A Jolly Pre-Thanksgiving Monday To YOU!

Welcome, dear friends … quick … come in out of the cold, for it is freezing out there!  (Okay, Gronda, Hortie, Don and the rest of you down in Florida … hold your laughter, please!) Did you all have a good weekend?  I did a dumb thing.  I have had to stop driving after dark, for a couple of weeks ago, I could not see the entrance to my street, drove the car up over a sidewalk and into a ditch, so that was the end of my night-driving.  Since I don’t have a car, I have to use daughter Chris’ car after she comes home from work or on weekends.  So, that left me to do the grocery shopping this weekend.  Do you have any idea how many people go to Kroger on the Sunday before Thanksgiving?  NEVER AGAIN!  Anyway, that experience is behind me, and I am now going into winter hibernation, for it was freezing today, and my old bones are still, some 12 hours later, feeling the chill.  So let us settle in with something warm to drink and have a few laughs to start the week out right, shall we?


For some reason, I always tend to associate bagpipes with funerals. A New Zealand man apparently intended to make it necessary to hold a funeral … his own … when he took a notion to drive his car while playing the pipes!

bagpipes“The driver didn’t have their hands on the wheel at the time, and he was clearly playing the instrument while driving the car. His fingers were going a million miles an hour,” Acting Sergeant Bryce Johnson said.  The man denied the charges, claimed he was only playing “air pipes”, and was let off without a fine.  Sergeant Johnson must have been in a good mood, else he had no evidence.

Most people put their children in the bathtub when they are dirty, but one enterprising mom in China may have thought it would be quicker to clean her 10-year-old son in the clothes washing machine.  Long story short, the boy became stuck and it took firefighters nearly half an hour, during which they had to take the washing machine apart, to rescue the boy!


Think twice before you toss your kid into the washer, okay?

And speaking of getting stuck in strange places, this one also took place in China.  This one is really hard to figure, and the story did not elucidate on how, exactly, she got her leg stuck.  Perhaps it is for the better …


What is it with the Chinese and plumbing fixtures?

When I was in junior high school, or what they now call ‘middle school’, there was no such thing as a “Family & Consumer Sciences” class, but times have changed and apparently now there is.  Administrators at Carter G. Woodson Middle School in Hopewell, Virginia, found themselves in a wee bit of hot water last week over a “Family Quiz” worksheet that a teacher downloaded from the internet for her 7th grade class.  It may be that the teacher should have looked more closely at the questions, or the disclaimer that read, “Please remember that this worksheet may not be appropriate to teach to younger students and can be adapted to your own needs.”

Family quizNeedless to say, parents were in a bit of a state, and one parent issued a statement:

“No one in the schools system needs to be teaching my daughter what a mistress is or a trophy wife or boy toy. It’s inappropriate for a school. Period. We send our kids there to learn math, reading, science and history not to learn this other stuff that goes on in the world that they eventually going to learn anyways.”

Hmmm … could be that this mother could benefit from a grammar class refresher? The school district apologized to parents.  No word on whether the teacher, unnamed in the articles I read, remains employed, but if I had to guess ….

job wanted

With Thanksgiving coming in just a few days, the gifting holidays aren’t far behind, so it’s time to be thinking about that special gift for that special someone, right? Well, never fear, for this year Filosofa has taken it upon herself to help you out, take some of the work out of scouring the stores and the internet in search of, so I will, from time to time apprise you of the ‘to die for’ gifts that I find.  And starting with this week …

Is there someone who does embroidery or other forms of crafts using yarn on your list?  This Sterling Silver Yarn Ball is sure to delight them!

Tiffany yarn


This limited-edition piece is one of five handcrafted by Tiffany artisans in New York in 2017. A ball of yarn is reimagined in handspun strands of textured sterling silver, rendering the ordinary extraordinary.

Sterling silver

Available exclusively at Tiffany.com, the New York flagship and select Tiffany stores

The price?  Oh piffle, you know your friend is worth whatever the price.  But really, at $9,000 it’s a steal, don’t you think?

Or how about this … a Sterling Silver Tin Can makes a great pencil holder …


Tiffany artisans transform utilitarian items into handcrafted works of art. Sterling silver and shining vermeil upgrade this classic tin can.

Sterling silver and vermeil with Tiffany Blue® enamel accent

4.5″ high

Instantly recognizable, the signature Tiffany Blue® hue of this design’s enamel accent has been as iconic as the brand itself since its founding in 1837

A true bargain at only $1,000!

And last one for today … a Sterling Silver Paper Plate for only $950!  Now who wouldn’t love this?

Tiffany paper plateDESCRIPTION & DETAILS:

Tiffany artisans transform utilitarian items into handcrafted works of art. Reimagined in sterling silver, this plate is infused with modern wit.

Sterling silver

9.7″ diameter

Available exclusively at Tiffany.com, the New York flagship and select Tiffany stores

All of these are part of Tiffany’s ‘Everyday Collection’ that I just know you’ll want to check out!  Oh, and by the way, engraving is also available, at an extra cost, I imagine.

In my Saturday Surprise feature, I told you about some rather oddish Thanksgiving-themed foods and beverages.  Today I have one that, while not turkey & dressing flavoured, nonetheless qualifies as oddish.  What would you think of Fried Chicken Beer?  I like fried chicken fine, and I like beer okay every once in a blue moon, but the combination … just thinking about it does odd things to my stomach.

