Sunday Funnies; Debates and Bad Puns

There are many, many bad, and off-color puns in the noods this week.

The left finds still more ways to get laughed at whiled destroying what little credibility they had. It’s become rather a habit.

This is truly beautiful work.

Any resemblance to the author is completely accidental

And of course

 

 

Random Observations

We forget what we once knew. Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s not. Killing time, waiting for a delivery, and just sort of wandering around YouTube without purpose and just randomly (! hey!) picked this one. I had forgotten how absolutely dim little kids are. It’s why they are so hysterically funny! They haven’t got a clue and we know it and we revel in their innocence. It’s why people love baby anything – puppies, kittens, mice; if it’s a baby, people will ooh and ahh because they are tiny things of the big things we’re so familiar with. If adults did this stuff, we’d be looking to get them put away somewhere safe, lol, but we delight (and sometimes encourage) this behavior. Dads – you know who you are! Take a few moments to delight in this video.

October is, of course, the spookiest month of all and I’d be greatly remiss if I didn’t include this video. No; it’s not a scary video, it’s a great tutorial on how to create something that looks like it may have existed in some place in time. You can advance the video if you want the ‘speed version’ but I really like this gentleman and have watched several of his tutorials.

Lots and lots of talk again about ObamaCare. I’ll be frank, I don’t quite know what to make of it. I’ve never had to apply for it; we have our own insurance, not tied to an employer. I had a bad attitude about it because I personally know two people who were fined $960 each by the government (pre-Trump) because they didn’t have any health insurance. Outrageous! If they’d had that kind of money, didn’t the government think they’d have health insurance? Tuesday a self-employed friend was here and she just happened to mention that she loves her ObamaCare insurance because her payment is based on her income ($93 a month) and she doesn’t have to pay a co-pay. So I don’t know what to think.

I once lamented that with the dawn of personal computers, we would never again see a book entitled “The Collected Letters of … ” because no one writes letters anymore. A friend laughed and said the new title would be the collected emails of … My, my, my; how current headlines bear that out!

And never forget – French bulldogs.

Under the Skin

And so it continues! Quick now, while Nightmarish Evil Ogre is spell-bound, read the next of the horrible horror stories!


‘Ssshhhh!’ His hands gripped the wall, his fingers slipping in the gaps as he heard a yell nearby. He peered tentatively around the corner and saw a lone figure out in the street, looking around frantically. ‘What’s going on?’ asked a hushed voice behind him. He turned to answer but the sound of footsteps cut him short. Lots of footsteps. He looked back to the street and saw the figure turn tail and run, a few seconds later followed by around a dozen masked figures. More yells, more shouts, and the footsteps died away. ‘I think they’ve gone,’ he said turning to the woman and child behind him. ‘Look, I don’t think we can stay here. We need to move.’

The child gripped his mother, the woman looking up at her husband, her panicked eyes searching his face. Blood was
gently falling from a large gash at the side of his face and his shirt was partially ripped and covered in what looked like dust. His wife and child were physically unhurt but their fear was evident. He gripped his wife’s hand and looking once more around the corner said, ‘come on, let’s move.’ The child grasped his mother’s hand, his mother grabbed her husband by the hand and he led them away from the police building they had hidden behind. As they approached the street, a small fire smouldering in a bin, he looked up at the building they were just hiding behind. Its main doors were hanging off, the windows were either cracked or completely smashed and small fires licked the night air through some of the open windows. Various messages and warnings had been graffitied on the brick, some a call to arms, others political or organisational logos. There was no one around but he could hear the echo of a megaphone in the distance and the roars that greeted each pronouncement which, from this distance, was a low murmur in the breeze. ‘It sounds like a good way away,’ said the man, turning to his wife. ‘Probably still back home.’ She gripped his hand tighter as he whispered, ‘come on, let’s go.’

He led them onto the street and headed towards a group of buildings from which, he knew, was only half a mile from their destination – his in-laws, who owned a large house just outside the suburbs. It was neatly tucked away from the main roads, their own private getaway, and, most importantly, safe from the violence that was occurring on the main streets. They moved quickly but quietly, not wanting to draw attention, but they had to be careful; the streets were littered with rubbish, cars were burnt out – though fires were still crackling away in some – and the dark of the night felt more oppressive than ever, especially since many of the street lights had been damaged and the lights that would usually have come from closed shop windows had been destroyed. He’d have led them around the back of some of the buildings but the silence had been deafening and the sharp cries that split the night reduced his son to tears and his wife to a nervous wreck which forced him to change tack. He just had to hope that the trouble remained where it was and there were no splinter groups wreaking their own havoc elsewhere.

