Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fallen off the wagon again?

Friday, October 30, 2009

A few things

I have seen the bumper-sticker several times now:

"You cannot be both Christian and pro-abortion."

Is this true?

Do you remember when Boy Scouts helped ladies cross the street?

Well, we've come a long way baby. CLICK


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the challenge

As Levi Johnston and his almost mother-in-law Sarah Whatshername continue their spitting contest, Levi now says he will reveal all in Playgirl magazine. I'm hoping Sarah will decide to trump his play by appearing naked in Playboy -- or Newsweek, or any other national mag for that matter. If she really wants to make a splash, there you are!

So, yeah!, I'm cheering them on.

On the town in Webberville

Our Grandson Lemon Joe is spending a couple of days with us. Last night he refused to sleep, so we watched the third period of the Red Wings together as he fussed and resisted, but finally, when the Red Wings won, the kid fell asleep. The timing was perfect, but the hour was late.

We went to Webberville to pick the kid up and while there, we went to the local brewpub for supper. I'm not making judgments about the quality of the quaff, I can leave that to others in the family who know more about beer, but I can say this: If you're looking for a nice meal, keep looking elsewhere. This was some of the worst food I ever have known to be served in a brewpub.

And there was a certain barmaid who flunked waitress school, evidently, but received a job anyway, perhaps in the nature of a mercy hiring. We tipped her generously, but now wonder why.

All of this ordeal could be blamed on Alice. She is the one with all the bad luck, and she claims if we had not taken her along, the food would have been better and the waitress more competent.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Friends Report on Oct 27

Some of the readers of this blog , all of whom I greatly appreciate, are in France these days on a tour that takes them to Paris, then to Avignon on a bullet train, and then Nice. Under the BIRCHES we are jealous of the trip, but we had the chance to go and turned it down.

Eight people who ordinarily come to coffee club on Mondays were also absent, again because they are in France. This includes SPARTY, GIGI, SANDY and LINDA.


PAT W - Is in the delicious throes of supervising her latest home improvement project. Her workmen are "Re-doing" a master bathroom.

LIAM - The swirl on the back of his head! :)
Click to enlarge


SOME folks are already in Florida for the winter -- or for large chunks of it. This is where we under the BIRCHES are soon headed, but we expect to have frequent updates from there.I - have a new MacPro laptop which I'm taking to Florida with me.

MARSHA - is trying to unwind after homecoming weekend in Columbia. When you're the head of the Alumni Association, Homecoming is a chore! And that's even if you win, which SC did, beating Vanderbilt.

DASHMANN and SKUZZA - are packing up the cat and heading for Florida.

BILL J. - who has lots of friends in conservative circles, has forwarded this picture which claims to be Clinton's official portrait.

STEVE - is venturing into the job market, interviewing for a new job. He wants to move up, not just sideways, and has passed the first couple of interview stages. We are pulling for him.

ALICE - says this is her latest favorite joke. It IS pretty funny.
A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic restaurant.
Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table. She said: "For being such an exemplary marrried couple and for being loving to each other all this time, I will grant you each a wish".
The wife answered, "Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband." The fairy waved her magic wand and poof!
Two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.
The husband thought for a monment: Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I'm sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me."
The wife and the fairy were deeply disapointed, but a wish is a wish. So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!
The husband became 92 years old.
The moral of this story: Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember fairies are female!


Liam Standing

Irene's kids: Georgie and Jimmy


Sandy and Sue

Pat: At home in any kitchen

Some shavings of bark ---

1. For reasons inexplicable, my computer has not been able to access the internet for about 15 hours. This could be a problem with my computer, or maybe Charter who hosts me, or just a problem with my decaying brains. I was thinking I might have to take my computer in for a checkup, but now it's working. Officially, I've decided to blame Charter.

2. Speaking of Charter. They have sent me a bill which is - alarmingly - 35% higher than last month. They say my specials have run out. When I get done running to Florida, I'm going to raise hell about this, too.

3. I get cranky and anxious when there are workers in the house, possibly because I fear being drawn into the work process, or possibly just because I'm nuts! Not that I don't like the workers -- they're great folks. Our "builder" is one of the good guys of the world and I like to talk to him. Pat is having work done on a bathroom, and I don't do plumbing: PERIOD. But when the pounding and machines have been underway for about 17 seconds, I get nervous. So I called my buddy hoping he might be at the coffee shop, but no, he was rowing on the river. So I went alone and killed about an hour there working on a crossword puzzle and sipping the latte. During this time, a great discussion was waging at a nearby table about race and ethnic differences and what does or does not constitute racism, etc. It's a discussion I could have jumped into, and ordinarily might have since I knew one of the people in it, but to tell the truth, I was enjoying just overhearing it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

for our junior high readers


Why won't the Obamas have a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner? Because Biden will be out of town.