Fried chicken beerVirginia’s The Veil Brewing Company teamed up with New York-based Evil Twin Brewing to create Fried Fried Chicken Chicken beer, an IPA-style beer made using trace amounts of fried chicken.

“The idea came to us after eating a significant amount of fried chicken at various establishments in our beautiful city of Richmond,” Veil Brewing said. “We actually put a very small amount of fried chicken in one of two of the mashes (less than .4% of the total weight of the mash contents).”

If any of you decide to give it a try, be sure to stop by and let me know how it tasted … better yet, bring me a sample!

And now, dear friends, I’m sad to say our time together must come to an end.  I shall miss you all, but I’ll see you during the week, and we will all meet back here next Monday and you can tell me all about your Thanksgiving!  I’ve decided to end with a song … one of my favourites, Mack The Knife sung by Bobby Darin.  (Keith … you may remember I mentioned payback?  😉 ).  Have a great week … for my U.S. readers, it will be a short work week.  Keep safe, keep warm, and be happy.  And remember, if I have made you smile even a little bit today, please share that smile as you go about your day.  They grow when you share them, y’know.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!





Saturday Surprise — Thanksgiving!

turkeyNext week brings Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Most of us both in the U.S. and abroad know about the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, that “officially” kicks off the Christmas season, and the turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes and all the rest, topped off by traditional pumpkin pie, followed by football and people falling asleep with their mouths open.  But I thought it would be fun to kick it up a bit … see some of the stranger parts of the holiday … and top it off with a bit of history and a short, funny quiz.

Snoopy Balloon


turkey-gravy-sodaTofurkey & Gravy Soda – If you’re a big soda drinker who loves Thanksgiving dinner, then your wildest dreams have come true. Jones Soda Co., which is famous for its limited-edition holiday concoctions, offers Tofurky & Gravy Soda this season. Based on the vegetarian Thanksgiving meal, the Tofurky flavor is vegan-friendly and sugar-free.

turkey-dinner-layer-cakeTurkey dinner layer cake – The ultimate one-stop Thanksgiving meal. What looks like a cake is actually alternating layers of stuffing and ground turkey mixed with instant oatmeal, “frosted” with mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, and topped with lightly browned mini marshmallows.

pumpkin-pie-fortune-cookiesPumpkin Pie Fortune Cookies – If you’re feeling lucky this Thanksgiving, try these pumpkin pie–flavored fortune cookies from Fancy Fortune Cookies. Made with real pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, the cookies come covered in dark, milk or white chocolate and contain one of five custom fortune cookie messages inside.

turkey-gravy-cranberry-cupcakeTurkey Gravy Cranberry Cupcake – Made by Los Angeles–based Yummy Cupcakes, the treat features a turkey-flavored cake that’s baked with savory turkey gravy, filled with cranberry relish and topped with cranberry cream cheese.

Lays-turkey-potato-chips.jpgLay’s Turkey Potato Chips – This savory chip is only available in China, and according to a contributor at Taquitos.net: “They really do taste like turkey with gravy…It’s like combining the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner, all in one bag.”

roasted-turkey-doritos.jpgRoasted Turkey Doritos – What’s better than roasted turkey? Roasted turkey-flavor Doritos. What’s better than roasted turkey-flavor Doritos? Roasted turkey–flavor Doritos in the shape of a Christmas tree, of course! Though these festive snacks aren’t available in the U.S., you can easily find them in Taiwan.

jelly-beansMashed Potatoes And Gravy Jelly Beans – Part of the unusual Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Jelly Beans Bag, the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy beans are just two unusual flavors in a mix that includes everything from ketchup to sausage.


Thomas JeffersonPresident Thomas Jefferson thought making Thanksgiving a National Holiday was “a ridiculous proposition.” – Thomas Jefferson was not a fan of Thanksgiving. Despite being first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789, Jefferson believed a national day of thanksgiving was not consistent with the principle of separation of church and state and refused to recognize the holiday in any of the eight years in which he was president of the United States.

ben franklinThe Turkey was Ben Franklin’s vote for the national bird. – After the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, it next tasked Benjamin Franklin—along with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson—with designing a seal to represent the new country. Given the opportunity to choose a national symbol, the Founding Father never suggested a turkey.

beerThe night before Thanksgiving is the single biggest day for bar sales in the U.S. – Four reasons:  1) Nearly all Americans have Thanksgiving off; 2) No one wants to entertain the night before hosting a big Thanksgiving meal; 3) Everyone is home for the holidays and wants to see old friends; 4) Thanksgiving dinner is a perfect hangover cure.

The first-ever Macy’s Day Parade actually took place on Christmas of 1924.

Macys 1926 paradeMacy’s employees dressed as clowns, cowboys, and other fun costumes, and traveled with Central Park zoo animals and creative floats a lengthy six miles from Herald Square to Harlem in Manhattan.

The parade was meant to draw attention to the Macy’s store in NYC, and the gimmick worked – more than 250,000 people attended the inaugural Macy’s Day Parade. It was decided that this NYC parade would become an annual NY event in Manhattan.

In 1927, Felix the Cat became the first giant balloon to ever take part in the Macy’s Day Parade. In 1928, Felix was inflated with helium, and without a plan to deflate this massive balloon, NYC parade organizers simply let Felix fly off into the sky. Unfortunately, he popped soon thereafter.


