Knock Knock … Who’s There … Jolly Monday!

bunny knocks

Knock  knock

Who’s there?

Car go

Car go who?

No, car go ‘beep beep’toy car

And now you see my mood this morning.  I’m sleepy and {yawn} cannot be held accountable for serious thoughts or actions {yawwwwwwnnn}.  But it is that day again … already … isn’t it?  What happened to the rest of the weekend?  Well, come on in … make yourselves {yawnnnn} comfortable and let me go put the coffee on … be right back.foot-tapping

Knock knock

Who’s there?

Cows go

Cows go who?

No, silly … cows go beep beep MOO

Okay … I managed to scrounge up some coffee and leftover scones … sorry rawgod, no tea today.  Now where {yawwwwwnnnnn} was I?  Oh yes … you want humour to start your week work, right?  Okay … one or two doses of humour coming right up!

 


Flying Potties …

Daughter Chris was at band competition last weekend, and after they set up their band tent, it stormed during the night on Friday and demolished their tent!  Pretty windy, but not, I think, as windy as it was in Commerce City, Colorado where port-a-potties could be seen flying through the air! At first, the skies were blue, the sun shining, people enjoying a day in the park with their children, then all of a sudden … along came the wind!  Take a look …

Congratulations, by the way, to Chris’ band, the Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes and Drums, for taking 1st place in their grade!!!  Proud of you guys!!!


Cheesy Dad …

It’s too late now, for Father’s Day is over, but keep it in mind for next year.  Kraft (yeah, the cheese people) held an auction on eBay.  The auction gave the top five bidders the opportunity to submit photos of their dads to be transformed into cheese sculptures “by bona fide cheese artists, who just so happen to be at the top of their game in the high-stakes world of professional cheese sculpting.”cheese-headThe auction’s description explains the traditional correlation between fatherhood and cheese:

“Odds are, at one point or another, your dad has exhibited cheesy behavior, i.e., cheesy jokes/cheesy shirts/cheesy music/any combination thereof. Your old man’s cheesy greatness should be celebrated. Which is why we’re offering to commemorate your dad with a big ol’ block of Kraft cheese sculpted into his likeness.”

Darn!  I wish I had known about this ahead of time, for I would have contacted a certain friend of mine and gone halves with her on the bidding 😉 😉.

All proceeds from the auction are being donated to Feeding America, “the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.”

The company included some disclaimers in the auction description:

“* Sculptures may vary by artist and their muse. (Your dad’s a muse!)

* Some men are chiseled from marble, but your dad will be sculpted from cheese – cheese that, like your dad, is not meant to be consumed.

* PLEASE DO NOT EAT.

* Seriously, don’t eat it.”

No word yet on who the winners were.


And Speaking of Red Pandas …

Yes, yes, I know we weren’t speaking of red pandas, but I came across this most adorable video of red pandas playing in the snow, and I just had to share it!


On Pizza and Potholes …

For some time now, there has been debate in our government about infrastructure projects, and meanwhile, while the debate continues, nothing is getting done.  I have a pothole right in front of my home that could swallow a small person.  Anyway, one company decided to take matters into its own hands.  Domino’s Pizza claimed that those potholes were causing the ruination of their delivery pizzas, so last week the company announced that they are partnering with U.S. cities to fill potholes and stamp them with the company’s logo to avoid letting “bad potholes ruin good pizza.”  I might debate the use of the words “good pizza” and Domino’s in the same sentence, but … Dominos potholes“Potholes, cracks and bumps in the road can cause irreversible damage to your pizza during the drive home from Domino’s.”Dominos potholes-2.jpg


Salad Emergency …

Last Tuesday, a 12-year-old child in Nova Scotia, Canada, called 911 … not once, but twice!  The emergency?  Salad.  The child contacted police via the emergency number to report that his parent had served him salad that he did not care for.   Then he called back a few minutes later to ask how much longer before help would arrive!  Now, I’m laughing, but the Halifax District Royal Canadian Mounted Police were less amused.  The RCMP did, however, go to the home and used the visit for an opportunity to have a discussion with the child regarding the proper use of 911.

 


Knock knock

Who’s there?

Europe

Europe who

No, you’re a poo!


A new world record was broken last week in Ireland.  The Strip and Dip, an annual event at Magheramore beach in County Wicklow, broke a Guinness World Record on Saturday when 2,505 women shed their clothes and spent at least 5 minutes in the chilly water.  Now personally this has no appeal to me.  I don’t like being without clothes, and I darn sure don’t like being cold.  But … well … hats off, I suppose to those brave 2,505 women who did do it!skinnydipSaid one of the participants …

“Myself and my lovely sister did the dip for the first time yesterday. I felt so honoured and proud to be among such beautiful, courageous, inspirational women. I am still buzzing today, the positive energy and vibes as we all walked down to the beach was emotional and fantastic. So proud to have been a part of it. Definitely back next year. Aren’t women just amazing.” ‎– Michelle Neary‎, participant.


