Saturday Surprise — Meet Wally!!!

You’ve all heard of Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) right?  If a person is going through a very difficult time, for whatever reason, and is suffering from depression, sometimes the company of a pet can bring that person out of his darkness.  I fully believe in this … one of our ‘feral five’, Oliver aka Ollie, seems to just sense when I’m sad or upset and plops on my lap, nuzzles my hand for pats, and purrs so loud it nearly rattles the windows.  How he knows when he’s needed, I don’t know, but he does.

Well, a man in Pennsylvania has a support pet who has helped him through the deaths of several close family members as well as his own battle with prostate cancer and the two are inseparable.  The man is Joseph Henney and his emotional support pet is Wally … WallyGator, that is!

WallyGator goes with him almost everywhere, from the grocery store to walks in the park. They hug each other and sleep in the same bed. WallyGator is an alligator.  The two watch television together on the couch, and when Henney takes him to the farmers market, WallyGator gives hugs to shoppers — as long as they are okay with being that close to a 70-pound reptile with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth.  Says Joie (pronounced Joe) …

“When he turns his nose toward you, that means he expects a kiss. He’s super sweet-natured. He’s a very special gator, but I wouldn’t recommend that anyone get one. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you will get bit.”

Henney’s unlikely friendship with WallyGator began in 2015 when a friend from Florida called to ask if he could take in a few gators that had been found in a pond in Orlando. Because he has always enjoyed caring for reptiles as a pastime, Henney told his friend that he could take in three juvenile alligators. Little did he know, he was about to embark on a beautiful friendship with one of them.

For about three decades, Henney—who makes a living in wood-crafting—has helped relocate unwanted alligators, snakes and iguanas to wildlife sanctuaries in his free time. He revealed that he is usually called to rescue alligators that people take in as pets when they are cute baby gators but find difficult to handle when they inevitably grow into large animals. After moving the rescue reptiles into separate indoor enclosures in his home, Henney finds sanctuaries or zoos to take them. Two of the gators he received from his Florida friend eventually went to reptile refuges in New York and New Jersey.

WallyGator, however, he decided to keep as he had formed a special bond with the then-14-month-old reptile.

“I bonded with him and was committed to caring for him. One of the problems when someone gets an alligator for a pet is they don’t realize they’re in for a long haul. When they get to three feet, nobody wants them. They can bite and they’re extremely hard to handle.”

According to Henney, it was evident to him from the very beginning that WallyGator was different from all the other alligators he’s handled …

“He wouldn’t eat live rats, and he really showed a love for cheesy popcorn. I thought it was different, but I was still very cautious around him. I’ve been handling gators for years, and I’ve learned to read them. An alligator isn’t going to attack you for no reason. I’m always careful, but I felt it was fine to let him roam free in the house. He enjoyed being held, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is a super nice, friendly alligator.'”

It was in 2017, after several family members and friends had died in a 2-week period, that he and his unusual pet really bonded.

“I was depressed and WallyGator started to do silly things to cheer me up. When I was on the couch, he’d pull my blanket to the floor.”

It was his doctor who suggested that he register the reptile as an emotional support animal when Henney revealed how WallyGator had helped with his depression. Although he initially dismissed the idea, Henney went home that day with a letter from the doctor qualifying the alligator as an emotional support animal. He later filled out an application on the U.S. Service Animals website and received a certificate along with a harness and leash for his alligator once it was approved.

Henney also credits his leathery friend for emotionally supporting him through a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer and weeks of radiation treatments. Because he knows there’s a good chance his pet gator will outlive him (gators typically live 80 years or more), he has arranged with a friend to ensure that WallyGator gets to spend the rest of his days in reptilian comfort.

Don’t believe me, do you?  Take a look at this short clip of Joie and Wally …

I loved this story … it warmed my heart.  But not enough to make me want a pet alligator!  I can only imagine how he would get along with our five cats!!!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and to my friends in the U.S. – Happy Labour Day Weekend!!!

Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine – July 26th 2022 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Lottery Win and Appearances Count

A bit of humour to brighten your afternoon!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Author Daniel Kemp entertains us again with his funnies from: Danny Kemp.. Always a place to find funnies and jokes to cheer you up… plus some satirical political commentary on politicians at home and abroad.

Be careful what you say in public.

A young Minister about to deliver his first sermon asked the advice of a retired minister on how to capture the congregation’s attention.

“Start with an opening line that’s certain to grab them,” the old Minister told him.

“For example: ‘Some of the best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman.'”

He smiled at the young Ministers shocked look before adding, “She was my mother.”

