many chickens are in the sack.

“Well, I’ll tell you,” replies the first guy, “If you can guess how many chickens I got in this here sack, I’ll give them both to you.”

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Or how ‘bout this one …

A blonde goes to the library to get a book. A few days later, she comes back and says to librarian at the counter, “This book was very boring. It had too many characters and too many numbers, so I would like to return it.”

The librarian says to her coworkers, “So here’s the person who took our phone book!”

😁😁😁😁😁

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Spell.

Spell who?

Okay, okay: W. H. O.

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Okay, okay … stop rolling your eyes!!!  🙄


And last, but not least, if it’s Jolly Monday, then there must be a cute animal video somewhere, mustn’t there?  Now … where did I put that … JOLLY!!! Where’s that animal video you found last … oh … yeah … here it is …


jollyWell, folks, it’s that time again … time to put on your workweek smiles and go do things to make other people happy so that they will give you money at the end of the week.  I shall stay here and risk ulcers trolling the news of the day so that I can give YOU ulcers when you return home each night!  Seriously, though, have a wonderful week, and remember to share those gorgeous smiles with others, okay?  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!Maxine

Sunday Afternoon … Humour???

It’s Sunday afternoon, a lazy sort of time when we all try not to think about getting back to the grind tomorrow.  Today is also National Grandparent’s Day, and my girls are taking me to the local ice cream stand this afternoon to celebrate! Sunday is typically a slow news day, for the subject of most news here in the U.S. is on the golf course cheating in order to turn those 25 strokes on a par 4 hole to 3, rather than sitting in the Oval Office tweeting ignorance and vitriol.  So, what better time than to see what the cartoonists have been up to in the past week, yes?


Naturally, the whole incident with Trump using a Sharpie pen to re-draw Hurricane Dorian’s projected path to include Alabama was the subject of much mirth and mockery …

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There are still fools in this world, most of them in the United States, I do believe, who would deny that the effects of the industrial revolution and our current lifestyle have led to a phenomenon we now call ‘climate change’ and that we are within years of destroying our own atmosphere.  As if that weren’t bad enough, the Amazon rainforest that provides 20% of the earth’s oxygen is still burning and far too little is being done to put the fires out.  Sigh.

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So True!

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2019 has been the year for mass shootings in the U.S.  The NRA, though reportedly having its own troubles, is still adding to ours by insisting that more guns is a good thing and … well, what’s a few thousand lives, eh?  Trump, McConnell, and the rest of the republicans who are in the pockets of the gun manufacturers and lobbyists continue to make excuses for their inaction.  And meanwhile, the people of this nation continue to die at an exponentially higher rate than any other nation on earth.

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And finally, a few random ‘toons I stumbled across …

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Enjoy the rest of your Sunday afternoon, friends!

Read The Book!

What book?  Any book, because Friday, my friends, was National Read-a-Book Day!  When I made this discovery on Thursday night, I told daughter Chris not to expect any house chores to be done that day, for Miss Goose and I would be spending the day reading!  The reality, of course, was that we both proceeded to spend our days in much the same manner as always, but I did manage to finish one book and read about 100 pages in another.

I am a multi-book reader, meaning I always have at least two going at any given time, and sometimes as many as seven are works-in-progress and thus stacked on my bed.  I keep trying to limit myself to two at a time – one fiction, one non-fiction.  But then, something catches my eye, and before you know it, I’m hooked on yet another.  My only regret is that there aren’t an additional six hours or so in a day to spend curled up with a book.

I recently read a synopsis of former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ new book, Call Sign Chaos:  Learning to Lead that just came out last Tuesday.  In it, he discusses his lifelong love of reading.  A few of is thoughts on the topic …

“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you. Any commander who claims he is ‘too busy to read’ is going to fill body bags with his troops as he learns the hard way.”

“Reading sheds light on the dark path ahead. By traveling into the past, I enhance my grasp of the present.”

“Living in history builds your own shock absorber, because you’ll learn that there are lots of old solutions to new problems. Strategy is hard, unless you’re a dilettante. You must think until your head hurts.”

“I followed Caesar across Gaul. I marveled at how the plain prose of Grant and Sherman revealed the value of steely determination. … Biographies of … Native American leaders, of wartime political leaders and sergeants, and of strategic thinkers from Sun Tzu to Colin Gray have guided me through tough challenges.”

Smart man.  A former coworker and friend once told me, when I was discussing something I was reading one day, that she hadn’t read a book since high school … at the time, we were both in our late 40s, so that meant she hadn’t read a book in thirty years!  My jaw hit the floor.  I simply cannot imagine it!

A few days ago I came across an article in Mental Floss titled Six Benefits of Reading Every Day.  The six are …

  1. Reading can boost intelligence
  2. Reading helps increase empathy
  3. Reading can lower stress
  4. Reading may change your brain
  5. Reading is an excuse to put your phone away at night
  6. Reading helps families bond

I probably could have thought of a different list, but still … all the above are good enough reason to turn off the television and pick up a book, yes?

And then, there is the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office.  Let’s hear what he says about books and the joy of reading …

  • “I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.” – 2016
  • He said that he does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.” – 2016
  • “I’m a very efficient guy. Now, I could also do it verbally, which is fine. I’d always rather have — I want it short. There’s no reason to do hundreds of pages because I know exactly what it is.”
  • “I just don’t have the time. … I would love to sit down and read a book, but I just don’t have the time anymore.”
  • “Every time I do about half a page, I get a phone call that there’s some emergency, this or that. I don’t get to read very much.” – 2017
  • “I like bullets, or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page.” – 2017

His words speak for themselves, don’t you think?

So, if you missed out on Friday’s National Read-a-Book Day, take a rain check and celebrate properly on Sunday!  I plan to!