It's Caturday!

His-and-Her sinks in a master bathroom are a "must"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Goodbye Soupy Sales

Soupy: "Do you know why my life is so miserable?" Pookie: "You got me!" Soupy: "That's why!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Morning Smile Maker

Would you believe, DWI ?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I went to a funeral today, and as I watched the complex services go forth, I suddenly thought that I could see at last why people get such strange ideas about life, death, heaven and hell. It was like an illumination! For example, I'm sure everyone there was perfectly willing to accept that this person who had died was going to end up in some blissful foreign land full of things and people they know. I can't say this is wrong, but who can say it's right? This is a fantasy. So as it turns out, my illumination was a delusion. I suppose I couldn't really see anything at all.

Have you ever noticed how awkward people are at ceremonies? It's not at all as depicted in movies.

we make the top (or bottom) ten

"The metropolitan areas around Saginaw, Mich., and Flint, Mich., have some of the worst poverty in the nation. Although per capita incomes are higher, the percentage of the population living below half of the poverty line is near 10% in both cities, and 15% of the populations are on food stamps. Other cities in the region are not far behind as manufacturing jobs continue to disappear."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

this epidemic

We have always known that, some time, a disease bug --- either some unfortunate evolution of a virus strain, or a curse from God depending on your theology --- could overtake the globe and strike us down by the millions. Well, it's more than just a "could happen" actually, it's a statistical probability. People thought it was possible with Ebola, then the chicken flu, then SARS and then the "Asian" or bird flu.

This time it is the H1N1 virus, or as it's popularly known, the swine flu. I have seen two pieces of evidence in the last 2 days that possibly, we are at the beginning of a real epidemic in our country of exactly this. The first was a chart shown on television that illustrates the potential. There have already been as many "physician referrals" this year as there were last year, in February, at the peak of the flu season. This means either that the flu season is peaking 4 months early this year, or we are in for one hell of an epidemic rising until the peak comes in February or March.

Then I heard this morning that "nurses around the hospital" are convinced that we are just at the beginning and that it's going to get lots worse. "Pandemic" was the word used.

In this household, we are keeping up with the inoculations as they are available. If nothing else, perhaps we can avoid spreading the flu to other people we love and want to protect -- our children and grandchildren.

What I have decided for myself is to delay getting the swine flu shot until after the other more vulnerable people have gotten it -- children, pregnant women, etc. But, then I will get it. Meanwhile, I am carrying my own cup to coffee shops, I am carrying hand wipes and hand sanitizers in my car, and I'm remembering to wash my hands and face as often as possible.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Loyal Opposition

Another clever comment on the President

Sunday, October 18, 2009

History 109

I was there.

My roommate in college wanted to see Dylan and gave me a sales pitch because I had never heard of him. We double dated. All I remember about it now was how "different" the guy was and how strange to see him all hooked up like a one-man-band and singing lyrics I could understand but not comprehend and that the girl I took told me this was "pure" folk music not like all those stars who got rich performing. Yeah, right!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

A couple of thoughts in passing

I have heard so often that what this society needs is to return to its Christian roots and start to behave like good Christians ought to, and our problems would largely disappear.

Unfortunately, the idea many people have about what good Christian behavior is seems to me to be so rocky that I would prefer to have us find a smoother road. For example, maybe we should try adopting attitudes such as Christ and other religious leaders held. I doubt if Christ would have carried an Uzi, bilked millions of people out of their pensions, or attacked Arabs because they owned oil. Yet all these are perfectly acceptable Christian practices to some folks.

It's Caturday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wacko of the Week Award

FELIX -- Has pointed out the newest BIRCHES Wacko of the Week.

Louisiana (Tangipahoa Parish) Justice of the Peace, KEITH BARDWELL, who "refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple."


a further thought on the Peace Prize MOVED FORWARD

There is a continuing controversy over Obama's Nobel Prize for Peace. Most people I know are just sort of shrugging it off as a tempest in a dutch oven. Obviously, peace makers are not always appreciated in their own country. This has become another of those political issues where the two sides just square up and throw mud at each other.

Some of the people who are most vociferously scornful would have been happy if the National Rifle Association got the Prize. If that organization is correct that the more weapons we have loose then the more peace there will be in society, surely they deserve it, right? This is like 1984 by George Orwell, where "war is peace." So, no doubt, the next winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be Dick Cheney.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today's favorite headline

Man charged with causing criminal damage to hamburgers

Already the chilly weather and the persistent dark skies are affecting me. It's the winter doldrums setting in early this year.

