J-j-jolly M-m-monday, F-f-friends!

That sound you hear is my teeth chattering, and all the typos in the forthcoming post are a result of my hands shaking.  It’s c-c-cold!!!  And it isn’t even winter yet!  I am ready for spring … perhaps I’ll plant some flowers here …flowers-2I presume you are all surviving this harrowing season?  I have given up on trying to convince the girls that we ought to skip it this year, and am rather just going with the flow, trying to keep up with baking, shopping, decorating, wrapping and so forth while carving out a bit of time to breathe.  It’s about the best I can hope for at the moment.

Grab a warm drink & a Christmas cookie (I baked them just for you guys!) and let’s go find something to start the week out with a smile, or possibly even a chuckle, shall we?


It has been cold here, with temps in the teens the past several days, but not nearly as cold as it is for our friend Hugh out  in Minnesota!  Last Wednesday in southern Minnesota, a tractor-trailer got stuck on an icy hill.  Luckily for driver Craig Helgeson, Lizzie and Jacob Hershberger enlisted the help of their team of 13-year-old Belgian draft horses, Molly and Prince, to give the stuck truck a hand.  I was actually amazed that only two horses were able to pull that much weight on an icy slope, but they did it.  See for yourself!


Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about some ugly food-themed sweaters out for Christmas … I think one was Taco Bell and I don’t recall the other.  Today I have found yet another, but frankly, I kind of like this one.Dough Boy sweaterAfter all, who doesn’t love the Dough Boy? General Mills said the sweaters are available in two designs that each feature the Pillsbury Doughboy enjoying the Christmas season. The first sweater (pictured above), titled “Let it Dough,” features the Doughboy and Pillsbury crescent rolls, while the other, dubbed “It’s Lit,” features the mascot with a decorated Christmas tree.Dough Boy sweater 2.jpg

You can get on on Pillsbury’s website for a mere … well, scratch that, for both sweaters are temporarily unavailable, but you can sign up to be notified when they become available.


From the annals of really, really bad ideas comes this …
bacon vending machine.jpgYep, folks, it is exactly what it looks like … a bacon vending machine.  Now, I know at least one person who I shall not name here who would likely think this is a great idea and that there should be one on every street corner.

The Ohio Pork Council, a trade group for Ohio pork producers, installed a vending machine at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences that dispenses cooked, ready-to-eat Smithfield, Hormel and Sugardale bacon.  For just $1, you can get either a slice of fully cooked bacon or a handful of fully cooked bacon bits.  Now, I dug out the ol’ calculator and concluded that at that rate, it brings the cost of a pound of bacon, for which I typically pay $4, to somewhere around $16.  That’s some markup just for the convenience of clogging your arteries with the push of a button!

There is a bright side … proceeds will be donated to Ohio State’s meat science program.


I always enjoy some of the strange, yet humorous signs that are out there … here are a few that are guaranteed to make you either shake your head and roll your eyes, or chuckle.

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I wouldn’t want to live here … self-fulfilling prophecy, etc.

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I’ll take my own shower, thank you very much!

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Oopsie!

And what would Jolly Monday be without one funny animal video?

jollyHave a great week, my friends … keep warm, smile a lot and share your beautiful smile!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

juice boxOops!  I almost forgot … sorry Benjamin!

Saturday Surprise — Office Christmas Party

If there was one thing I dreaded even more than the Annual Review in my other life as an accountant, it was the office Christmas party.  I generally avoided them at all costs … as it was, I spent most of my waking time each week with these people, about half of whom I didn’t even like, so why on earth would I want to spend what little ‘free’ time I had with them, too?  And, as you probably all know by now, I have a stubborn streak about the length of a football field, so telling me that I must do something is the best way to ensure that I won’t do it.toon-Maxine-office-partyAs the season, I am told, is upon us, I thought it might be fun to indulge in a little Christmas Office Party humour.  And besides, we all need something to laugh about, right?party-1

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I went looking for funny stories about Christmas office parties, sure there must be many, but every one I found pertained to either people having sex with co-workers, or getting drunk and being disgusting, none of which do I find humorous.  And so instead, to wrap up Saturday Surprise, I give you this …