The next Sunday the Minister nervously clutched the pulpit rail before the congregation and stated, “Some of the best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman.”

He was pleased with the…

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Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine – The Senior Team pass the the funnies along – Legal Shenanigans

Given the state of the world, we can all use a bit of a chuckle, but sometimes it’s really hard to find! Well, I found mine over at the Smorgasbord Blog earlier today — I even laughed! And then I thought that it was rather selfish of me to keep these chuckles for myself, so I decided to share them with you guys! Thanks, Sally et al!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

My sister Diana and her friends passed along these legal gems and we hope you enjoy..

Plus…How Do Court Reporters Keep Straight Faces?

These are from a book called Disorder in the Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place:

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS: My name is Susan!

_______________________________

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?

WITNESS: July 18th.

ATTORNEY: What year?

WITNESS: Every year.

_____________________________________

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?

WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember…

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Jolly Monday, Evermore

Hi … it’s me, Jolly!  Gwammie will be here in a minute … she’s having a bit of twouble waking up dis morning.  GWAMMIE!!!  Huwwy … our fwiends are here!

Huh?  Wha-wha-who-how???  {yawn}  Oh … heh heh … hi everyone!  Sorry I’m a little late to the party!  These sleepless nights are taking a toll.  So, it’s Monday again already, huh?  Jolly … did you pull together some fun to make our friends smile this morning?  Ohhhhh … what is that I smell?  Something smells really yummy and it’s making my tummy grumble … let’s go see what Joyful has cooked up this morning, shall we?

Since da bacon lovers whinged last week, I made extra this week!


Well, now that we’ve all got a bit of breakfast or snack, Jolly tells me he popped over to Phil’s Phun this morning and found some ‘toons to make us laugh …


Some memes, just in case the ‘toons weren’t enough to make you chuckle …


And we found some funny signs …


This one isn’t funny, but I saw it over at Phil’s and … I just think it says it all … if everyone had this philosophy, the world would be a much nicer place …


And to round out Jolly Monday, naturally we have a cute animal video!  Meet Peaches & Skippy …


Well, friends, that’s a wrap for this Jolly Monday.  We’re so sad to see you leave, but we know you have things to do, places to go, and people to see, so we hope you have a wonderful week ahead.  Keep safe, be happy, and please share those gorgeous smiles!!!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful

Jolly Monday … Better Late Than Never?

Hello fwiends … Gwammie is “under da weather” today an’ she was gonna skip Jolly Monday, but me ‘n Joyful tol’ her we’d do it.  We might not do it as good as Gwammie, but we’ll twy, okay?

Joyful:  Now, Jolly … I can’t help you with Jolly Monday AND cook up a storm like I usually do, so …

Jolly:  Okay, Joyful … I get it … I’ll just pop out for some donuts ‘n coffee while you find da funny critter video, ‘k?

Joyful:  Okie Dokie! 

… … … …

Jolly:  I’m back wid da donuts ‘n coffee!

Joyful:  Did you remember to get Miss Ellen’s favourite coffee?

Jolly:  Got it wight here!

Joyful:  Okay, put everything out on the table and let’s get busy with these ‘toons you dug up

… … … …


How ’bout some funny toons, fwiends?


And here’s some cool memes dat Joyful found …


We pwob’ly don’ do as good as Gwammie, but Joyful found dis cute cwitter video …


Well, fwiends, we weally hope you laughed with us today an’ dat you can share dose smiles dis week!  Lots of Love ‘n Hugs fwom Joyful an’ Jolly … an’ Gwammie, too!

Filosofa Checks In …

One of the many things I have learned over the past month or so is that once the body hits the 70-year mark, the warranty expires on all its parts.  I should’a read the fine print.  I keep hoping to be able to start my post with … “Filosofa Rides Again!” … or something equally energetic, but I’m not there yet, folks.  They tell me that patience is the key, that at my age, healing takes time, but patience has never been my strong suit and mine has been stretched beyond its limits, driving my mind into a dark and foreboding place.

Another thing I’ve learned is that healthcare in the U.S. is seriously broken.  It has become so compartmentalized, so ‘specialized’, that the patient is no longer given even minimal consideration.  But I’ll have more on that another time.

Anyway, I really miss my blog, miss my blogging family, miss the interactions among us.  And yes, I have been keeping up with what is happening on the U.S. political scene, and it seems that old adage is true:  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  The same issues are at hand today with the same tired cast of characters as when I first became ill a month or more ago.  And the anti-vaxxers are still mistakenly interpreting their ‘rights’ as being whatever they want them to be at a given time.