The Macy’s Day Parade continued to let the balloons fly off in subsequent years, only these balloons would have a return address written on them, and whoever found the balloon could return the balloon for a prize from Macy’s. However, the results of this experiment weren’t exactly successful.

Macys 1926 parade

Thanksgiving Trivia Quiz

A successful barley crop enabled the Pilgrims to wash down their Thanksgiving feast with what beverage?

  1. A) 7-Up
  2. B) Beer
  3. C) Bourbon
  4. D) Champagne

What was the name of the Pilgrims’ ship?

  1. A) The Pinta
  2. B) Old Ironsides
  3. C) The Mayflower
  4. D) Titanic

The Pilgrims came to America:

  1. A) For religious freedom
  2. B) To fight the Indians
  3. C) To start a .com company
  4. D) To trade tea for animal furs

And with that, I must be off, for Thursday is Thanksgiving, in case you didn’t know, and we will be sharing ours with our friends & neighbors, Maha, Ali, Tholfaqar, Ibraheem and Yousif.  So … this ol’ Filosofa needs to get to the grocery and buy ingredients, plan a menu, and take down the Hallowe’en decorations before Miss Goose nags me to death.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!

Wit and Wisdom

First thing this morning I came across a gem from one of my favourite New York Times writers, Nicholas Kristof, and while I very rarely share more than a paragraph or two from another source, this one was just too good to pass up!  I am always a fan of sardonic, tongue-in-cheek humour and this fits that bill perfectly. Read on …


Billionaires Desperately Need Our Help!

It is so hard to be a billionaire these days!

A new yacht can cost $300 million. And you wouldn’t believe what a pastry chef earns — and if you hire just one, to work weekdays, how can you possibly survive on weekends?

The investment income on, say, a $4 billion fortune is a mere $1 million a day, which makes it tough to scrounge by with today’s rising prices. Why, some wealthy folks don’t even have a home in the Caribbean and on vacation are stuck brooding in hotel suites: They’re practically homeless!

Fortunately, President Trump and the Republicans are coming along with some desperately needed tax relief for billionaires.

Thank God for this lifeline to struggling tycoons. And it’s carefully crafted to focus the benefits on the truly deserving — the affluent who earn their tax breaks with savvy investments in politicians.

For example, eliminating the estate tax would help the roughly 5,500 Americans who now owe this tax each year, one-fifth of 1 percent of all Americans who die annually. Ending the tax would help upstanding people like the Trumps who owe their financial success to brilliant life choices, such as picking the uterus in which they were conceived.

Now it’s fair to complain that the tax plan over all doesn’t give needy billionaires quite as much as they deserve. For example, the top 1 percent receive only a bit more than 25 percent of the total tax cuts in the Senate bill, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Really? Only 25 times their share of the population? After all those dreary $5,000-a-plate dinners supporting politicians? If politicians had any guts, they’d just slash services for low-income families so as to finance tax breaks for billionaires.

Oh, wait, that’s exactly what’s happening!

Trump understands, for example, that health insurance isn’t all that important for the riffraff. So he and the Senate G.O.P. have again targeted Obamacare, this time by trying to repeal the insurance mandate. The Congressional Budget Office says this will result in 13 million fewer people having health insurance.

But what’s the big deal? The United States already has an infant mortality rate twice that of Austria and South Korea. American women are already five times as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as women in Britain. So who’ll notice if things get a bit worse?

Perhaps that sounds harsh. But the blunt reality is that we risk soul-sucking dependency if we’re always setting kids’ broken arms. Maybe that’s why congressional Republicans haven’t bothered to renew funding for CHIP, the child health insurance program serving almost nine million American kids. Ditto for the maternal and home visiting programs that are the gold standard for breaking cycles of poverty and that also haven’t been renewed. We mustn’t coddle American toddlers.

Hey, if American infants really want health care, they’ll pick themselves up by their bootee straps and Uber over to an emergency room.

Congressional Republicans understand that we can’t do everything for everybody. We have to make hard choices. Congress understands that kids are resilient and can look after themselves, so we must focus on the most urgent needs, such as those of hand-to-mouth billionaires.

In fairness, Congress has historically understood this mission. The tax code subsidizes moguls with private jets while the carried interest tax break gives a huge tax discount to striving private equity zillionaires. Meanwhile, a $13 billion annual subsidy for corporate meals and entertainment gives ditch diggers the satisfaction of buying Champagne for financiers.

Our political leaders are so understanding because we appear to have the wealthiest Congress we’ve ever had, with a majority of members now millionaires, so they understand the importance of cutting health insurance for the poor to show support for the crème de la crème.

Granted, the G.O.P. tax plan will add to the deficit, forcing additional borrowing. But if the tax cut passes, automatic “pay as you go” rules may helpfully cut $25 billion from Medicare spending next year, thus saving money on elderly people who are practically dead anyway. If poor kids have to suffer, we may as well make poor seniors suffer as well. That’s called a balanced policy.

More broadly, you have to look at the reason for deficits. Yes, it’s problematic to borrow to pay for, say, higher education or cancer screenings. But what’s the problem with borrowing $1.5 trillion to invest in urgent tax relief for billionaires?

Anyway, at some point down the road we’ll find a way to pay back the debt by cutting a wasteful program for runny-nose kids who aren’t smart enough to hire lobbyists. There must be some kids’ program that still isn’t on the chopping block.

The tax bill underscores a political truth: There’s nothing wrong with redistribution when it’s done right.