What time did the man go to the dentist? Tooth hurt-y. 

Okay, folks, as you can see, I’m not quite at myself today, so I will go dig up some funny cartoons before one of you smacks me upside the head for the bad jokes I cannot seem to stop saying.  Keep safe and have a great week.  Be sure to share  some smiles and hugs this week, okay?  Love and hugs from Filosofa.

 

Saturday Surprise — Potato Chips!!!

Happy Saturday, Friends!!!  I hope you all have plans to get outside and do something fun this weekend.  It is gorgeous here, with temps in the 80s, though I hear they are supposed to start climbing later today.  Hugh … did your mountain of snow finally melt?  Daughter Chris is in Chicago this weekend for a Pipes & Drums band competition, so it’s just me and Miss Goose.  We lead a very quiet life when the chatterbox is gone!  Goose works on her art, I work on my writing, and we set our phones for an alarm every two hours so we remember to have a brief conversation – it usually consists of “Hi … I love you … are you hungry yet?”  “Hi … I love you back … no, but are you?”  “Nope … talk to you again in a couple of hours.” And then we return to what we were doing.  This weekend, though, we have promised ourselves that we will watch Wreck It Ralph with a big bowl of popcorn.  This idea came thanks to Roger, who told me he was chuffed to find that Wreck It Ralph II will be out in November.  And if you don’t know what Wreck It Ralph is … Google it!wreck-it-ralph


Every now and then, odd and random bits ‘n pieces of things pass through my email.  Most I just toss, but sometimes the subject line catches my eye and I dig a little deeper.  One such tidbit came about this week and as soon as I saw it, I thought it might be a fun bit of trivia to share with you for Saturday Surprise!  It has a bit of mystery, a bit of history, and a bit of controversy … all surrounding, of all things, the origins of the potato chip (or potato crisp as they call them across the pond).

The story comes courtesy of Tuan Nguyen, writing for ThoughtCo.com

George Crum

George Crum (born George Speck; July 15, 1824 – July 22, 1914) was a renowned chef who worked at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York during the mid-1800s. According to culinary legend, Crum invented the potato chip during his work at the restaurant.

The Potato Chip Legend

George Speck was born to parents Abraham Speck and Diana Tull on July 15, 1824. He grew up in upstate New York and was hired at Moon’s Lake House in the 1850s.

Moon’s Lake House was a high-end restaurant that catered to wealthy Manhattan families when Speck was hired. A regular patron of the restaurant, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, frequently forgot Speck’s given surname. Vanderbilt often asked waiters to relay various requests to “Crum,” thus giving Speck the name he is now known by.

According to popular legend, the potato chip was invented when a picky customer (Vanderbilt himself, according to some reports) repeatedly sent back an order of French fries, complaining that they were too thick. Frustrated with the customer’s demands, Crum sought revenge by slicing a batch of potatoes paper-thin, frying them to a crisp, and seasoning them with lots of salt. Surprisingly, the customer loved them. Soon enough, Crum and Moon’s Lake House became well-known for their special “Saratoga chips.”

Disputing the Legend

A number of notable accounts have disputed the story of Crum’s culinary innovation.

Recipes for frying thin potato slices had already been published in cookbooks by the early 1800s. Several reports on Crum himself, including a commissioned biography of the chef published in 1893 and his own obituary, were curiously missing any mention of potato chips whatsoever.

Crum’s sister, Kate Wicks, claimed to be the real inventor of the potato chip.

Wick’s obituary, published in The Saratogian in 1924, read, “A sister of George Crum, Mrs. Catherine Wicks, died at the age of 102, and was the cook at Moon’s Lake House. She first invented and fried the famous Saratoga Chips.” This statement is supported by Wicks’ own recollections of the tale, which was published in several periodicals during her lifetime. Wicks explained that she had sliced off a sliver of potato that inadvertently fell into a hot frying pan. She let Crum taste it and his enthusiastic approval led to decision to serve the chips.

Crum’s Legacy

Visitors came far and wide to Moon’s Lake House for a taste of the famous Saratoga chips, sometimes even taking a 10-mile trip around the lake just to get to the restaurant. Cary Moon, the owner of Moon’s Lake House, later tried to claim credit for the invention and began producing and distributing potato chips in boxes. Once Crum opened his own restaurant in the 1860s, called Crum’s, he provided every table with a basket of chips.

