Saturday Surprise — Cuteness!

Well here we are … the start of another weekend!  This has not been a fun week for those of us who are stuck in the muck of politics all week long, so I decided that what we really need to help us transition from dark to light so we can enjoy the weekend is … cuteness!  And I have found a few things that I think will make you smile.

Keepin’ warm …

Remember the times your mother made you wear that hat your grandma knitted? Well, we’re not the only ones. Turns out, farmers are protecting their cattle from harsh weathers with adorable clothing as well. And since young calves are the most susceptible to these dangers, they get the most attention.calf-1calf-2calf-3calf-4calf-5

Too cute to eat …

This doctor and amateur food artist from Bangkok, who goes by name Peaceful Pax on Instagram, makes the cutest edible art. It all started out accidentally with her just trying to make something a little bit different for her lunch but it really blew up as soon as she started to collect pictures of her adorable creations and post them on Instagram.


Meet Debit and Credit …

Some basic skills of an office employee include the ability to organize office supplies, answer phones, and work a computer – office kittens Debit and Credit have all of those skills – almost. ‘Hired’ by the finance/IT department of a transportation company in Ohio, the rescue kittens were employed not for their natural ability to play with boxes but to boost office morale.

The adorable brother and sister have managed not only to delight their office but the entire internet. Introduced on Reddit by one of their fellow employees, the sweet kitties were caught on camera hiding under and wrestling with an empty box lid. Understandably people wanted to see more of their hijinx. Debit and Credit now have their own Instagram account with 6.2k

And just in case you aren’t smiling yet … these penguins are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

Now, go forth and have a great weekend, my friends!

Saturday Surprise — Tidbits of Humour

I admit to being somewhat depleted tonight as I sit down to do this Saturday Surprise post, so I thought I’d go with a hodgepodge of humorous tidbits … I think we could all use a laugh right about now, yes?

Jeff Foxworthy, famous for his “You Might Be a Redneck If …” one-liners, often brings a chuckle.  I liked the first two best.foxworthy-jokes.png

I haven’t shared any of those funny signs for a few months … this first one caught my eye and since it made me laugh, I thought it would bring a chuckle from you also.


I always like a little quip … a short joke with a quick punch …


Q: What did one cannibal say to the other while they were eating a clown?

A: “Does this taste funny to you?”


Q: Why did the chewing gum cross the road?

A: He was stuck to the chicken’s foot.


Little girl: “Why does your son say, ‘Cluck, cluck, cluck?'”

Mother: “Because he thinks he’s a chicken.”

Little girl: “Why don’t you tell him he’s not a chicken?”

Mother: “We need the eggs.”

Of course there must be some funny animal memes, right?


A few ‘toons …


I’m sorry to cut this short, folks, but I truly am running on fumes, and anyway … it’s the WEEKEND, and a long, 3-day weekend at that!!!  I know you’ve got all sorts of fun planned, yes?  So do I!!!  I’m going to wrestle a chair from my upstairs bedroom to the downstairs living room, and vacuum the 15-step staircase!  Bet you’re jealous, huh?  You’re more than welcome to come help!  Have a wonderful holiday weekend and keep safe, my friends!

Saturday Surprise — Puds and Cacti

If it’s Saturday morning, then it must be time for Saturday Surprise, yes?  Last night, I traveled ‘round the globe (without leaving my chair!) looking for something with which to regale you, and I found a couple!

The Pudding Club …

You know how sometimes you can go through life without ever having heard of something, and then all of a sudden twice in a period of days you hear of it?  Such a thing happened to me this week.  Our friend David mentioned something called ‘cheese-rolling’, and when I asked him what the heck that was, he sent me a link.  In a nutshell, somebody throws a big ball of cheese from the top of a very steep hill, and the contestants go chasing after it, most often tumbling down the hill, head-over-heels.  Okay, and then yesterday I got an email from Atlas Obscura about a restaurant, Three Ways House, famous for its puddings, and also in the Cotswold area noted for its cheese-rolling!  I’ve never heard of cheese-rolling until this very week, and now it’s been mentioned twice in a span of about 3 days!

Here … check out the cheese-rolling for yourself …

Now, about Three Ways House.  In 1985, fed up with the sad dessert trolleys so common in hotel restaurants at the time, the then-owners of Three Ways House eschewed the typical black forest cake and fruit salads. Instead, they got a group of friends together to eat inordinate amounts of pudding. These Friday night feasts became tradition, and so the Pudding Club was born.