A Knock …

wakingI awakened this morning, a bit confused as usual, and wondering if the pounding on the door downstairs was part of a dream or if some fool was actually beating on my door at … 8:39 a.m.?  It took less than five seconds before my question was answered … it was really some fool who didn’t know I had slept only a scant two hours at that point.  Mental checklist:

  • Am I decent? Sweatpants, sweatshirt, socks … oops, only one sock, but still good enough.
  • Glasses?  Check.
  • Who could it be? UPS?  Nah, our regular UPS driver is John, who used to have a crush on my daughter … he’s a cool guy and knows better than to bang on my door.  The mail carrier?  Nah, that’s my friend Lisa and she knows better than to bang on my door.  That leaves FedEx, who never send the same driver twice, so I haven’t come to know them.

You’re probably wondering why I don’t take the 5 steps to my bedroom window and look out, solving the mystery once and for all, right?  But that is not how my mind works.  I am an analyst, and thus I have to analyze everything first, then look out the window to verify the conclusion I drew as a result of my analysis. FedExOnly thing was, they banged on the door again before I got to the window and damn near stopped my heart, so instead of peeking through the blinds to see the FedEx truck in front of the house, I ran to the bedroom door, flung it open and called out at the top of my lungs, “I’m coming, you moron!!!”

And then I trotted down the 15 stairs (I know there are 15 because I count them every single time I ascend or descend them.  Been doing it for more than 20 years now. What?  No, I’m not OCD … I just need to make sure nobody snuck an extra in on me!) and peeped through the peekie hole in the center of the door.  Only, all I saw was the evergreen branches from our Christmas wreath.  Sigh.

Unlocking the door and opening it, fully expecting a smiling FedEx driver on the other side holding anywhere from one to thirteen packages (remember I did all my Christmas shopping online last week), you might imagine my surprise … nay, utter shock … to see a local yokel (our affectionate name for the country sheriffs and deputies) accompanied by two men in dark suits and dark glasses.

heart stopsHeart stops … begins re-boot process during which time all I can do is stare and say … huhhhhhhh?

I’ve been telling a few friends for a while now that this was inevitable, but … thing is … I was joking!!!  I never really believed that me, a nobody, would come under scrutiny of … gulp … the Men In Black!  As I had been trotting down the 15 stairs just seconds earlier, it had briefly occurred to me to run into the kitchen right quick and grab my solid wooden 18-inch long rolling pin, but so convinced was I that it was only the FedEx driver … oh, how I wished I had listened to that little voice!

The bells in my head were subsiding, my hearing, what little is left of it, began to return, and ‘coherent’ thought began to return.  I could see that the shorter of the two men in black was saying something … either that, or convulsing, for his lips were moving.

“Ma’am … is your name Jill Dennison?”

“Um … could you repeat the question?  I just got up, you see … heh heh … late night.”  (Oh how f***ing brilliant!!!)

“What is your name, ma’am?”

“Um … Grannie”

And at this point, the deputy standing slightly in front of and to the right of the men in black, rested his hand on his gun and said …

“What is your name?  Are you Jill Dennison?”

“Yes, and you are … ?”

“I’ll ask the questions here.  Do you live here alone?”

By this time, I was getting my bearings and had decided I wasn’t taking any guff from the local yokel, for I knew him from another encounter many years ago.  So, I turned to the first man in black and … he had disappeared!  The second, the taller of the two, was standing next to his empty spot.  Grinning.

“May I see some I.D.?”

He seemed taken a bit aback, and just then I noticed his partner coming around the back of their car carrying … a cage!  No way were they putting me in that!  Heck no!  It was only about 18-inches by 24-inches at most … I am 5-foot 6-inches and weigh 140.  They ain’t squishing me into that!!!

“Ms. Dennison … is this your cat?”

And inside was Princess Nala who, it turned out, had escaped when Chris left for work earlier that morning, was found by a neighbor who called the Humane Society.

“I just have one last question”, I said, once the confusion was all straightened out and we all had a slightly strained chuckle over it.  “Why are you wearing dark glasses?”

“The glare of the sun, ma’am.”