Crum’s chips remained a local delicacy until the 1920s, when a salesman and entrepreneur named Herman Lay began traveling throughout the south and introducing potato chips to different communities throughout the country.

At that point, Crum’s legacy was overtaken by the mass production and distribution of potato chips on a national scale.

I don’t imagine Mr. Crum ever anticipated the wide variety of (mostly bad) flavours we see on the grocery shelves today! chips-1chips-2chips-2chips-3

Now that you are craving potato chips, why not fire up the grill and make some burgers to go with those chips?  Whatever you do this weekend, keep safe and enjoy life!  And to send you on your way, how about a little song … one of my old favourites that can bring a smile to faces young and old!

😏 Two Snarky Snippets 😏

I just seem to be full of snark these days, don’t I?  These two crossed my path and I found myself unable to resist them!  I am working on a more serious piece at the moment, but these two little snippets gave me an interlude of mirth, and so I had to share them with you all!


Out of the Mouths of Babes …

huntsmanAbby Huntsman is a general assignment reporter for Fox News Channel. She currently co-hosts Fox & Friends Weekend.  In addition, Ms. Huntsman is the daughter of US ambassador to Russia and former Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman.

On Saturday, Huntsman had none other than Trump’s former communications director, Anthony Scaramucci on Fox & Friends, when she said this …

“Anthony, talk to us about this moment. I mean, this is history, we are living history. Regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators, what we are seeing right now, this is history.”

Did you hear it, folks???  She plainly said “meeting between the two dictators.”

The word, once spoken, can never be unspoken, and once heard, can never be unheard.  This word was heard ‘round the world, and when I read it on The Guardian, I literally let out a WHOOP!!!  GOTCHA!!!

Scaramucci didn’t catch her ‘faux pas’ either, but somebody backstage must have, for later in the show, Huntsman apologized …

“I do want to point out that earlier, as you know sometimes on live TV sometimes you don’t always say things perfectly. I called both President Trump and Kim Jong-un a dictator. I did not mean that, my mistake, so I apologise for that.”

Yeah, right, sweet cheeks!  And by the way … I have a beautiful bridge in Brooklyn for sale real cheap!

Trump, as of this writing, had not responded to Huntsman’s Freudian slip, but many others did …

“Abby Huntsman calls it a “meeting between two dictators.”  Believe it.  We are here!” – Amy Siskind

“#TwoDictators walk into a bar.  The short one says; “I like your hair”, the tall one says “did you see the size of my crowd”.”


Know your deplorables …

Quite by accident I stumbled across this little gem on Amazon this morning.

deplorables-1deplorables-2deplorables-3Yes, folks, it is a deck of playing cards featuring such utterly deplorables as Kellyanne Conway, Ivanka, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, Sean Hannity, and of course, that #1 deplorable, Donald Trump himself!  At only $9.99, this is a must have!  I am considering ordering a case and giving a pack to all my friends!

Details:

Sold by A Patriotic LLC and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Standard poker-sized (2.5″ x 3.5″) deck of 52 playing cards, plus 2 jokers

Information about a different deplorable political figure on each card

A portion of sales donated to nonprofits that support freedom of the press

The top positive review reads:

“Extremely well-done — the information is good (the pack includes citations!), the logic is solid, and the print quality is very high. The only thing this deck can’t do is self-update, but then again, every member of the Resistance can enjoy putting an X on individual cards as this feckless administration carries on with its personnel shenanigans…and as Mueller time draws nigh.”


Well, back to work for me … I hope you enjoyed these two little gems!  Have a great day!

Just Another Jolly Monday

Good Monday morning, friends!  Was your weekend wonderful?  Come in … sit down and tell me what fun things you did?  Mine was laid back, just the way I like it.  Daughter Chris plays the drum in a national Pipes & Drums band, and this is their competition season, so she was gone part of this weekend, and will be gone all weekend for the next several, meaning Miss Goose and I will be left to our own devices.  Typically that means she works on her art while I write, and we try to remember to say “hey” to each other every 2-3 hours!

I tried something new this week … baklava … it’s a greek dessert and ever so yummy, but in case you don’t like that, there are also donuts and cinnamon rolls.  So grab a cuppa (both tea and coffee this morning, rawgod) and a bite and let’s share a few laughs before you all have to go out there and mingle with the rest of the world, eh?