Now, I have friends on both sides of the pond, but I have only recently discovered that North Americans and Brits do not mean the same thing when they say “pudding”.  To us on this side of the pond, pudding is a smooth, creamy, custard-like sweet dessert made with sugar, cornstarch, milk, and flavouring … most often chocolate, vanilla or butterscotch.


To the Brits, however, pudding can mean many things.

The Pudding Club has a self-proclaimed mission of preserving the “great British pudding.” In Britain, a pudding is a dish traditionally made with suet, or hardened animal fat, along with flour and fruit for sweetness. Then, it’s steamed for several hours. This type of pudding can be sweet or savory, but the word can also apply to dessert in general.  Confused yet?

Orange Christmas pudding (left) and Rhubarb Steamed pudding

These look more like a very moist cake to me, but the sweet ones definitely look worth a try.  I didn’t think a savory steamed pudding would be appealing, but the one on the right, at least, actually looks pretty good.  I do not have an adventurous palate, as the Japanese associates always told me when I worked at Honda.  Most things I will try at least once, unless they stink or are slimy.

Steak and Ale suet pudding (left) and Steak and Mushroom pudding

Lucy Williams is the assistant manager and Pudding Master of Three Ways House, seen here announcing the puddings of the night.Lucy-WilliamsIt’s Williams who decides which puddings are served every Friday. Positively obsessed by pudding, she’s protective of its place at the Three Ways House. She’s also a purist, often consulting the definitive tome on the subject, Regula Ysewjin’s Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings, Savoury and Sweet.  Who knew?

Recipe photography

Yorkshire pudding

The Three Ways House is a small hotel, and seven of the rooms are pudding-themed.  There’s the Spotted Dick room (I’m not even going to ask), the Summer Pudding room, and a Chocolate Suite, where everything from the bathroom tiles to the cushions on the bed look like chocolates.Three-Ways-HouseOn Friday nights, Pudding Club nights, there are seven different puddings presented, and at the end of the night, each guest fills out a score sheet, voting for the top dessert of the evening.  The Club has earned worldwide acclaim and has even been invited to bring their puddings to New York and Tokyo!  I don’t see how anybody could possibly eat all seven, but then I could only eat about half of one anyway.  Still, it sounds like fun, don’t you think?

More than you wanted to know about … Cactus!

Moving from puddings to cacti, I bet you didn’t know that they have their own fan club!  It’s called the Crested Saguaro Society, a group of amateur naturalists bound by one mission: to find and document all of Arizona’s fasciated saguaros.  Founded by Bob Cardell and Pat Hammes back in 2006, its members trek across the northern patch of the Sonoran Desert, where they’ve logged everything from specimens that split like a whale tail to ones that resemble gangly candelabras.candelabra-cactus.jpgOn a normal saguaro, accordion-like pleats run vertically up its base, tracing the ribs like mountain ranges. But on a cristate, things get funky. Its “growing tip”—the apical meristem, in technical terms—flattens and elongates. The saguaro’s pleats split chaotically, forcing them closer together until they crimp, at times warping the trunk so it spirals. As the pleats smush together, they cause the plant’s growing tip to fan. The final result is a rippled crest as unique as a fingerprint.

Saguaros, icons of the American Southwest, are protected by the Arizona government. But poachers still manage to snatch the cacti from public lands. The slow-growing plants—it takes upwards of 75 years for an arm to form—can go for about $100 per foot on the black market. Again, who knew? Crested saguaros, because of their alien-ness, are particularly enticing.

cactus.jpgThey are rather fascinating to look at, but I don’t think I would like to spend time trekking around the desert looking for them.


I like this last one, for it makes me think it’s flipping the bird at someone.

And on that note, I wrap up with a wish that you all have a safe and fun weekend, my friends!


Just Because …

Because it’s been a long, disgusting, depressing week, and because it’s Friday, and because I am largely unmotivated this afternoon, and because we need to laugh just a bit …

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Nigel Farage, the former leader of Britain’s UK Independence Party, has long had a knack for generating publicity for his eurosceptic cause, but campaigners say he had nothing to do with the latest stunt: branded condoms bearing his image.Nigel Farage condoms are sold on a stall during the UKIP party conference in BirminghamAmong the most attention-grabbing items on sale at this year’s UKIP conference in Birmingham on Friday were condoms in packets printed with an image of Farage, eyebrow raised, and the phrase “For when you have a hard Brexit” underneath.