Though I’m still far from ‘back in the saddle’, I plan to try to write a short post every other day or so … I think it might help me crawl out of the dark, dark place my mind resides in these days.

And finally, thank you all for the well-wishes and heartfelt concern you’ve sent me via comments and email.  I apologize for not having answered each one individually, but know that your thoughts brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart.

Random Thoughts From A Bouncy Mind

Just a few thoughts from the bouncing mind inside my head …

I had to laugh when I read in a news aggregator that with both Senate and House back in chambers, we should prepare for what “… could be a frantic couple weeks of legislative action.”  Legislative action???  In today’s inert Senate???  Who do they think they’re kidding?  The most action we are likely to see from the United States Senate in the coming weeks are them posturing on various news shows and faux news shows to trash talk the other side.  If any meaningful legislation comes out of the Senate anytime soon, I will be in shock.

The Senate has been discussing the infrastructure bill for months now.  It is allegedly now a bi-partisan bill that the Republicans insisted be pared down from its original status, but even then, it doesn’t have enough Republican support to overcome the damn filibuster.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is trying to move things along and asking for a cloture vote on Wednesday, and the Republicans want to know what his big hurry is!  As I said, they’ve been playing tiddly winks with it for months … meanwhile, roadways, bridges, water and sewage facilities and more continue to deteriorate.  WHAT THE SAM HELL do the Republicans think they’re doing?  Nothing … that’s what they’re doing.  Not one damn thing.  Oh wait … they ARE still collecting their paychecks, so I suppose that qualifies as doing something.  That amounts to a minimum, by the way, of $6,692 twice monthly.  Do any of you make that kind of money for sitting on your patooties all day?  No, I didn’t think so, but you ARE paying these jerks!

Meanwhile, the For the People Act seems to have been all but forgotten … I haven’t heard mention of it from any member of Congress recently.  FOR THE PEOPLE!  Even its name should stir some tiny shred of conscience among our elected officials, but what are they doing?  Playing games … with our lives!  How many of them have appeared on Fox News in the past month?  They have time to go preen their ugly mugs, but not time to give serious consideration to a bill that would protect this nation from autocratic bigots!

I read last night about some of the arguments that lawyers are using to attempt to keep their clients who infiltrated the Capitol on January 6th out of prison.  Leave it to high-paid lawyers to twist words and infer motives.  One guy’s lawyer says he shouldn’t be found guilty because his mother says he has “an amazing work ethic” and that he bought clothes and shoes for the residents of a nursing home where he worked as a nurse’s aide.  Never mind, I guess, that he is a member of the radical militia group the Three Percenters, and never mind that he entered the Capitol on January 6th wielding a baseball bat and a noxious chemical spray.

Overall, the lawyers are blaming everyone except their clients, the people who perpetrated the crimes.  Among those they blame are the media, naivete, trauma, unemployment, the pandemic, Washington elites, and their clients’ childhoods.  Sorry, fellas, it doesn’t pass the smell test.  These were people old enough to know better, so forget all the excuses.  They did what they did despite knowing that it was illegal, that it was likely to result in injuries or death … as in fact it did.  In my book, every single person who entered the Capitol without just cause that day should serve a minimum of five years in prison, no exceptions.  Those whose violence ended in property destruction or injury to others should serve 20 years in prison, no quarter given.  End of story.  Make an example of them so that next time, people will think long and hard before participating in an insurrection.

Nicholas Kristof is one of my favourite New York Times columnists, and I have shared his work more than once here on Filosofa’s Word.  A Pulitzer Prize winner, Kristof has written an op-ed column about international human rights and the disenfranchised for the New York Times for two decades.  Rumour has it that Kristof is now considering running for governor of Oregon, his home state, to replace the current governor, Kate Brown, who will reach her term limit in 2022.  So far, it’s just a rumour, but rumours have a way of becoming reality.  Kristof has the right sentiments, but I’m not sure he has the right temperament for the job.  Politics is dirty business, but … hey, it would be good to see a man of conscience, a man with an actual functioning brain and heart, in a position of power.

Thumbs up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for rejecting two of the five Republicans chosen by Kevin McCarthy to participate on the committee that will be investigating the events of, and those leading up to, the January 6th attack on Congress and the Capitol.  The two she rejected are Jim (aka Gym) Jordan from Ohio and Jim Banks from Indiana.  Both voted against certifying the election on January 6th, which in my mind is reason enough to keep them off of this committee.  I know more about Jordan than I do Banks, but Jordan is a real piece of work that I wouldn’t trust to clean up the dog poop from my yard, let alone trust with something this important.  There is no doubt in my mind that McCarthy’s purpose in selecting these two Jims was obstruction.  Personally, I’d like to see him choose Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney … republicans that have shown they have a conscience, that they put country before party.