What you have just read is fiction, just a figment that came to me earlier this evening, hopefully humour, although it wouldn’t surprise me some day to awaken to find ‘Men in Black’ on my front stoop, given my well-documented aversion to Trump.  Frankly, I think I’m not quite important enough to set off any alarm bells, but you never know.  And for the record, Princess Nala is safe and sound, lying atop her pizza boxes in the kitchen!  And please forgive my brief detour from my norm … I promise to get serious after a few hours’ sleep.  Assuming, that is, that I don’t awaken to a pounding on the door!nala-pizza-boxes.jpg

Jolly C-c-c-old Monday!

Hello friends … quick, come in and close the door … that wind is brutal!  24 hours ago the temperatures were in the 60s (F) and for just a few short hours, there was this big, bright circular thing up in the sky … it was both mesmerizing and scary!

So tell me, how was your weekend?  Too short, you say?  Yes, weekends tend to be that way, don’t they?  And now it’s Monday and time to get back to the routine.  I love weekends, but I thrive on routine, and if my routine is thrown off, I get tired and cranky, just like a toddler.  Well, I found some things I hope will make you laugh today, and, I made a special treat … churros!  What?  You’ve never had churros?  They are a fried-dough pastry, typically sprinkled in sugar, and then you can dip them in … well, anything.  Dulce la leche (caramel sauce), chocolate, strawberry jam … whatever floats your boat!  Try one … you’ll like it.  And yes, Benjamin, I have sprinkled donuts for you, but try a churro anyway, okay?


Burger King gone to the dogs?

The press release reads …

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The BURGER KING® brand knows that dog owners often deal with their furry friend begging for food when they order delivery. Many dog owners have even admitted to sharing part of their meal with them. That’s why BURGER KING® is providing a solution for customers who want to enjoy their order at home without interruption from their pets.

The BURGER KING® brand is launching the DOGPPER, the first flame grilled bone offered at BK® for your best friend. This dog-friendly alternative to the WHOPPER® sandwich is a bone-shaped treat with flame-grilled beef taste for the dogs of these generous owners.

The DOGPPER is available for free exclusively through DoorDash when you order a WHOPPER® sandwich*. Plus, new customers can get a $0 delivery fee with your $10+ order at DoorDash. To redeem the $0 delivery fee offer, use promo code DOGPPER from November 28 through December 4th.**

BK-dogNow, I get them making a special treat for ‘man’s best friend’, but … who knew that Burger King delivers???  And what the Sam Heck is “DoorDash”???  And why would the ‘flame grilled bone’ be available only for delivery orders???  They even have a promo video featuring some adorable mutts and Willie Nelson’s You Were Always On My Mind


A Freudian slip?

Picture it … you travel from your home in the UK to New York City, pick the special place (Times Square), drop on bended knee to offer a proposal of marriage to your one and only, and just as she says “YES!”, you get so nervous that you drop the ring … into a sewer grate!  Oh, the shame!  Oh, the embarrassment!John-DaniellaWell, hats off and thumbs up to New York’s finest, the NYPD, for they noticed the incident when reviewing their surveillance footage, found the ring, and put out the word to try to find the couple via Twitter.

“WANTED for dropping his fiancée’s ring in @TimesSquareNYC! She said Yes – but he was so excited that he dropped the ring in a grate. Our @NYPDSpecialops officers rescued it & would like to return it to the happy couple. Help us find them?”

the ringThe couple turned out to be John Drennan and Daniella Anthony and through the magic of the information age, they have successfully been reunited with the ring.  The police even cleaned it up for them!  Well, I guess it will make a good story to tell their kids someday.


Kanye has a biggggggggg head!

linus-pumpkin-patchKanye West has gone from a life-sized water bottle on Saturday Night Live to a 315-pound pumpkin.Kanye-pumpkinJeanette Paras has an annual tradition in Dublin, Ohio where she transforms pumpkins into your favorite celebrity according to who’s hot. And who was a better choice than Ye himself, who has been making countless headlines this year since he broke his social media hiatus.

The pumpkin started off with a sketch then took seven hours to paint. The hardest part of the entire project was putting together the giant “Make Pumpkins Great Again” hat for Yeezy. The hat took nine hours to sew.