“They’re one pound each, or two pounds for four – at UKIP we like making deal, so long as it’s a good deal,” said Sebastian Cheek, the 20 year-old student who designed the packet and was selling 200 condoms to raise funds for the party’s youth wing.

UKIP is seeking to revive its dwindling political influence at the annual party get-together. Its popularity collapsed following the 2016 vote to leave the European Union and several botched attempts to replace the talismanic Farage as leader.

Farage remains a UKIP member but has tried to steer clear of the limelight to allow the party to develop a new identity – although no one appears to have told the party faithful snapping up the condoms and helping themselves to free framed photos of a grinning Farage standing with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Branded underwear is sold on a stall during the UKIP party conference in BirminghamThe array of conference stalls pitches a local branch selling “I love UKIP” underwear thongs opposite the party’s Christian members’ wing offering earnest leaflets on leaving the EU. The official UKIP stall sells bags of Brexit fudge – a sarcastic take on Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to leaving the bloc.

By lunchtime on the first day of the two-day conference, almost half the stock of the Farage condoms had been snapped up: “It is a reputable condom … they’re going very quickly,” said Cheek.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Saturday Surprise — Critters!!!

red-panda-e1534572781553.pngHi Friends!  The weekend is finally here, we all survived another week, and now it’s time to have some fun!  I had a great idea for today’s post … 🤔 … 🤔 … but it seems to have slipped my mind.  Drat!  I knew I should have written it down, for these days my mind is like a sieve, and even when I talk to myself, I forget what I was saying! forgetfulWell, let’s just have a few cute/funny animal stories, then, for I am in the mood for cuteness.  First, let me share my own bit of cuteness.  Remember back when I wrote about the Significant Seven (now the Significant Six) and I told you how Izzy is so skittish that she spends most of her day under the sofa, and won’t let any but Miss Goose near her?  Well, a few days ago I was deeply engrossed in my writing when I sensed that I was being watched. I glanced up to see this little face about 4 inches from mine, staring intently.


Isabella, aka ‘Izzy’

Recently, Bored Panda did a piece about the ten rarest dog breeds.  Most of them didn’t look much different from breeds that we are familiar with, but this one, the Lagotto Romagnolo, stood out.Lagotto

According to the article …

Lagottos are affectionate, devoted and not at all demanding. Combine that with how adorably fluffy these dogs are and you’ll want one — if you can find one. The Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient breed originating in the Romagna region of Italy, according to the Lagotto Romagnolo Club of Canada, and are not only efficient water retrievers but they’re best known for being the only purebred dog in the world recognized as a specialized truffle searcher. And sticks, apparently.

A specialized truffle searcher!  Who knew?  But isn’t he adorable, in a strange sort of way?

Vizsla is yet another dog breed I’ve never heard of until today, but they originated in Hungary, and are known for their loyalty, as well as their hunting skills. Murray and AJMeet Murray … a Vizsla housemate of human AJ Allee.  Now, I remember the last dog I shared my home with, and when I arrived home from work I was greeted with wet sloppy kisses and knock-down hugs from my 130-pound Rottweiler-Border Collie mix who thought he was still a pup.  But AJ comes home to a slightly different sort of welcome from Murray …

Yep, you got it … Murray keeps watch for AJ’s return from the highest point on the house – the roof!  The first time it happened …

“We didn’t realize it until neighbors came and rang our doorbell. It was terrifying because we were afraid he would jump or fall. He moved so quickly on the roof and ran to the edge, then stopped.”

AJ says he tried to find ways to block Murray’s access to the roof, but he always found another way to get up there, so after three days he finally gave up.  Periodically passers-by will stop to inform AJ that there’s a dog on his roof!

I have heard of Silkie Chickens before, but had never actually seen one.  Well, technically I still haven’t seen one up-close-and-personal, but … meet Marshmallow, the Silkie Chicken …marshmallowAccording to Marshmallow’s housemate, who is known only as WyrmsWorks, Silkie Chickens are …

“They’re bred to be less physically capable so they’re easy to contain, and they’re also bred to be very calm and trusting, with no emphasis on maintaining normal survival capabilities. They are very easy to catch and don’t try to run from predators soon enough because they’re just too calm. Silkies can not free range, they will get themselves killed one way or another. They are special needs as far as chickens go. As long as they’re kept safe they make perfect pets, though.”