Well, I think I’ve shared enough of the thoughts from my bouncy mind for now.  Have a great afternoon!

Saturday Surprise — Bubble Wrap Art!

Bradley Hart is an artist.  All his life, he has been intensely interested in art.  Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he was only 11 years old when he first enrolled into Thornton Hall, a private art school where he took classical art training including the replication of Renaissance masters works.  In 2002, Hart received his B.A. from the University of Toronto, Canada, with a double major in Visual Art and Semiotic Communication Theory (whatever the heck that is!) and a minor in Cinema Studies.  Soon thereafter, Hart moved to New York where he still lives today.

Bradley is an artist, but his canvas is unique … bubble wrap!  Yep, you heard right … bubble wrap.  He injects paint into bubble wrap, using each blob as a pixel to create his large-scale photorealistic images.  Says Hart …

“I load thousands of syringes with paint in preparation to begin the injection. I’ve done portraits of the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain Michael Jackson, David Bowie, John Lennon.”

Invented in 1957, bubble wrap was originally intended to be marketed as textured wallpaper. What turned out to be an epic failure from the decorator point of view turned out to be a boon to the shipping industry—and to Bradley Hart.

“Researching the history of bubble wrap and realizing that it was meant to be wallpaper brought me around to this great idea. What is a painting—short of the cultural significance and historical value it may obtain over time? It’s ostensibly a wall covering.”

Hart-1Hart-2Hart-3Hart-4Hart-Mona-Lisa

But there’s a flip side to Hart’s paintings … literally!  He injects paint into bubble wrap, using each blob as a pixel to create his large-scale photorealistic images.  After the injection the drops are removed from the backside of the plastic to reveal an imprint of the work, becoming yet another piece of art through the impressions from the injected paint.

Hart-6Hart-5

Says Hart …

“The injections are a metaphor for the ways we punctuate our lives with Google searches, selfies and Facebook posts. The antithetical idea of protection vs. fragility of the substance itself is also endemic to the work. On a personal level, the process of injecting ironically references the need to inject myself with disease-modifying medication for my own MS over the past decade.”

Watch him tell a bit about his work

When he started out, Hart was only able to inject a few cells at a time before having to step back to review his progress. He’s since invented a computer algorithm that gives him a working bird’s eye view. While it makes the process faster, it’s still time-consuming.

Now, I’m not saying these paintings are something I necessarily want hanging on my living room walls, but they are definitely unique, as is the artist’s method.  Bradley Hart has infinitely more patience than I have, taking days to fill all those syringes, then injecting the paint into the bubble wrap, one bubble at a time!  Talk about tedious!  Still, I thought you might enjoy seeing Mr. Hart’s work and technique!  Now, go forth and have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Saturday Surprise — Coincidentally

I am one of those people who doesn’t much believe in coincidences … I am a pragmatist who largely believes in cause and effect … when something happens, somewhere along the line, other things transpired that caused the end result.  That said, even I admit that sometimes there’s just no logical path, no data-driven explanation for things.  I found some very cool coincidences over at one of my favourite go-to sites, Bored Panda, and I hope you’ll enjoy them!


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In 1990, A Panel Of The Windscreen On British Airways Flight 5390 Fell Out At 17k Feet, Causing The Cockpit To Decompress & Its Captain To Be Sucked Halfway Out Of The Aircraft. The Crew Held Onto Him For More Than 20 Minutes As The Copilot Made An Emergency Landing. The Pilot Made A Full Recovery

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Lightning Striking Simultaneously On Chicago’s Three Tallest Buildings

 


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Twins Married Twins To Give Birth To Another Twins

 


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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that it’s not too cold where you are!

Hello 2016 … er, um … 2021

I started to write a New Year’s post last night … it began like this …

Well, my friends, we made it through this year of sheer hell.  Most of us have survived not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also the pandemics of hatred and stupidity that have taken over our newsfeeds and the headlines in every major news source.  Sadly, I must remind you that a ‘new year’ is but a manmade contrivance to help us keep up with our lives, not an actual reset of events.  That said, I think 2021 will start just as 2020 ended … with a raging pandemic and political chaos; with people dying by the hundreds or thousands, with a megalomaniac and his bootlickers attempting to turn this republic into an autocracy by overturning our votes.  Nothing changes just because when the clock strikes midnight you pop the cork on a champagne bottle, kiss your loved ones, and turn the calendar to January 2021.  You won’t wake up in the morning to find that Donald Trump is in prison and that we actually have an intelligent, concerned president.  You won’t wake up to find that you can now go out for dinner, take in a movie, or pop over to the mall for a bit of shopping without wearing a mask.  You still won’t find toilet tissue, Lysol, or Clorox disinfectant wipes on your grocery shelves.  You will still be limited to two packages of meat at your local grocery store.  You will still be worried sick about sending your child back to school.  And more than 1,813,000 people will still be dead worldwide of a virus that is nowhere near being controlled. 