A wedding crasher …waddell-weddingNewlyweds Rusty and Auttumn Waddell were enjoying their wedding May 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Virginia Beach when the bride’s mother noticed an unfamiliar face.  Since it wasn’t a formal wedding, she thought perhaps it was a guest of a guest, but something seemed a bit off, so she snapped a picture of the woman standing in front of the gift table. crasher.jpgA while later the woman was gone … and so were many of the wedding gifts, including envelopes containing cash for the newlyweds!  Since the couple hadn’t yet opened the gifts and there was no list, they are now faced with the embarrassing task of having to ask each guest what gift they brought so they can give the police an accurate accounting of what was stolen.  Police, meanwhile, are asking anybody who knows this woman to contact them.  What a way to start a marriage, and what nerve to crash a wedding to steal the presents!


A rude awakening …

Imagine waking up early one morning to the sounds of people walking around on your roof, the sounds of hammers and crowbars pulling up your roof tiles.  These were the sounds that Pearl Northrup of Lehigh Acres, Florida awakened to one day last week, but they had not ordered a new roof.  Pearl called her landlady, Sarah Fritchey, to ask if she had scheduled roof repairs without her knowledge, but no, no roof repairs had been ordered.

roof.jpgTurns out the men on the roof were roofers employed by Nastar Roofing, and when they set out for their daily duties, they put the wrong address into their GPS!  The owner of the roofing company, L.B. Skaggs, had the men repair the damage and he will be meeting with Misses Northrup and Fritchey in a few days.  The irony, though is that the advertisement for Nastar Roofing claims they are “the roofing company you can trust”, and that “we thrive on integrity, professionalism and attention to the details that matter most to you.” 


It’s the little things …

In March 2017, I wrote a post about the World Happiness Report  that ranks 155 nations by the happiness of their citizens.  The #1 ranking country in 2017 turned out to be Norway.norway.jpgWell, one Norwegian pet supply company, Musti Group, may help explain part of what makes Norway a happy place.  Their new policy is to offer their 1,500 employees three days of paid leave when a new furry critter joins their family.  They call it “pawternity leave”.  Musti Group CEO David Rönnberg says the first few days a puppy is in a new home are vital to getting used to its new owner and environment.pawternity leave

“Depending on the needs of each pet, the first days spent together can be rather intense, and sleepless nights are more than familiar to recent pet parents. A baby animal requires constant attention and unconditional love. Paying attention to a pet’s needs and spending time with them supports their learning, builds trust and helps prevent behavioral disorders in the future.”

Now that, friends, is a company with heart!  A small thing?  Sure, but it’s the little things that make the difference between feeling like you’re important rather than merely a cog in the wheel.


What are the odds?

On Friday, June 1, Trooper Michael Patterson stopped Matthew Bailly for a minor motor vehicle violation in Kingwood Township, New Jersey.  As sometimes happens, the two men began talking, and Bailly revealed that he is a retired police officer from Patterson’s hometown of Piscataway.  One thing led to another, and Bailly eventually related a story about delivering a baby at a home way back when he was a rookie cop in 1991.  As he gave more details and recalled that the parents had named the baby ‘Michael’, a stunned Patterson extended his hand and told Bailly he was the baby the retired officer delivered on Oct. 5, 1991. bailly-patterson


Possession is nine-tenths of the law

There is a line in the movie Homeward Bound where the cat, Sassy, says “Cats rule, dogs drool”.  This short video seems to prove that maxim.


And now, dear friends, while I really love having you here, and wish you could stay all day, you cannot.  You have work to do, I have work to do, and this isn’t getting any of it done.  I hope you found something here to bring a smile to your face … a smile that you can share with others you run into today.  Y’know … a smile is contagious and so is a scowl, so let’s all see if we can spread more smiles than scowls this week, shall we?  Keep safe and have a wonderful week.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!

Last week, I had complaints about my choice of Jambalaya by The Carpenters, and David requested Fats Domino for this week … here you go, my friend …

toon-Maxine

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4

Saturday Surprise — Return of the Gnomes!!!

Welcome to the weekend dear friends!  Do you have big plans for the weekend?  I am housebound this weekend, but that’s okay, for it is a bit too hot & humid to suit me anyway.  Most of you probably hadn’t stumbled upon my blog yet back in March 2016, and even those who were with me then may have forgotten about the gnomes.  Allow me to briefly summarize.

It all started in Little Buffalo State Park, in Pennsylvania, with a kind, retired gentleman, Steve Hoke, who noticed that a group of gnomes had made the park their home.  Being somewhat of a handyman, Mr. Hoke built several little homes for the gnomes – 38 to be precise.  The gnome homes were a huge hit with the gnomes, as well as with visitors to the park.  It was soon determined that more than 100 gnomes were living in the park! Children of all ages set aside their video games and came to the park to delight in seeing the little homes and occasionally even catching a glimpse of a gnome (gnomes, you know, are very shy).