One day, Wyrm (hope he doesn’t mind the nickname, but I don’t feel like typing his full ‘name’) couldn’t find Marshmallow, so, he went in search of and found her …Silkie in trashYep, in the trash!  Since the height of the trash bin would have made it impossible, Wyrm was puzzled and couldn’t figure out how she got in there … and better yet, WHY!  So, a bit later, he watched from a distance, and found that she was … trying to escape from a barnyard rooster named Waffle who was attempting to … well … you know!  Has Waffle never heard of #MeToo???  Turns out that poor Marshmallow was so frightened that she jumped atop a cat stand near the trash, from there tried to perch on the ledge of the trash bin, but instead, being not very well-balanced, fell in!  Poor Marshmallow.

And then another day, Marshmallow decided to play in the dirt! Silkie in dirtDirty silkieWhich made a bath a necessity.  When a Silkie Chicken gets a bath, this is what they come out looking like …Clean silkie

And last, but not least, what would a post about cute critters be without a fun video?  Watch this kangaroo try to get on a swing!

Okay, folks … time for you guys to go attend those weekend chores, go shopping, throw some burgers on the grill, take the family to the zoo, or whatever is on the docket for the weekend.  Just make sure you have some fun, take some time to relax and enjoy life, for Monday will be here soon enough!

Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh … I just remembered what I was going to write this post about … automobile genders!  Well, there’s always next Saturday.  In case I forget, remind me.weekend

Saturday Surprise — A Trip to Hong Kong!

YAY!!!  It’s the weekend again!!!  Some might ask what difference it makes to me, since I am retired and every day is pretty much the weekend.  Well, yes and no.  Every day I get to waken on my own with no alarm clock, and I set my own schedule, but I have to tell you … I work harder now than I ever did when I was an accountant working 12-14 hour days!  I am busy from the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning until usually 3:00 a.m. or so, when I tumble into bed to read for an hour or so.  Weekends, however, are special because unless she is at a band thingy somewhere, daughter Chris is home, she and Miss Goose do the house chores, and we have family day on Saturdays whereby we go out to eat and usually for a trip to my favourite place, Barnes & Noble.  So I do still look forward to weekends!

A ‘feel-good’ story crossed my path today, and it led me on a journey.  I came back to get you all and take you with me on a journey to … Hong Kong!!!  We are going to Hong Kong to see the Dragon Boat races and to meet one very special team of racers who I think will really impress you!  Don’t worry, you’ll be back in time for whatever is on your Saturday docket.dragon-boat-carnivaldragon-boat-carnival-2.jpgThe Dragon Boat Festival takes place every year on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month, normally in May or June in our calendar.  This year it was on June 18th. The festival is best known for its colourful Dragon Boat races where teams of paddlers race the long narrow boats accompanied by the beat of the drum down to the finish line.  The drumbeat is to keep members of the team in time.dragon-boat-1.jpgAccording to one popular legend, the Dragon Boat Festival has its origins in the old man Qu Yuan, an official that was so disillusioned with his country’s government that he drowned himself in protest by jumping in the river. The locals rushed to the site, paddling on their boats and banging drums, gongs and everything they could find to scare away anything that might harm Qu Yuan in hopes to find and rescue him but they were not successful. They also brought offerings of rice to calm the old man’s spirit. The pilgrimage with the long boats, the drumming and the rice evolved into massive and colorful events and the dragon boat races and competitions that characterize the festival of today.dragon-boat-2The races last for three days, and every year, thousands compete.  This year, though, was special for there was a new team on the block called the Darkness Fighters. Their mantra is “Challenge the impossible.”  You see, this team is special for they are all blind and most are well beyond retirement age!  For some, it is their first time competing in any organized sport. Darkness Fighters-1.jpg“I’m really happy to be here today because I didn’t think I would be able to do things like this,” said Tsang Jau Rung, 72, who began losing her sight 16 years ago and joined the Fighters this year.