Every step felt like an age. Any sound, whether it was the crackling of a fire or the occasional shout cracked the night air like a bullet, forcing them to stop, take stock and listen before continuing. On one occasion, a crowd of people, wailing and yelling, ran through a nearby alleyway, forcing them to duck behind a shelter and wait. While his wife and son crouched lower down behind him, he took a furtive glance to see what was going on and, with a fire reflecting the shadows on a huge wall a few hundred yards from him, he saw a ghoulish zoetrope flash up and disappear in an instance, the yells vanishing with them. He turned back to his wife and son. ‘They’ve gone. Let’s keep going, we’re nearly there.’ His wife pulled him back before he could take a step. ‘Jerry? What about Brian? We should find somewhere safe and wait for him?’

Jerry looked down at his wife and though he was hoping, praying that his brother was in one piece, his only thought at the moment was getting his wife and son to safety. ‘We can’t, Susan..’ and seeing she was about to interrupt him,
‘Look, I’m sure he got out safely. If he’s got any sense, he’ll be looking to find somewhere safe himself…Maybe, he’ll be heading this way.’ As a scream rent the air, she acquiesced silently and gripped his hand, allowing him to lead them on. They kept low but moved quickly and in no time at all, they reached safety behind the town’s hardware store. He breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that the journey from here to his in-laws would be largely interrupted; the violence was mainly concentrated around the towns. He looked towards Susan and his son.

‘That’s the hard bit out of the way. If we get onto Martha’s neighbour’s field, we can blow right through, as easy as….
aaAAAAHHHH!’ He leapt around as a hand crushed his shoulder and found himself facing his brother, a wild look on his bruised and dusty face. ‘Brian!’ he yelled, gripping his brother in a tight bear hug. He let go after a few seconds and looked him in the face. ‘What happened? Where did you…how…were you there?’ His brother looked back at him, sweat mingled with dirt slightly glistening on his forehead. ‘I got there when the first floor collapsed.’ He looked towards his sister-in-law and nephew. ‘I’d hoped you’d got out before then…I think I was knocked out by the garden door.’ He glanced back up at his brother. ‘Jez, what happened? Why did they go for yours and how did you get out?’
Jerry looked down at his wife and grimaced. ‘I don’t know. We heard the shouting on the streets at the same time we felt the heat on the floor. The alarm was blaring and before we knew it, we felt the floor move.’ He looked to his wife, who continued. ‘I think…I think we might have been targeted.’ A curious expression crossed her face, fear mixed with anger, as she looked from Brian to her husband. ‘As we were leaving, we saw Barry from Tellers in the street.’ She moved slightly away from her son, as she whispered, ‘…they were killing him.’ Jerry and Brian exchanged worried looks before Susan continued.

‘Look, we need to do what Jez says…we need to get to my parents, we’ve got to get off the streets before they or their allies find us.’ She lifted her son to his feet and the two men nodded. ‘Keep quiet, keep low,’ muttered Jerry and once again, they swept into the night, following a route they knew all too well, from the car park behind the hardware store to an alleyway which led into the countryside. They scampered into a field, hunched closely together, and ran through the rapeseed, hands in front to stop it flicking back into their faces. After ten minutes or so, a large house came into view, behind a high walled garden and wrought iron fence. It was lit by spotlights under the large, mullioned front windows, its sandstone walls reflecting the shadow of a fountain that stood at its entrance.

When the small group reached the edge of the field, they looked out onto the driveway, making sure it was clear before stepping into the moonlight and heading towards the house. As they moved towards it, they noticed that the gate was open and the sound of music whispering into the night. Figures moved on the lawn in front of the house and around the fountain and the edge of a large banner could be seen just above a statue of a gargoyle, one of two, positioned on either side of the gate. Brian put his arm out and Jerry walked into it.‘What are you doing?’ he said looking into his brother’s face, as Brian allowed Susan and his nephew to pass.

‘I’m sorry, Jerry,’ said Susan, as she took hold of her son and fled towards the house. He watched her go and there was a short lull in the night before Brian broke it. ‘Yeah, I’m sorry too, Jez.’ ‘For what?’ Jez said, turning to his brother.