Well, it wasn’t long before the park manager, Jason Baker, decided that the gnomes and their homes had to go, for he claimed the extra visitors were … wait for it … “packing down the dirt in the park” and disturbing the wildlife.  Mr. Baker, by the way, is a descendant of Ebenezer Scrooge.  So, the gnomes were evicted and Mr. Hoke retrieved the tiny little homes.  gnome1But then the following month I received an email from Mr. Hoke, who had seen my original piece, and he informed me that he had managed to re-home the gnomes in local community parks where they were living quite happily.  If you’re interested, here are the links to the original story:

Part I – The Gnomes Have Lost Their Homes

Part II – Update:  The Gnomes Have New Homes!!!

Well, I have never forgotten Mr. Hoke and the gnomes, and then today I came across a story about an entire gnome village in California!  The village is located on the campus of California State University in Carson, California, and was the brainchild of Peter Chance, one of the campus groundsmen.

It all came about back in 2014 when the university found that during periods of heavy rain, runoff and erosion on a small hillock near the health center were clogging up the drainpipes with silt.  No solution had been found yet when Mr. Chance related that for a long time he had been working on an idea, rather a dream.

“I remember walking down here one day and thinking it would be awesome to put a miniature village or fairy garden or FernGully. I’ve seen it in the back of my mind for years. I just would stand here and imagine: a house could go here, that could go here, and I started seeing some of the little nooks.”

The university gave the green light, and Chance, along with his fellow groundsmen Fernando Goncalves and Chris Evans, began transforming the hillside into a tiny village, using materials found at the university’s Physical Plant.The principal gnome building was created using a broken concrete electrical box; another gnome house was built using a tree stump and a plant-pot saucer topped with moss. They used small pieces of redwood to build stairways, doors and bridges, and leftover infield clay from the baseball diamond for the tiny roads and pathways. They then decorated the village with miniature plants, a spattering of bonsai trees (Chance is a bonsai specialist), and some large mushrooms, providing plenty of shade for the gnomes.All this creativity, of course, would have been for naught if the erosion continued. And no self-respecting gnome would live in a village with a landslide problem. So the team used baby’s tears (Soleirolia soleirolii, a plant with a moss-like appearance) as the main ground covering, which would help improve water retention and prevent silt from reaching the drains. Then, at the bottom of the village, they built a simulated dry riverbed filled with dead plant material, which would help hold back the silt while allowing water to filter through.

Not only did the village solve the erosion problem, it also added plenty of charm to the university campus. Today, the gnome village continues to thrive and grow, and Peter Chance and his team are always thinking of more details to add to the miniature hillside settlement.

No word on how many gnomes are living in the village – gnomes are hard to count, for they dart in and out, especially when humans with cameras are around.  But they certainly have wonderful little village, don’t they?

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Don’t Know Much About History …

history bookGranted, they probably don’t focus much on History at Wharton Business School, from which Donald Trump allegedly graduated in 1968, but surely he attended high school?  Surely he has read … oh wait … I forgot … he doesn’t read.  Well, folks, let me tell you a little secret.  Donald Trump is illiterate about the history of the nation he purports to lead.  The evidence has been mounting ever since before he even took office, but yesterday … yesterday he made himself look like the most ignorant person on the North American continent.

In the past, he has made a number of faux pas when speaking of historical events, and I’m really surprised that his staff have not reined him in and admonished him not to speak of history, but perhaps they are no more enlightened than he.  I mean, think of Kellyanne … do you really think she knows what D-Day was?  Or that she could name five leaders of the Civil Rights movement?

In February 2017, for example, during a televised speech in honour of Black History Month, he spoke of Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, as if he were still alive today.  He referred to Douglass as, “… an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”

During his campaign rallies in 2016, Trump claimed that during the Moro rebellion in the Philippines between 1901 and 1913, U.S. Gen. John Pershing executed Muslim insurgents with bullets dipped in pig’s blood. Trump’s retelling of the myth has changed each time, but no matter, for the story is untrue to begin with.  Yet last August, after a terrorist attack in Barcelona, he revived the myth, suggesting that Islamic terrorists should be executed with bullets soaked in pig’s blood.

Are you holding your head and groaning yet?  But wait … the best is yet to come.

In March 2017, on a tour of Andrew Jackson’s home in Nashville, Tennessee:  “I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the civil war. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the civil war. He said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’”  Did Jackson, who died in 1845, speak from beyond the grave, then?  And perhaps Trump forgets that Jackson himself was a slave-owner and firmly believed in the institution of slavery?