A Jolly Smiley Sort of Monday …

Welcome my friends to our weekly Jolly Monday!  How have you been and how was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun and exciting?  I had a nice weekend, though I cannot claim there was anything out of the ordinary about it, but that’s fine by me, for I am not much into adventuring these days. Since you all have a busy week ahead of you, let us try to begin it with a bit of humour, shall we?  Grab a cup of coffee and sit back … no, Joe, please leave your shoes on …

not me dressLadies … personally I am not into dresses much these days … in fact, I cannot remember the last time I wore one … probably Katie & Kyle’s wedding back in … was it 1997 or 1998?  Anyway, some do still wear dresses, and here is one you won’t believe …


Created by luxury Italian fashion house Moschino, it is drawing attention for its unusual design — based on plastic wrap from a dry cleaner. Yes indeed, folks, now you can look just like you forgot to take your dress out of the wrapper from the cleaners!  Bet you cannot wait to pick up one of these gems, right? Well, you can find it on fashion website Browns  for a mere $895! 

And, since you are probably wondering if you have a pair of shoes that will complement it, here is what they recommend …



The “Off-White For Walking” pumps (never could figure out why high-heeled shoes were called pumps) for only another $850!  Remember, the holidays are coming and with these two additions to your wardrobe, you will be all set for those holiday parties!  And if any of my readers go buy this ensemble, please come back and let me know, for I have a bridge I’m thinking of selling in Brooklyn that you just might be interested in!

Sometimes I leave things behind.  Once I left my wallet atop my car and drove off.  I have heard of people leaving such things as their glasses, car keys, wallet, and even their child behind (though I think that last may have been intentional).  But in Portland, Maine, last week on election day, a voter left something rather unusual in the voting booth …

teethYep, somebody left behind their dentures and the Portland City Clerk’s office has been trying to find the owner, but to no avail.  Anyone who knows the identity of the now-toothless voter is being asked to call the City Clerk’s office so the chompers can be returned to their owner’s mouth.

I’m still trying to picture the circumstances under which a person takes their teeth out and sets them down in a voting booth!  Think germs, people!

I’m not a huge fan of pranksters putting substances in city fountains, for the fountain then has to be cleaned, at taxpayer expense, of course.  But I have to admit, this one was rather pretty …


Lincoln Center fountain, New York City

The fountain was shut down for cleaning, the police were called and are looking for the prankster, and on Twitter, one user said, “I just hope that’s Mountain Dew”.  No comment.

And speaking of the colour yellow … you know those golden arches?  Guess what one of McDonald’s biggest problems is?  No, not stale buns.  No, not dried up meat patties.  It is keeping the ice cream machines working.  Now, it’s been so long since I’ve been in a McDonalds that I was not even aware they had ice cream machines, but apparently they do, and apparently they break down often enough that it is a huge pain for their customers.  Well never fear, for there’s an app for that!!!

McDonalds appNo, no joke!  If you are heading to McDonalds, you can now use their handy dandy app to find out if their ice cream machine is in order, and if it isn’t, you can find the nearest McDonalds that does have a functioning ice cream machine!  Now isn’t that special.  Technology with purpose (sarcasm intended).

In Paris, Tennessee, on 31 October 2017, a baby was born … a baby who will be traumatized for the entirety of her life, only in part because her parents gave her the name “Oaklyn”, but mostly because the first face she saw on entering this world was this …

Joker-docBrittany Selph went into labour on Hallowe’en night, the doctor was all set to give out candy to the munchkins out for Trick or Treat, and was in full costume when he delivered tiny Oaklyn.  Can you imagine popping out to see that face?

The article said Dr. Paul Locus was dressed as The Joker from 2008 film The Dark Knight … I thought the Joker character was from Batman … did I miss something?

Okay, folks, we started with a dress that looks like a dry cleaners’ bag, and now let’s conclude with dresses made of …. Chocolate!

The Salon du Chocolat in Paris — a convention featuring hundreds of chocolatiers from around the world — kicked off October 27, 2017, with a fashion show. Models wore dresses made of chocolate.  Now, I have some questions, the first one being how do they keep the chocolate from melting on the model under the heat of the runway lights?


A Pinecone Butt on a Chocolate Dress?  NO … Just … No.

And how does one go about cleaning the dresses? I don’t know for certain, as there wasn’t much information available, but I don’t believe these dresses are for sale, and just as well … who wants to go out and have people tearing off bits of your clothing to eat?

And with that, my dear friends, I’m sad to say but it is time for us all to begin yet another week and try to be productive.  I’ve enjoyed our time together and hope you have too. Remember, my U.S. friends, in just under two weeks you will have a four-day weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday.  A holiday, I might add, that has snuck up on me and I was blissfully thinking it was still way off in the distance until a few days ago when Maha said, “Juju … I pay for turkey this year.  I pay, you cook!”, and I looked at her as if she had two heads and said, “Turkey?  What turkey?”  Sigh … I am not ready to begin this mad rush toward the mayhem of the holiday season, but alas, nobody asked me.  Anyway, have a wonderful week and folks … remember to share those smiles, for a lot of people are a bit down right now and a smile can make all the difference in the world.  I put a basket of them at the door, so take a few on your way out.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!