Paras has been transforming pumpkins for 30 years. Every year, she teases, “Who will it be?” In the past she has created a Donald Trumpkin, Hillary, Kim Jong Un, she even did Kanye West before sporting a pair of glasses. “It’s just fun,” Paras said. “Who doesn’t like giant celebrity pumpkins?”

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Further proof that stupidity is real …

Payless Shoesource filled a fake luxury store with its discount footwear and sold to “fashion influencers” for hyper-inflated prices.  The chain said it took over the former Armani store in Santa Monica and labeled it “Palessi” before filling it with Payless shoes with inflated price tags and inviting social media fashion influencers to a party at the store.

Partygoers shelled out hundreds of dollars for shoes that normally retail for between $20 and $40 at Payless. Payless shared video of the party-goers reacting to being told the shoes they had just splurged on were actually discount stock.

The store said it was aiming to show its products are more fashionable than their regular prices might indicate. The “Palessi” customers were refunded for their purchases, while their testimonials are being used for online and TV advertisements.

Sigh.


Let’s get our smiles back in place with this …

jollyNow, off you go to your jobs and leave me to mine!  I’ve enjoyed our time together so much!  Please share those gorgeous smiles … they last longer that way.  Keep warm, keep safe, and have a lovely week!  Hugs ‘n love from Filosofa … and Jolly (even though he contributed nothing this week!)

Saturday Surprise — A Little Jaunt

Last night when I was contemplating how we should spend our time together this morning, I thought that it’s been several weeks since we’ve travelled together and maybe now, before the snows come, would be a good time for it.  So, I checked into some things and I think you’ll enjoy the places we’re going to visit today!  So, hop aboard the Filomobile and let’s go to …


Krong Ban Lung, Cambodia!  There is a simply gorgeous lake here, but also a couple of interesting tidbits.Yeak Laom-1It’s believed that 4,000 years ago, a volcanic eruption created a crater that, over time, filled with water. The lake was once surrounded by thick forest on all sides, but today only a thin layer remains, with most of the land having been farmed.

The waters of Yeak Laom are crystal clear, and they stand in stark contrast with the bright green in the background—if you visit during or shortly after the rainy season. Exotic birds and butterflies are common sights, and wild pigs may also come around.

Although the lake is considered sacred by the local people, swimming or playing in the water is common for both locals and tourists. Wooden docks with steps have been built to facilitate access. In 2018, bureaucratic procedures were started to register Yeak Laom and the land around it as state land to better protect the environment. Other measures to protect the lake forbid people from using detergents, gambling, or having arguments while in the lake.  Okay, now the detergents I get, but gambling or arguing???princess-thaiIn February 2016, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand was planning to pay a visit to Yeak Laom, and in preparation for her visit, as toilets are not common in the area, a special toilet was constructed for the princess to use during her visit.  An air-conditioned toilet.  At a cost of $40,000.  That she never used.  That was thrown away after her two-hour visit, during which the urge never hit.cam-photo-toilet.jpgIt took 10 labourers 19 days to build the eight-metre square toilet.  It has silver railings up its white-washed steps and an all-white tiled roof.  This area of Cambodia being a particularly poor region, I’m sure this toilet is far more luxurious than most of the homes in the five villages that surround the lake.  The building was allowed to remain after the princess’ visit, but the toilet was disassembled and thrown out.  Why?

“If you have a king—well, just, normal people can’t use the king’s toilet.”

Ah, arrogance is world-wide, isn’t it?  But isn’t this lake just beautiful?Yeak Laom-2


Next I thought we’d travel over to France … Équihen-Plage, France, to be precise, for I am told there are some interesting holiday homes made of boats.  Upside down boats, that is.  You’ve heard of houseboats, yes?  Well these are upside-down boat houses!  Ah … we have arrived … let’s take a look …boat houses-1Équihen-Plage is a fishing port and farming village some 3 miles south of Boulogne on the English Channel coast with a population just under 3,000.  The tradition of the boat houses began after World War I when old boats unworthy for the sea were dragged up to high ground and turned upside down. The hull, which now became the roof, was covered in tar to ensure that it was watertight. A door cut out on the sides provided entry, while windows let in air and light. Even then, the interior was dark and stuffy. The entire length of the boat served as a single room. Space for cooking and sleeping were shared.