Alright … proof enough that he’s no history buff, right?  But this week took the prize.

history for dummiesTrump was having a phone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the ridiculous tariffs that Trump had implemented against Canada, Mexico and the EU last week.  The conversation was not going well, from all indications, and Trudeau was trying to explain to Trump that the tariffs were not a good idea.  Trump replied that it was “necessary for national security”.  Well, Trudeau reminded Trump that Canada and the U.S. had a familial relationship and how did he figure that Canada was a threat to the national security of the U.S.?

Trump’s response … wait for it, folks … he said … “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812 when the BRITS … the British troops … burned down the White House!!!Trudeau laugh.jpgAnd as I was drifting off to sleep last night, in the back of my mind I could almost hear him saying this one:

When Louis XVI won the popular vote in France, his wife, Marie Antoinette, threw a big bash … a party … with lots of fine food, and she stood up and said to everyone, “Let them eat cake!!!”

Granted, nobody gets everything right all the time, but wouldn’t you think he would accidentally get something right once in a while?  Wouldn’t you think his advisors, some of whom surely studied or read history at some point, would coach him, give him a script to follow?

Trump’s ignorance of history is certainly not the most serious of all his actions, but it points to the fact that he is not a thinker, doesn’t care if what he says is right or wrong, as long as he says something.  It is embarrassing and reflects poorly on his administration … on this nation.

Jolly Day After Sunday … 🤩

Well here it is Monday again … wait … where did the weekend go?  Seems like only yesterday it was Sunday.  Oh … yeah … heh heh … right.  So, did you all have a wonderful weekend?  And are you eager to get back to work this morning?  I don’t … seem … to see big smiles on those faces.  What’s wrong?  Actually, I can tell which of us are retired as opposed to those of you who still have to put on ties and high heels and go earn a living just by the looks on your faces.  See that big grin on Hugh’s face, and Gronda’s?  Then look at poor Emily … awwww.  Let’s see if we can have a bit of fun before you set out for work and put some smiles on those faces, okay?  Grab a … sorry, I didn’t bake this morning, so it’s crackers and peanut butter … and a cuppa, and settle back for a few.


Demi Sweeney, a 22-year-old criminology student at Bournemouth University, spotted a huge spider outside her room last week.  Now … I would have gotten a sheet of paper from the printer, had the spider walk onto the paper, then released it back outdoors.  Not everyone, though, thinks like me, so perhaps some would have grabbed a shoe and … gulp … squished the poor wee mite. 😢  But Demi did neither of these things.  What did she do?  She called Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)!

kfc-truckShe ordered food to be delivered with the intention of talking the delivery driver into getting rid of Spidey for her.  But when the driver arrived with the food, it turned out that he was also afraid of spiders!  However, she coerced him and after a bit of scrambling about, he captured the spider and … snif … flushed him. spider


Anybody want to make any guesses how long it takes a sign to travel from the coast of New Jersey to the coast of Bordeaux, France?  Awwww c’mon … take a wild guess.sign on beach.jpgOkay, fine … I will tell you.  Five years and eight months.  This sign was lost during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, and was found by a man named Hannes Frank on the beach in France last week.  It’s not really in bad condition, for having spent 2,065 days bobbling about in salt water!


I am not a fan of rap music, but even so, I have heard of Snoop Dogg.  It seems that his song titled Gin and Juice has helped him earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records for serving up the world’s largest Paradise Cocktail. Snoop DoggTV chef Michael Voltaggio, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef, invited Snoop, rapper Warren G, Kim Kaechele and Kendall Coleman to help make it. The massive mixed drink was unveiled live on stage at the BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival in California, USA.snoop dogg-2Containing 180 1.75-litre bottles of gin, 156 1-litre bottles of apricot brandy and 28 3.78-litre jugs of orange juice, the paradise cocktail was made to accompany Voltaggio’s Jamaican jerk chicken dish at the festival, which pairs musicians with chefs on their culinary stage.


Some people, methinks, have more money than good sense.  Here is a new shirt being sold by Balenciaga (whom I have never heard of, and perhaps with good reason – Levi and Nike are more my style) as a part of their Fall 18 collection.  It is called, the T-shirt-shirt …shirtNo, you’re not missing anything … it is exactly what it looks like … a T-shirt with an empty checkered button-down shirt sewn or glued to its front. The site says the shirt boasts “two wearing options” — ostensibly as a T-shirt or a button-down.  Okay, so the shirt looks rather shabby … but the price tag is anything but shabby:  $1,290!!!  Yes, that is One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety U.S. dollars, or £965, or €1,104.  Do people really have nothing better to do with their money???  There is a bright side, however … the company offers complimentary shipping!