I have said the same quite often …

Saturday Surprise — A Step Back In Time

Welcome to Saturday Surprise!  Today, I would like to travel back in time … about 48 years, to be exact, to 1969.  Remember what you were doing on this day in 1969?  Of course you do, right?  The only thing I can say for sure is that I was a lot younger then. Heck, I cannot remember what I was doing five minutes ago, let alone 48 years!  But come along with me for just a few minutes …

Pull up a chair and turn on the television … it’s time for …

On this day in 1969, “Sesame Street,” a pioneering TV show that would teach generations of young children the alphabet and how to count, makes its broadcast debut. “Sesame Street,” with its memorable theme song (“Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street”), went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. It has aired in more than 120 countries.

The show was the brainchild of Joan Ganz Cooney, a former documentary producer for public television. Cooney’s goal was to create programming for preschoolers that was both entertaining and educational. She also wanted to use TV as a way to help underprivileged 3- to 5- year-olds prepare for kindergarten. “Sesame Street” was set in a fictional New York neighborhood and included ethnically diverse characters and positive social messages.

Taking a cue from “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” a popular 1960s variety show, “Sesame Street” was built around short, often funny segments featuring puppets, animation and live actors. This format was hugely successful, although over the years some critics have blamed the show and its use of brief segments for shrinking children’s attention spans.

From the show’s inception, one of its most-loved aspects has been a family of puppets known as Muppets. Joan Ganz Cooney hired puppeteer Jim Henson (1936-1990) to create a cast of characters that became Sesame Street institutions, including Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Grover and Big Bird.

The subjects tackled by “Sesame Street” have evolved with the times. In 2002, the South African version of the program, “Takalani Sesame,” introduced a 5-year-old Muppet character named Kami who is HIV-positive, in order to help children living with the stigma of a disease that has reached epidemic proportions. In 2006, a new Muppet, Abby Cadabby, made her debut and was positioned as the show’s first female star character, in an effort to encourage diversity and provide a strong role model for girls.

Since its inception, over 74 million Americans have watched “Sesame Street.” Today, an estimated 8 million people tune in to the show each week in the U.S. alone.

History.com, 2009, Sesame Street debuts, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/sesame-street-debuts, November 10, 2017, A+E Networks

A trip down memory lane is always fun, isn’t it?  Ahhhh … the good ol’ days.  Who was your favourite character?  I think Kermit was mine, though I loved them all!  I had so much fun with this one … I spent literally hours watching YouTube clips!  How about a bit of trivia about the show …

  • The show was almost called 123 Avenue B, but it was changed due to the fact that it was a real New York City address.
  • Cookie Monster predates the show by 3 years. Jim Henson originally designed an early version of the character in 1966, for a cracker commercial.
  • In 2004, Cookie Monster revealed that, before trying cookies for the first time, his name was Sid.
  • Big Bird is 8’2″ tall.
  • Big Bird’s teddy bear is named “Radar” after the character from M*A*S*H (1972) who always slept with a teddy bear.
  • As of 2005, this program has won over 100 Emmy Awards, the single-most awarded to any television show in the United States.
  • Don Music, the piano player who would bang his head against the piano in frustration, was discontinued when kids at home started doing the same thing.
  • The Count’s birthday is October 9, 1,830,653 B.C.

I hope you enjoyed this Saturday Surprise, brought to you by the letter “S”.  Have a great weekend, everyone … love and hugs to all!

No-Shave November? Who Knew???

This morning I needed to speak to my neighbors, Maha & Ali about a financial matter, as I help them with matters like taxes and insurance that even native speakers of English struggle with.  When I knocked on their door, Ali answered and looked as if he hadn’t shaved in a week.  I said, “Ali … need shave!”, as I pointed to his beard and made shaving-like gestures at my own chin.  He laughed and tried to explain, but I was left confused and soon moved on to other matters.  Later this morning I mentioned it to Miss Goose, who was able to enlighten me … apparently November is the month for not shaving, known as ‘No-Shave November’.  Who knew?

A bit of research …

No-Shave November is a web-based, non-profit organization devoted to growing cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research, and education.

No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. Learn more about how you can get involved and start getting hairy!

The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle No Shave November website .

Now, I can happily forgo the shaving of the legs until next month, but … um … the grooming?  Not so much.  I mean, if they are asking us to give up bathing, tooth-brushing, hair-combing, etc., then I have a tiny problem, but I don’t think that is the goal, for most people have jobs and … I think most employers would be frowning and wearing a clothes pin on their nose by now.

No-shave-1In Slidell, Louisiana, the police are joining in the challenge. “I challenge all the guys not to shave,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said. “I think it’s an awesome opportunity to actually get out there to show our support for men’s health,” Officer Jeremy Brown said, “and also it gives us an opportunity for a little morale boost around the department to get a chance to grow a beard, save some money on some razors.”

No Shave November started after a father in Chicago passed away from colon cancer. His 8 sons and daughters started this campaign in 2009 in honor of their father. Over 6 years this became a popular thing to do among many throughout the country.

While this seems rather a fun way to raise money for a worthy cause, I suspect there are other venues that are more effective as a charity, but heck … if you decide to go for it, be sure to send me before & after pictures.  Maybe at the end of November I’ll post all of them!

🍂 Jolly 🍂 November 🍂 Monday 🍂

Good Monday Morn, my dear friends, and welcome!