It was a few hours later. The horizon glowed a muted pink and smoke from the overnight fires continued to rise into the air, dissipating as it reached the heavens, which was slowly turning from purple to blue, the last of the stars flickering into the ether. A crow flew through one of the plumes and glided over the town while below, a lone figure ran through a gate towards a large house, leaving another lying in the grass behind them.

I am reminded …

That there are moments of great beauty in being American; of living in this crazy wonderful country of America.

You know my political ‘leanings’ (it’s a wonder I don’t topple over) but watching and listening to West Wing sometimes brings a tightness of chest and stinging eyes. Regardless of your own political leanings, there are golden nuggets in WWing that make watching it worthwhile.

I’m listening (I’ve watched the series so many times that I just listen to it now while I do other things) to the episode regarding Thanksgiving. There’s a fun storyline about the Press Secretary having to decide which of two live turkeys gets to be pardoned, and the important storyline about a freight container of 83 escaped Chinese. A difficult situation to deal with as this fictional (?) administration has trade deals with China that it wants to maintain and not jeopardize. The container box Chinese claim they are persecuted Christians. The President decides he will interview one and decide whether or not they are Christians or are merely coached on what to say. It’s really quite touching to watch (or listen to) the exchange between the president and the Chinese gentleman.

The president decides that they are, indeed, Christian. The Chinese are being held in a camp under military guard. The president pulls some strings and it all works out the way we hope it would.

My America.

Our America.

I never cease to be moved by the promise this country holds.

 

England Expects …

It was two hundred and fifteen years ago today that  Admiral Lord Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets off Trafalgar. This is one of those victories that in the modern age we seem to think was pre-ordained. It wasn’t. I’m told that it is barely celebrated in England, that’s very silly. This is a victory that did as much to make the world we live in as Salamis, Lepanto, or the Armada.  That’s sad. I can only attribute that to too many of our people coming to believe that our influence on the world has been an evil one. That is not only wrong, and perhaps evil in itself, but diametrically opposed to the truth.

Sir Walter Raleigh, in A Discourse of the Invention of Ships, Anchors, Compass, &c., said this:

For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.

This was also quoted by Fleet Admiral Nimitz, on his retirement. It was true for the Elizabethans, it was true in Nelson’s time, it is true now, it will always be true. But the Anglo-Saxon powers have always been more interested in trade than pure control of the world and its people. Alfred Thayer McMahon, in The Influence of Sea Power upon History, says this with regard to the British fleet:  “Those distant, storm-tossed ships, never seen by the Grande Armee, were all that stood between it and world domination.” And that is so. Our francophile president, Thomas Jefferson wrote that if Napoleon took possession of Louisiana and attempted to move an army there, “on that day we shall have to marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation”. Nor was he kidding, control of New Orleans would have (and had under the Spanish) stifled the growth of not only the Old Southwest, but also the Old Northwest, it was simply something that America could not allow, and survive.

Nor did it end there. We haven’t forgotten that during our Civil War, the French attempted to impose a Hapsburg emperor on Mexico, or that it was only thwarted in 1865, when fifty thousand battle-hardened Union troops assembled in Texas, leading to the French Foreign Legion’s most famous defeat. But we also recognize that one of the reasons that we developed as we did is that the Royal Navy was the guarantor of the Monroe Doctrine. That allowed the new world to develop at its own speed and in its own way.

We should also mention that the end of chattel slavery in the west was primarily done by the Royal Navy, which encouraged industriousness amongst its people by paying prize money for captured slavers, and the return of their cargos. Slavery ended with the deaths of a half-million white Americans, but they and the Royal Navy were both following the precepts first proposed around the time of the Revolution–in East Anglia.

Nor do I think there is any question that India, is far better off today than it was in the days before the Raj. Gandhi himself once said that his nonviolent tactics would not have worked against a less moral people than the British, and in fact, Dr. Martin Luther King said the same thing about the civil rights struggle here.