Miss Goose had the idea that we could buy up a bunch of cheap t-shirts and checkered  button-downs and make our own, sell them for a much cheaper price, say $450, and be able to buy a house by this time next year!


toon-4And now … my dear friends … it is that time once again.  I’ve picked out a special song to get the ol’ adrenalin stirring this morning … it is one of my favourites to walk to, for it keeps me moving at a pretty good clip, and I’ve even been known to do a little skip ‘n flip along the way! (yes, I remember that the bones are more brittle these days)  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and please, share those beautiful smiles with somebody who looks like they need one.  Tough times these days, and we can all use an extra smile.  Thanks for being such special friends … you make me smile.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!

toon-maxine

toon-1

toon-2

An Oldie But Goodie!

toon-3

Saturday Surprise — The Week in Pictures

When I first came up with the idea for the Saturday Surprise feature last August, I asked for suggestions from my readers.  One of those suggestions was interesting pictures from the week before, and today, being of somewhat diminished energy and creative juices, I went in search of some of the week’s best pictures.  The volcanic eruptions in Hawaii provided some really great shots, and so did … well, you’ll see.


Italy Bosco VerticaleOfficially opened in October 2014, Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) is a pair of award-winning residential towers in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy.  The towers have heights of 110 metres (360 ft) and 76 metres (249 ft) respectively and host 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 meters or 10-30 ft) and over 2,000 plants from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants distributed in relation to the façade’s position towards the sun.  Now guess what an apartment in these buildings costs?  Prices range from $845,000 to $2.6 million!!!  Guess I won’t be moving any time soon.Bosca Verticale-2


polish landfill fire.pngThis fire at a landfill site in the town of Zgierz, central Poland, has been burning for over three days, and at least 250 firefighters have been battling the blaze.  Poland has had a rash of fires at illegal waste dumps in recent weeks, and officials believe the fires were intentionally set.


Canterbury church

In England, an installation at Canterbury Cathedral of 100 baubles for a new exhibition, Under an Equal Sky, that will hang from the nave ceiling. The exhibition reflects on themes of war and remembrance, migration and refugees and marks 100 years since the end of the first world war.


plane on Downing St

Now here’s something you don’t see every day … a plane outside 10 Downing Street!  It is a Royal Air Force red arrow jet and is there to mark the RAF’s centenary.  I do hope they didn’t actually land it right there.


bird on deer

A bird rests on the head of a white-tailed deer roaming free in San Jose Villanueva.


India Elections

A supporter of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party dances to celebrate early leads for the party in the Karnataka state elections in Bangalore, India.


TOPSHOT-SKOREA-RELIGION-BUDDHA-LANTERN

A reveler dances beneath lanterns at the Jogye Buddhist temple following a lantern parade as part of the “Lotus Lantern Festival” celebrating the upcoming Buddha’s birthday, in Seoul, South Korea.


Rare Pink Flamingo Appears On Haulover Beach In Miami

A lone pink flamingo walks along Haulover Beach on May 17, 2018, in Miami Beach, Florida. Lifeguards on the beach said that the flamingo showed up on Saturday and has been hanging around since.


Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has been erupting explosively since May 3, causing widespread evacuations and devastation across Big Island.  Molten lava flows have blocked highways and damaged dozens of buildings, with no sign of the activity slowing down.  Evacuation orders are in effect in certain areas, and police are arresting those who refuse to leave.  It is frightening and tragic … unimaginable and unthinkable.  Here are some pictures of nature at it’s most devastating …

volcano-1volcano-2volcano-3volcano-4

volcano-5volcano-6Hawaii Volcanovolcano-8


Last, but not least, I have a special video clip for my two special little guys … you know who you are … I thought you would find this ninja squirrel to your liking!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!  Ullswater lake in England

 

Good People Doing Good Things — Jamie McDonald

Today I want to introduce you to a young man, Jamie McDonald, who is just a little bit crazy, I think, but in a really nice sort of way.Jamie McDonaldJamie, born in 1986 in Gloucester, England, battled several serious illnesses as a child, and spent the first nine years of his life in and out of hospitals.  Once Jamie’s health began to improve, he discovered the joys of movement, of exercise, of … running.  And now,  Jamie runs … and boy does he run!  But Jamie doesn’t just run for fun … Jamie runs with purpose.