Did everybody (in the U.S.) remember to change your clocks back Saturday night?  I did not, and was confused and confounded all day long yesterday, but then that is not exactly abnormal … no, folks, don’t even think about a snarky remark here!  Autumn is here … I know this because one night I had to turn the air-conditioning off and the heat on … all at once.  But, the trees are all in full autumn colour, the leaves just beginning to fall en masse, and the stores already have their Christmas decorations out.  I hope you all had a great weekend and now what better way to start a new week than with a bit of humour, a few chuckles, and many smiles to carry us forth into the unknown.  So, grab a cup of coffee and a donut (or two) and sit back ready to turn the corners of your mouths up!

Welcome back, Steve … donuts especially for you!

Finger-lickin’ good  🍗 🍗 🍗 …

kfc-bath-bombsKFC … Kentucky Fried Chicken … good ol’ Colonel Sanders … has launched a new product, but you won’t want to eat it.  You might wish to bathe in it, however, for it is ‘drumstick bath bombs’, that will leave you smelling just like fried chicken!

Novelty retailer Village Vanguard has worked with KFC to manufacture the oddity. Apparently, it really does smell like KFC’s famous recipe, a homage to the delicacy. The company has launched the quirky bath bomb in Japan as a limited edition. Just 100 lucky winners will get to enjoy it. Still, it’s quite interesting. How on earth do you get a bath bomb to smell like fried chicken? People around the world are excited.

kfc-bath-bomb-2One Twitter user said: “Be thankful you exist at the same time as KFC bath bombs.” Another said: “Might quit my job and sell homemade KFC bath-bombs on Etsy”. Not everyone appears all that keen, however. One Twitter user said: “Somebody out there wants to smell like a bucket of chicken? Really?”  I have to agree with that last one.

Now, what I am trying to imagine is coming downstairs after a nice KFC-scented bath, and how I would be greeted by the Significant Seven!  I suspect I would look something like this …

cat fight

No kiwi fruit sold to minors …

It has been a long time since anybody asked me to show identification in a restaurant, bar or store.  A verrrrrry long time, in fact, since I was last ‘carded’.  But the only things I have ever needed to show ID for were alcohol or tobacco products, never kiwi!  That’s right … you heard me correctly ,,, kiwi … the little brownish on the outside, green on the inside fruit pictured below …

kiwiIn the UK’s ASDA supermarket in Manchester, one must show ID in order to prove they are at least 25 years of age before they are allowed to purchase this cute li’l fruit.  Why, you ask? According to The Independent …

“… the move was designed to protect singer Harry Styles at his gig at the city’s 02 arena.”

Apparently Mr. Styles was pelted with the fruit as he sang a song titled Kiwi at Hammersmith Apollo in London recently.  Then to add insult to injury, the fruit goop made for a slippery stage and Mr. Styles slipped and fell.


Harry Styles

“We know our customers love Harry Styles and we feel it’s our duty to protect a fellow Mancunian from any ‘bad kiwis’ amongst us. We’d hate to see a repeat of the mishap this evening, so to avoid any slippery situations, we feel this is a necessary measure.”

It seemed to me a measure destined to fail, as there are surely other supermarkets if someone wants to get their hands on a kiwi badly enough, and I was right, as the same thing happened again last Thursday.  But now I have this picture of a young teen standing outside the supermarket, and as an adult enters …

“Psssst … mister … over here.  I’ll give you £1 if you’ll buy me some kiwi.”

street kid

It’s the great pumpkin  🎃  …

Hallowe’en may be over, but pumpkins are still in vogue, at least until after Thanksgiving.  In fact, I still have one sitting on my front stoop that I have plans for:  scoop the innards, clean and roast the seeds, and let the cat, predictably the one named Orange, eat a bit of the scooped goop, for he loves it.  So I decided that it isn’t too late for this story about competitive giant pumpkin-growing.

It didn’t set a world record, but the winner of the 44th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California, was the heaviest pumpkin in the history of the competition. A forklift hoisted the giant pumpkin onto a scale last week in downtown Half Moon Bay, near San Francisco. It registered 2,363 pounds, making it the seventh win for grower Joel Holland of Sumner, Washington.


Joel Holland’s 2,363 pound winning pumpkin

Holland took home $16,541, or $7 per pound, for his gigantic gourd. But the coveted title of world-record holder eluded him. That honor goes to Mathias Willemijns of Belgium, whose 2016 European champion weighed a whopping 2,624 pounds.

pumpkin-2Hmmmm … Miss Goose and I grew some pumpkins a few years ago (see below) … perhaps we should try our hand again!

tiny pumpkins

A galloping DUI …

In Polk County, Florida, the Sheriff’s department received numerous calls from motorists reporting a drunk driver.  Soon thereafter, deputies arrested 53-year-old Donna Byrne and charged her with driving under the influence (DUI).  Now you are saying to yourself, “so what?” Well, I bet you’re wondering what sort of vehicle Ms. Byrne was driving, aren’t you?  Awwww, c’mon guys … play along here … ask me the question.  AHA … I knew it … I knew Gronda would ask, if only to get me to hurry along here.  She was driving … a HORSE!  That’s right … she was riding her horse right down a busy highway.

horse in duiWhen police arrested her, her blood-alcohol was more than twice the legal limit in Florida; the horse’s, however, was normal. In addition to the DUI, she was also charged with animal neglect for endangering and failing to provide proper protection for the horse. Turns out Ms. Byrne is not a first-time offender, but has been arrested on five felony charges and 10 misdemeanor charges, including animal cruelty and drug possession.  Poor horse!