Um … not quite the tone I was shooting for, but very much an honest assessment.  Then, I began to wonder what my New Year’s post five years ago, the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 was like, so I went digging around in the archives.  I think you will find my words kinder and more hopeful back then, plus I think that, knowing what we know now, you will find some humour in it! 


I do not quite understand why it is, but most of us welcome in the new year with great hope for the next 365 days, almost as if we believe that the slate we were using for the past 365 days was wiped clean at the exact moment the ball hit bottom in Times Square, and we are now starting afresh with new hopes, new dreams, a clean slate on which to write a new story, a better one.  Okay, okay … I am not going to be a the one to dash those dreams, those ethereal images that you are seeing with such joy.  Life will see to that soon enough, probably when you awaken in the morning and turn on the news, pick up the morning newspaper, or boot up the computer.

Do you make resolutions at New Year’s?  I do not, so I am always curious about people who do.  Oh sure, I hope that I can do better at certain things than I have in the past, but that is pretty much a daily hope of mine.  Do people who do make resolutions start thinking about their resolutions a week in advance?  A month?  I once had a friend who made his resolution on the morning of January 1st … same resolution every year … when he awakened with a massive hangover and resolved then and there to quit drinking, effective immediately.  His resolution usually lasted for about 12 hours.  Have you ever made a resolution and actually kept it throughout the year?  I don’t think I personally know anybody whose resolution was anything other than a dim memory by January 31st, so I am curious if some people who do make resolutions actually do manage to keep to them.

I do not make resolutions, but I think about, based on the past year, what the year 2016 might bring.  It would be lovely, and I am sure some say this is their hope for the new year, to think that within the next twelve months we will see peace and prosperity around the world, an end to wars in the Middle East, an end to racism and bigotry in our own nation, more love and tolerance, less hatred toward our fellow man, and an end to the highly annoying facebook memes that attempt to compress complex socio-political issues into a single sentence.  Who wouldn’t love to see an end to ISIS, Boko Haram, al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations?  These are dreams we could all share, even if we are divided on who should be the next president of the U.S.  But sadly, just like the person who buys a lottery ticket and goes to bed dreaming of a new home, a new car, and telling his boss “I quit”, when we look back a year from now, I am pretty sure those problems will still exist, others will have joined them, and people will still be … well, human.

Filosofa is not a cynic, contrary to what you may think.  I am actually known in my circle of friends as quite the optimist … annoyingly to some.  But I am a pragmatist, a realist, and as such I do not live in a world of dreams.  One of the readers of this blog commented yesterday that we need to say to ourselves, “okay, the world is a mess … now how do we fix it?”  I like that attitude. So, while I do not make resolutions, I do have hopes.  Unlike hopes for world peace, an end to all war, etc., my hopes are that people will start asking themselves “what can I do to make the world a little bit better?”  And then start looking for answers.  The answers are all around you, if you just realize what the question is.  Many years ago, my answer to this question was, and still is, to treat everybody as human beings.  These days, I try to make a difference by writing, in hopes that I might be able to make just one person think about things that matter.  Most of us, realistically, are not in a position to bring about world peace.  We cannot all be Mother Teresa or Gandhi.  We cannot all be leaders of nations.  But we can make small differences within our own small spheres of influence, in our community, in our neighborhood.  We can volunteer one day a month at a homeless shelter or food pantry, we can help a neighbor who is struggling, we can donate unwanted clothing or food items to the poor.  We can find ways to fight violence without resorting to more violence.  We can talk a little bit nicer to people, say “good morning” and “thank you so much” to the young person who bags our groceries.  Think that doesn’t make a difference?  Think again.

So my hope for the new year is that we all try very hard to find the small things that we can do to help people we come into contact with every day.  No, it will not end the conflict in Syria, it will not eradicate Iran’s enriched uranium supply, and it will not remove Donald Trump from the presidential race, but a lot of little deeds add up to making the world just a little bit better.  You can be part of the problem or you can be part of the solution … your choice.

In closing, I wish each and every one of you a year of peace within your own family and circle of friends, good health and that you be able to meet all of your needs.  Happy New Year!