On 09 March 2013, Jamie set off from St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, on the Atlantic coast of Canada, and ran for 5,000 miles to Vancouver on the Pacific coast, where he arrived on 03 February 2014, nearly one year later!  But it wasn’t just a run.  First, Jamie did the entire run dressed as Captain Flash.Jamie McDonald-2I told you he was just a little crazy.  But there’s more to this than meets the eye.  You see, Jamie wanted to find a way to give back to all those who helped him when he was young and sick …

“I started to wonder: ‘What is it that I want from life?’. I reflected and thought about all this time I had spent in hospital and I went to visit the children’s hospital in Gloucester… I walked out and I thought ‘I’ve got £20,000 of my own money, maybe I’m in a position where I can give back.’ I had this epiphany.”

Jamie decided to run across Canada, the equivalent of almost 200 marathons, despite only having run once previously, seven years before, after which he vowed to never run again.

“Everyone kept coming up to me asking when I was going to train but my visa had already kicked in. At what point do you train enough to run across the second largest country in the world?”Jamie in Canada

In total, he ran over 5,000 miles for charity and raised a quarter of a million pounds for children’s charities, including Great Ormond Street hospital – where he had been treated as a child – in the process.  Along the journey, he also spoke at schools to help raise awareness of his efforts.  Although he started with a goal of raising some £40,000 (~$53,000 USD), he ended up with more than £250,000!  All proceeds went to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the charity which supports Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, and also Canadian charities such as SickKids Foundation.

But that was only the beginning of Jamie’s philanthropy. In the time since his last adventure, Jamie has co-founded Gloucestershire-based Superhero Foundation, a charity that grants money to families for treatment not otherwise available on the NHS.

From the website:

Adventureman Jamie McDonald, co-founded Superhero Foundation, aiming to empower real-life Superheroes to change, and save lives.

We support UK and U.S children’s hospitals and other sick kids around the world.

We select and support individuals who want to take on their own physical challenge to inspire people to donate – acting as a unique (registered charity) crowdfunding platform. And have a big dream to build our own Superhero HQ.

Recovery from illness, an accident or managing a chronic condition is a long and winding road. And we know that sometimes there are therapies, equipment and treatments – which can relieve mental or physical illness – that fall outside the remit of what standard healthcare services, like the UK’s NHS, can fund.

We see this type of fundraising challenge as real opportunity for good. An opportunity to unite families, build communities, create lasting friendships and to inspire thousands of other people along the way. That’s why we set up Superhero Foundation.

The foundation is just getting off the ground, so I cannot find much information, but I like what I see so far.  Jamie and the members of the foundation help inspire people to be adventurers, to use their own skills to do things to help others … and themselves.  Check out their website  to learn more about how they work and see some real-life examples of people they have helped, or are helping.Jamie-2Jamie, meanwhile, is … on the road again, this time running across the U.S.  On his Canadian adventure, he ran into quite a few troubles, including −40C temperatures, being beaten and robbed celebrating the new year in Banff, Alberta, and pushing his 60 kilograms (130 lb) load in a pushchair when he was no longer able to carry it on his back. Suffering from acute tendinitis in his foot, he continued his run and a bone spur has grown over the inflammation. He slept rough on the side of the road unless taken in by strangers. He wore through 10 pairs of shoes.

Things should be a little easier and a little safer this time, for two Microsoft partners, intY and Acacus, are providing support in the form of a high-tech tracker that will relay information in real time, showing location, speed and distance information, including useful features like weather and danger zones. Users along his route will have the ability to opt in to notifications so they can be alerted when McDonald is close to their location. They can also get automated pings on new social media posts and more.  McDonald claims not to be too tech-savvy and says …

“From a safety point of view it’s awesome. It keeps my girlfriend and mum happy. Their technology that they’re helping with, it’s incredible. I’m not much of a geek, but, in a nutshell, people can see exactly where I am, live, which is a game changer because for me, I need to connect with the kids and the families at the hospitals and just the everyday people in America. The more connections I make the bigger the difference I can make.”

You, too can track Jamie’s progress or even get notifications:  Check out the live tracker here, and register here to get special notifications.McDonald-mapJamie started out on 11 April from Cape Alva on Washington’s Pacific Coast and his total journey will be over 6,000 miles.

Adventureman-book-coverOh yes, and he has also written the best-selling book ‘Adventureman: Anyone Can Be a Superhero’, the story of his life to this point – no mean feat for somebody that struggles with dyslexia, who retook his GCSEs aged 23. All proceeds from the book go to charity.

Jamie McDonald may not have a lot of money to spend helping others, but he has a heart the size of Texas and is putting every ounce of himself into raising money to help sick children. And on top of that, this dude is fun!  My hat goes off to him.

** A few links to more information about Jamie McDonald

Geek Wire article

Jamie’s Facebook page

Medicine Hat News