DUI Horse

Donna Byrne

On playing with food …

Who says it isn’t okay to play with your food?  This Vienna, Austria based orchestra plays solely with instruments made from vegetables!  I scoffed when I first saw the story, but once I listened to them … well, they are pretty darned good!  Take a look …

And now, friends, it is time for my nap … er … household chores! And time for you all to go earn a living or, if you’re retired like some of us, go write a book, listen to some good music, read or … nap. I’ve enjoyed our time together, as I always do on Monday mornings, and I hope you leave with a smile. Remember to share that smile, for we could all use one these days, yes? Keep safe and I wish you all a happy week! Love and hugs from Filosofa!

Jolly Hallowe’en Eve Monday!

Welcome, friends … take off your coats, hats, scarves and gloves and come over here by the fire.  A chilling start this Monday morning, don’t you think?  But never mind … we shall make it a Jolly Monday nonetheless by finding some humour, some things to laugh and smile about, yes?  How was your weekend?  Mine was far busier and more angst-producing than I like, so I am happy to return to the routine of a ‘normal’ week, whatever that is.  Grab a cup of coffee and a bite o’ breakfast … my friend Steve was none too happy about my offering of fruit last week and he let me know about it, so … sigh … back to the lovely, gooey carbs …

Julie Ann Upright is none too upright …

54-year-old Julie Ann Upright was diligently working Sunday, stealing cement pavers from a home in Port Richey, Florida. Cement pavers are very heavy, yet she managed to get 42 of them in her car before driving off.



The homeowner later told detectives that he caught her in the act while doing a remodeling project. The blocks were about 4 feet from the roadway, and being that close they were just irresistible to the Florida woman. Pasco County is still under a state of emergency under chapter 252 after Irma, so there’s still plenty more home improvement stuff to steal.

Deputies caught up with Julie and took her to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center. She told the cops it was all a misunderstanding, and that she “thought the blocks were just trash.”

Julie Ann Upright started feeling more like Julie Ann Hunched Over after all that exertion… Following the modern trend of blaming who’s not to blame, she threatened to sue the homeowner because she hurt her back while loading all those heavy blocks into her car.

They should have stuck with pumpkin pie and caramel apples …

Two stories caught my eye, tales of strange foods concocted for the Hallowe’en season …

First, Starbucks has unveiled the Zombie Frappuccino at its stores throughout the United States and Canada.

What is it? “The Zombie Frappuccino blended beverage has a ghastly green body made with frappuccino crème infused with flavors of tart apple and caramel and topped with pink whipped cream ‘brains’ and red mocha drizzle,” according to the Starbucks website.

Zombie frappaccinoStarbucks has celebrated Halloween since 2014, starting with the Franken Frappuccino blended beverage, followed by the Frappula Frappuccino in 2015 and 2016.

Then, an Australian fast-food joint called Huxtaburger outdid itself with the Bugstaburger, that will be sold only on Hallowe’en day.

bugstaburgerNow, I thought that surely they were not using real insects … I mean, aren’t there rules against that sort of thing?  But it turns out this ‘masterpiece’ is stacked full of edible mealworms and ant mayonnaise, atop a regular beef patty, cheese, etc., all sitting in a bright blue bun. I do hope my Aussie friends, Ian and Andrea, are not planning to try one of these, but if they do, it’ll cost them A$10.50, or $8.10 USD.  A bit pricey for … bugs.  Blech.

Sluuuuuuuuuuuuuuurp …

ramen-noodles.jpg How do you guys feel about ramen noodles?  We eat a lot of them in my house … they’re cheap, quick & easy, taste pretty good, and cost about 20 cents per pack, so we eat a lot of them!  Now, my girls eat them with chopsticks, but I rather like the noodles actually making it into my mouth rather than slithering down the front of my shirt, so I crunch them up before cooking, then eat them with a spoon, like soup.  Anyway, when eaten with chopsticks, one tends to make slurping sounds.  Now there is a solution for offsetting those slurping sounds … a noise-canceling ramen fork!

ramen forkHow does it work, you ask?  Well … a microphone embedded inside the large, white fork detects the sound of slurping, prompting the user’s smartphone to play a sound effect using near-field communication.

And how much does it cost, you ask?  Sit down … $130.  Yes, folks, for only one hundred and thirty dollars you, too, can eat your noodles without the embarrassment of slurping!  But hurry … pre-orders are being taken only until December 15th!  As for me, I’ll just stick with my spoon.


Check those Amazon packages closely …

A Florida couple ordered some plastic totes from Amazon … you know, those things that you store your Christmas decorations and summer clothes in?  But when the totes arrived, the couple thought they seemed a bit heavier than they expected.  Well, imagine their surprise when they opened them and found what turned out to be 65 pounds of marijuana in them!  Hundreds of orders from Amazon over the past 15 years or so, and all I’ve ever gotten is toilet paper, Tide, etc.  Sigh.

The funniest part, though, was that they tried for over a month to find out from Amazon just how this had happened, but never could get through to a supervisor or manager to get answers.  Eventually, Amazon sent them an email with a gift card for $150 and a message that said, “I am unable to do anything else at this time.”

Politically incorrect?  or … When you gotta go, you gotta go …

A friend told me about this one last week, and I just had to see for myself.  Turns out French President Emmanuel Macron’s dog upstaged an on-camera meeting at Elysee palace by peeing on the fireplace!  Check out this short (18 seconds) video …

And because tomorrow is Hallowe’en, I thought a few funny jokes appropriate to the holiday would be in order …

Q: Why did the ghost go into the bar?