And so we come to the twentieth century, to 1941 specifically. Off Newfoundland, two convoys of warships met. One carried the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill on HMS Prince of Wales. the other carried the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, on the USS Augusta. This is the time when the guard of the English speaking peoples changed from England to America. Fittingly it happened during Church Parade on the Prince of Wales. Churchill said this about it:

The prime minister reported that no one who attended would forget “that sunlit morning on the crowded quarterdeck—the symbol of the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes draped side by side on the pulpit,” and “the close-packed ranks of British and American sailors, completely intermingled, sharing the same books and joining fervently in the prayers and hymns familiar to both.” Churchill had chosen the hymns—“For Those In Peril On the Sea;” “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” and “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” He said later, “Every word seemed to stir the heart. It was a great hour to live. Nearly half of those who sang were soon to die.” HMSPrince of Wales was sunk by Japanese aircraft off Malaya on December 10, 1941.

Here was mapped the grand strategy that would allow the cousins, for that, is what we were, and are, to free the world from the menace of Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan. But here’s the point: On that day in 1941, only seventy-nine years ago, if you were free to speak your mind, you spoke English as your native language. All the rest of the world owes their very freedom to those distant storm-tossed ships, that won one of the world’s greatest victories, for England, and for the world.

And so, for two hundred and fourteen years now, the Royal Navy has drunk one toast in silence, and all free peoples should join them.

I give you, Gentlemen (and Ladies):

“The immortal memory,

of Nelson and those who fell with him”

 

It’s true now, as it has always been, We sleep safe in our beds because of rough men (and now women) who are prepared to do violence on our behalf.

A Plea

Excuse me for stating the obvious – we’re losing. We’re losing the important things, the things that we’ve always held deep in our hearts. Civility, manners, traditions, all the things that make America – and Americans.

There’s something else we’re losing. It’s grievous. It’s lamentable. It’s just plain sad. It has become something wistful, some lovely lacey memory of what was.

Flowers. Yes. Flowers. There’s a whole tradition of flowers on Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and for funerals. They are predictable and virtually mandatory and have a certain ‘ho-hum’-ness to them. But your lady love, your significant other, your big (or little) sister, that favorite aunt, the little old lady that lives next door all alone. Think for just a moment – these people are important to your life and in your life. Shouldn’t they get flowers for no particular reason other than you love them and you think of them every day?

I have rediscovered the joy of jigsaw puzzles. I find that of the wide selection of ‘scenes’ to put together, I’m drawn to the ones with flowers. This has been such a terrible year – misery of one kind or another wherever we look. A lot of people are scared or depressed, or afraid of the future or any combination thereof. But there’s something very earthy, very calming about flowers. I would even say there’s something permanent about flowers – yes, they die but there’s always the assurance that they will come back again next spring, summer, autumn. They are bright, fresh, a statement of lasting beauty in the world. There are things that are untouched by politics or hatred or illness and flowers represent that. Life is beautiful. We forget that. God would not have created the range of colors, shapes, textures, fragrances, sizes because He had nothing to do one day. He created them to give us joy in simple things.

St. Matthews Gospel, chapter six, verses 25-29 “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Ever seen a field of wildflowers? Texas bluebells? It stops you in your tracks and you take five minutes out of your busy day and just gaze on it. It’s miraculous. It’s stunning. It’s humbling.

My husband has bought me flowers once in 24 years. He says they’re too expensive and then they die. What he doesn’t know – what YOU don’t know – is what it means to women. When the doorbell sounds or the knocker has clapped, she goes to the door and there’s a floral bouquet. She never even notices the delivery person – all she sees is the flowers. She closes the door and carries the flowers like they are crystal and diamonds. She looks around to determine the best setting to place them (she doesn’t ‘put’ them, she ‘places’ them – there’s a big difference). She has to find ‘the’ place for them – they have to be where she can easily see them from throughout the house but it also has to be a place where anyone coming into the house will notice them. Because she wants the world to know that someone loved her so much, they sent her flowers. What you don’t know is she’s suddenly twenty again and the world is before her and even if it’s pouring rain, in her heart and in her mind she’s in a place of love and light and beauty. For this moment in time, she’s lifted up.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what flower she likes. We like all of them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what her favorite color is; there are so many colors that there’s bound to be a ‘special’ color in the arrangement that you never even guessed at.

What do YOU get from your financial investment? Shining eyes. Joyful surprise, a different kind of kiss. You get to overhear her tell her friends, “No! No reason! They’re beautiful!” What you ‘lost’ in dollars you can bank in your heart – you showed appreciation for all she does and for the lengths she would go to because she loves you and I’m not up on the exchange rate but I suspect that’s worth about a thousand times whatever the dollar amount was.

Here is my plea – it takes so little time. It is so easy to do online. Send her flowers. Just on account of because.

 

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