During the Second World War, nearly all the boathouses got destroyed, but their legacy lingered on. In the 1990s, about sixty years after their disappearance, the village decided to revive the ancient heritage and erected a couple of upturned boat houses and fitted them with modern facilities to entice tourists. They can be rented now with prices starting from about three hundred Euros, or $340 USD.boat houses-2

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All this traveling is making me a bit hungry … what about you?  Ready for a little bite before we head to our last stop?  Let’s just pop over to Nottingham … yes, the place of Robin Hood and the evil sheriff, but that isn’t the theme of the restaurant we’re going to.  Remember the Edgar Allen Poe story, The Pit and the Pendulum?  My dad read that one to me when I was … oh, probably 7 or 8 … and I had nightmares for days … er, nights.  Anyway, in the town of Nottingham is a restaurant named The Pit and the Pendulum that sounds intriguing.

Wow … this place is creepy, isn’t it?  But it’ll be fun.  Let’s take a peek at the drink menu …drink-menu-e1543644452708.png

Y’know … on second thought … I’m not all that hungry after all … perhaps we can grab a pack of crackers on our way to …


The former mining town of St. Blazey in Cornwall, England, home of the world’s largest greenhouse. For fifty years, a clay mine on the edge of the English town had slowly been abandoned, until in the late 1990s when a new concept was proposed for the area called Project Eden. Eden-1A near polar opposite to the crater left by the old mine, the Eden Project was designed as a massive greenhouse complex, consisting of two biomes bubbling off of the ground and reflecting both a tropical and Mediterranean climate.  After the deep depression left from the mine was filled in with thousands of tons of soil, construction began and the two largest greenhouses in the world were created over two and a half years. Inside the hexagonally-patterned biomes are over one million different plant species, each one reflecting the climates of their respective biomes.Eden-2The Tropical Biome features rubber plants, bananas, and bamboo stalks towering above visitors in the nearly four-acre dome. The Mediterranean Biome is only 1.6 acres, but is similarly filled to capacity with olive plants and grape vines.Eden-3Along with stunning flora, cascading waterfalls and footpaths wind past massive boulders and ponds and even a few statues can be found carefully placed around the Mediterranean biome. Although the greenhouses are the central attraction of the complex, the grounds of the Eden Project are also covered in temperate plants that can grow in an uncovered atmosphere. Eden-night


And now, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired and ready to go home, perhaps for a 10-minute nap, a hot cup of coffee, and a bit of time spent with a good book.  I hope you’ve enjoyed our little jaunt today … we’ll do it again soon!  Have a great weekend … don’t forget, just 24 days ‘til Christmas … better get shopping!  I have mine mostly finished … no muss, no fuss … all done online! Amazon-Xmas-gifts

Stuff From A Bouncing Mind …

Today I have a bouncy mind … too much inundation of both news and holidays, I think.  Have to bake birthday cookies, do birthday cards, get a package ready to mail overseas, Trump did a convoluted interview yesterday that I’m struggling to get through without throwing something, and a new federal judge is about to be confirmed who supports extreme voter suppression.  No wonder my mind is bouncing!  So, I share with you a few of the thoughts that have crept out from the crevices during the bounce …

FacebookYesterday morning when I logged onto Facebook for the first time of the day, planning to check messages and post my latest blog post, I was immediately assailed by a large message from Facebook itself, asking me to donate money to one of several charitable causes, and promising to match my donation.  HAH!!!  Mind you, though I haven’t much to give, I do give … I give to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the Humane Society, the local foodbank.  I give to a variety of local homeless shelters.  So, it isn’t that I’m not willing to help out … it is, simply put, that I do not have any reason to trust Facebook!