A: For the Boos.

Q: Why couldn’t the skeleton cross the road?

A: He had no guts.

Q: What’s a vampire’s favorite drink?

A: Bloodveiser (or Blood Light)

Q: What do you get when you mix Frosty the Snowman with a vampire?

A: Frost bite.

Alright, alright … stop throwin’ the tomatoes … so, they’re corny, but isn’t that pretty much what Hallowe’en is about?  Candy corny?  OW!!! 

candy corn

Candy Corny

Well, folks … that about wraps up another Monday … I have to go wash this tomato juice off before the moggies come after me!  I hope you’ve enjoyed our time together … I know I have.  Be careful tomorrow night, there will be little creatures in the streets, so slow down and watch out for them, okay?  Have a safe and fun Hallowe’en, have a wonderful week, and as always … please share those smiles … as one who could use a few myself this week, I know how important it is, and you’ll feel happier too!

Saturday Surprise on Thursday — Hitchhiking & A Horse Named Lady

Note to readers:  I am annoyingly unmotivated to write today.  I have several in-depth pieces started, but I find that I am simply not in the mood to research and write, so … I had this piece that I wrote a while back for a Saturday Surprise, but then I didn’t use it, as I thought it might not be very interesting.  However, I decided to post this for my afternoon post, and hopefully by tomorrow my muse will return and I will be able to come up out of the rabbit hole and jump back into the fray!

When I first asked for ideas for my Saturday Surprise feature, one suggestion came from Erika over at Dorky Mom Doodles.  She said she would like to see me write about some of the experiences in my life that have contributed to my being who I am today.  Personally, I doubt that my life or experiences are all that interesting, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

During my eighth year, my parents bought a restaurant out in the country.  My father had risen through the ranks in the food and beverage industry, had become director of food and beverage for a major hotel chain, and thought he would like to be his own boss.  So, they purchased an old farmhouse that had been converted into a restaurant, but had been defunct for several years and would require much work to bring it back to a serviceable state.  Every weekend, they toted me and my stack of books out there, stuck me in a back room, and they spent the weekend cleaning, sanding, painting, etc.

Mostly I was content with my books, but it was summer and I really wanted to be outside, so I took to sitting under a tree, reading and daydreaming.  One day I thought I would go for a bit of a walk in the fields behind the restaurant.  The day was warm, probably even hot, but 8-year-old kids are not bothered by heat.  I walked a bit, then saw in the distance … a horse!  I walked toward the horse, and as I got closer, I realized there was a girl with the horse.  She was very old … all of 13, I would soon discover.  Her name was Francis … I do not know or remember her last name, for last names are not important to little kids.

Francis had short, dark, curly hair and the friendliest smile I had ever seen.  She told me that the horse’s name was Lady and asked if I would like a ride.  Sure, but … where is her saddle.  I was told that she wore no saddle because she was pregnant.  “You do know what ‘pregnant’ is, don’t you?”  I did, but I thought it only happened to humans, not animals.  Remember here, I was only 8.  So I asked if she was sure it was okay for me to ride Lady, given that she was pregnant and all.  “Heck, you’re scrawny enough she won’t even know you’re there.”  And so, with quite a bit of help from my new-found friend, I was eventually ensconced upon Lady’s back, and Francis took the reins and walked us to her farm, some distance away.  Months later, after her foal was born, Lady would throw me and break my collarbone, but that day she was docile and I had a great ride.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with Francis and her family at their farm, was invited to stay for supper, which I did, and finally Francis’ father asked if I ought to be getting home.  I really did not want to, but at the same time, I thought perhaps I should.  So, I said my ‘good-byes’ and headed out.  Only problem was, I didn’t know where I was and I didn’t know how to get back to where I needed to be.  Now, I was always an independent kid, who figured things out – right or wrong, usually wrong – on her own, so I just started walking on down the road, and decided hitchhiking was probably the best idea.  So, I stuck my thumb out and kept walking, not having the faintest idea if I was walking in the right direction or not, but … all roads lead to somewhere, right?

Now, in this, the 21st century, you are probably asking if my parents hadn’t already frantically called the cops and there was a county-wide search underway.  But … this was the 1950s … and my parents were otherwise occupied and, as it happened, had not yet noticed my absence.  The rest of the story is fairly mundane … Francis’ father asked her how I was getting home and where I belonged, to which she replied that I was hitchhiking and she did not know where I belonged.  So, pretty soon, along came an old, dented pick-up truck with Francis and her father inside.  They took me to the field where I had first met up with Francis and Lady, from whence I could see the lights of my parents’ restaurant-to-be.  Apart from a sound thrashing once they realized I had been gone for some 8 hours or so, I was none the worse for the wear.

Throughout the summer, Francis and I became friends, meeting several times a week, and I became a fixture, with my parents’ knowledge and permission, at their farmhouse.  Summer ended, my father’s restaurant failed after just a few weeks, and I never saw Francis again.  But I can still see her in my mind.

Three things came from that adventure. I never hitchhiked again.  I developed a life-long love of horses.  And most importantly, it was my first connection with people who were genuinely good, treated others well and fairly, for no other reason than because they believed it was the right thing to do.

And now that I have bored you to tears with this bit of trivia from my past, I shall return you to your regularly scheduled programming.  Have a great day and smile, okay?