“It is a group effort,” said Annie Wing Chee Lo, 60, who steadily lost her sight over the past 10 years. “It requires our utmost focus and perseverance for us to do well.”Darkness Fighters-2.jpgFor the blind paddlers the race has its own sensory delights: the thrum of the drum, the spray of the water, the crowd’s cheers. By the end of the race, they are sopping wet, exhausted and beaming with pride. They placed fifth out of eight teams.

“We were all on point with our rhythms and didn’t mess one another up,” Mr. Lau said. “That alone is a win for us.”

Now wasn’t that a fun journey with which to start the weekend?  I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Dragon Boat Festival and enjoyed meeting the Darkness Fighters!  Have a safe and wonderful weekend!dragon-boat-3

Saturday Surprise!

Good Saturday morn and welcome to Saturday Surprise!  I am still working on a way to make this feature more interactive, at least once in a while, but this past week has been filled with so much detritus that I have barely come up for air, so I hope to bat 🏏 some ideas around this weekend.  Meanwhile, I have a few fun surprises to start our weekend right.

I will start with a confession.  I am rapidly losing my sanity, if in fact I ever had any.  Two points in case:  I thought I had left my cell phone in the kitchen one evening this week, but after dinner when I went to retrieve it, it was gone.  I looked upstairs … in every room … even those I had not been in all day.  I looked downstairs in every room.  I checked the freezer.  I checked the laundry.  No phone.  So finally I asked Chris to call me so that I could trace it by the ring (which was dumb, since I cannot hear it ring unless it is within reach anyway).  Suddenly, there was a vibration and an annoying ringer that goes “wah wah wah” coming from … you guessed it … my pocket. embarrassedAnd the second episode was equally telling of my sanity loss.  I went to the grocery on Thursday evening, purchased enough food for our family of three for two weeks, placed it all neatly on the conveyor belt at the checkout aisle, and while I was patiently waiting for the lady ahead of me to finish paying for her food, it suddenly occurred to me that I had left home without either cash or credit card.  Nada in the pockets but two sets of keys, a cell phone and inhaler.  Fortunately, I live less than a mile from Kroger, so it was a fairly simple matter to resolve, but still … who does that?embarrassed-2And then there was the third, but … I cannot remember what that one was …

Anyway, moving along before I lose my train 🚂 of thought again,..

In Japan, once the rice is harvested around this time of year, the rice farmers are left with fields full of straw.  In Niigata Prefecture, they have found a unique and fun way to deal with it … they build animals!  It is called the “Wara (rice straw) Art Festival”, and just look at some of the results of their efforts!

wara-1wara-2wara-3wara-4wara-5wara-6wara-7The festival is held every year on August 31st, and local artists build the statues over wooden frames, allowing them to build larger, sturdier statues.

Our friend Keith planted this ‘ear worm’ last week, and it has been stuck in my head all week!  So, I am sharing it here because a) I like the song, b) I am hoping that by sharing it with you guys, the ‘ear worm’ will leave me and stick with at least a few of you!

And finally, because it’s late and I am too tired to be any more creative … how about a few adorable critter pictures …


And I’m sorry, folks, but that is all I’ve got for this Saturday!  I’ve enjoyed spending a bit of time with you this morning, but it’s a beautiful autumn Saturday morning, and I know you have things to do, places to go, people to see, and life to enjoy!  Have a great weekend all!


Filosofa Is Taking A Break!

Dear Readers …

hiking-1I am taking a brief hiatus from Friday (today) until Monday or perhaps even Tuesday.  I am going camping/hiking with my dear friend Herb, and will be away from the internet, from news, and from my blog.  I am going to have fun, spend some time with someone I care about and enjoy, and will come back happy, refreshed, and ready to tackle it all again!  That is, if I am not eaten by a bear and don’t fall off one of those big rocks I have been warned about!


camping4I had every intention of writing a regular post tonight for Friday morning, but time is just not my friend today.  I don’t know … years ago, I used to pack for a week long vacation for a family of six in just a few hours, but now … it has taken me the entire day just to get things done and I still have not even packed!  And this for a 3-day trip for just one person … me!  I don’t know what happened to my efficiency, but apparently it took a hiatus!

At any rate, I will be back to writing, opining, and snarking on Monday evening … meanwhile, for all my blogging buddies living in Florida … Don Massenzio, James O’Neill, et al … batten down the hatches and keep safe! The rest of you … have a great weekend.  See you on Monday/Tuesday!