Entrust my bank account number to Facebook after their recent data breach that exposed the personal data of millions of users???  And … trust them to actually match my donation?  I think not.  This is a case of “Let the buyer beware”.  I will continue to carefully choose my own causes, thank you very much anyway, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg!

packagingAnd speaking of letting the buyer beware, I am once again grumbling loudly over one of my old pet peeves.  Note to all readers:  If the package says “Easy open – pull here” … get your scissors and sharpest knives out, be prepared to spend a minimum of ten minutes fighting to get to the product inside the package, and while you’re at it … be sure your first-aid kit is handy!  I’ve been putting it down to my being old, my hands and fingers not being as agile or strong as they once were, but even the youngster in this house has trouble opening things these days.  I still get her to do it, though, for she has far more patience than I, and is therefore less likely to throw and break things.  Besides, she doesn’t swear, so it is less traumatic for the kitties!

But seriously, is there any reason that opening a new bottle of ibuprofen requires a degree in rocket science?  Or a bag of chicken tenders … “pull tab” it says … “tear along perforation” – what perforation???  There is no tab, there is no perforation … there is a dotted line, but it is not perforated!  Get the scissors … snip, clip … okay and … nothing!  I cut along the dotted line, but it is too far above that part where you can pull it open.  Finally, a butcher knife right to the heart of the package does the trick.  How much time was just wasted?  Luckily this time only a small bandage was required … last time it was a roll of gauze and adhesive tape!  And to think … people get paid big bucks to come up with these packaging designs.  Sigh.

MSNBC is not one of my ‘go-to’ sources.  First, they are owned by Comcast.  Second, they are left-biased.  Now, granted, my own leanings are toward the left of center, but when I want news, I want news … facts, reported accurately and without significant bias toward either side.  As Joe Friday used to say in the old Dragnet show, “just the facts, ma’am”.  That said, today I give MSNBC a thumbs-up for refusing, for the second time this month, to carry a White House press event.

The first time was on November 1st when the network refused to transmit live a fearmongering presidential address about immigration and the caravan in Mexico.  The second time was yesterday afternoon when, for the first time in about a month, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders deigned to hold a ‘daily’ press briefing.  The briefing was a joke, naught but propaganda such as Larry Kudlow, Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council, saying, “We’ll see what happens. … Our economy’s in very good shape right now”.  Sounds rather like a replay of something Trump has said many times, doesn’t it?  Toe the party line.  The entire briefing, from what I can gather, was more of the same.  National Security Advisor John Bolton saying that he hasn’t listened to the audio recording of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and sees no reason to do so. sanders-msnbcSanders herself rang in with, “I don’t think the president has any concerns about the [Mueller] report because he knows that there was no wrongdoing by him and that there was no collusion.”  It was a waste of the press’ time and a waste of anybody’s time who bothered to watch it.  Press briefings have become repetitious and uninformative.  You may disagree, but I think MSNBC made the right decision in this case, and I’d like to see more of the media outlets be a bit more discriminating about just what they choose to waste our time with.

And so, you now know how a bouncy mind works, and I shall return you to your regularly scheduled life!  Thanks for bouncing along with me today!bounce

Jolly Monday — Funny Furries

Hey guys!  Come in out of the cold … I hear some of you got dumped on over the weekend … last night I heard that Chicago’s O’Hare Airport had canceled some 700 flights!  Luckily, I think it’s supposed to go north of us and land in Maine somewhere.  Mr. LePage deserves it!  So how was your weekend?

I had a really difficult time doing ‘funny’ last night, and even Jolly wasn’t much help.  All the humour in my usual ‘go-to’ sources seemed a bit macabre, like the guy who was trying to steal gasoline from a U-Haul and set himself and the U-Haul truck on fire.  Somehow … it just didn’t make me laugh.  So, instead of a variety of humour today, I am falling back on the one thing that always works, funny animals.  Jolly, by the way, is still in bed … I think perhaps he’s coming down with something.

Grab a snack and a nice hot cuppa java, and settle in for a bit of furry funnies before you set out to start the week off.

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And let’s wrap up with a few jokes, shall we?

 

 

And I’m sorry, folks, but that’s all the funny I have in me for today.  Share a smile, a laugh, or even a hug today with a friend, a co-worker or a stranger, okay?  Keep warm, keep safe, and have a great week!!!Monday-smile-2