History 108

6th Avenue, New York City, 80 years later.

The Loyal Opposition

Thank to BILL J for this example-
Here is another in the shots taken by certain opponents to the new President. Mind you, you should NOT think this is racist. Those folks just hate being called "racist". The allusion to his color is not an intended insult, naturally.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I sure hope your wife shows up in church next week, or at the next class reunion, dressed in this latest creation from the world of fashion. How proud will you be?

The Right to Bear Arms

Most people have no doubt already seen the tape of the shootout in a Toledo bar. If you haven't you can click below to see it. Here is the very best reason for people to be able to carry their guns into any place they like. Think what a joy it would be to watch if, say, 10 more folks had pulled out their well-concealed handguns and maybe an AK-47 or two.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

little quiz

What did Ozzie Virgil, Detroit Tigers have in common with Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs?

Dashmann got it right! They were both the first black baseball players on their teams.1953 and 1958

a horse laugh is in order

Rush Limbaugh, one of the world's most widely recognized women haters, has been chosen as a judge in the Miss America Pageant. I could see nothing at all wrong with a thoroughly loutish set of judges, but this is a man who couldn't distinguish between his own ass and a hole in the ground. How's he gonna pick between those of the contestants? I am quite sure this trip into the realm of really attractive females will be for him a singular experience.

Something else I did on my vacation

I took this picture of a perfect little church (Spring Creek MIssionary Baptist Church, N.C.) as we were making our way down from the mountains of Tennessee into N. Carolina on a winding Appalachian road.

But what really intrigued me, and I would love to have had the chance to go, was this invitation in front the church. Not that my sense of devotion requires such a gesture, because I'm not a Baptist and by most standards pretty much of a heathen, but just because I really do like that old-timey-religion music and I would have sung my tonsils out.

soccer news

The United States Men's Team has fully qualified for next year's FIFA World Cup competition in South Africa. Saturday night, they won a 3-2 match in a hostile stadium in Honduras, to gain their spot.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"It's such an ancient pitch
But one I wouldn't switch
'cause there's no nicer witch
than you!"

It's Caturday!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wacko of the Week Award


IRENE has nominated these people for the latest WACKO of the WEEK AWARD, and they are well deserving!

If you're going into the piracy business, which many people seem to be doing these days, be advised not to emulate these guys. When they attacked from little skiffs with automatic rifles, they picked on the French navy. Ooops. Well, it may be true that the French Navy ain't what it used to be when Admiral DeGrasse bested the English fleet off the coast of Virginia in 1781, thus making independence for America possible. But, The Somme was sent to the Somali coast specifically to fight pirates. And it won.

Of course, it's easier when the pirates foolishly come to you! CLICK

Obama the Nobel Peacemaker

This is my take on Obama's win of the Peace Medal.

No, I don't think he has done anything particularly notable except win the election. I suppose this is the attitude of a lot of folks, especially in America.

But, to much of the rest of the world, the election of Obama was like a gift from the gods, because they felt the high negative impact of the last "President" and his pack of jackals, always talking and making war and threatening people and keeping things in an uproar when they should have been calming things down. It must create a huge sigh of relief in places all over the world that Obama, a more reasonable and friendly man, is now in charge of American power.

As I see it, the Award was given to America from a grateful world.
Yesterday, I neglected to post a smile maker. Did you miss it?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recommended by Alice

Rep. Weiner was on Ed Schultz show last night and asked that people throughout the US register on his newly established site shown [below]. He has been working tirelessly for the reform of insurance companies and has boldly spoken out publicly about what he thinks about the theft going on by the insurance companies. Rep. Bonior said he had not heard from a single person who was in favor of the public option and so Weiner is collecting as many names as he can to present to him. I've already registered. Would you please put it on your blog for whoever wants to go on the record?
THIS SITE is intended to collect millions of signatures for the PUBLIC OPTION which some members of Congress and the press are claiming "no one wants."

I have also signed the petition. (Bud) CLICK

Friends Report on Oct 7


Brayden steals the show
With Amy, Sandy and Mama

Christian, taking after Grandpa?


Card from Alice [Thanks :) ]
It says: "Thought for the day
Every morning all the stupid people you know
get together and plan ways
to make your life more difficult"

Pat and Felix fail to make sparks

Varieties of American

Heard at the cookout. A lady from Boston:"We should have brought some Sa-mo-as. They sell Samoas right there in the lodge office." (Turns out to be "Smores.")

We were waiting at the gas station counter at a small town in Tennessee behind which no one stood or sat. Then a southern gentleman came in from the direction of the pumps and said, "They go to lunch?"

I said, "Well maybe they quit and walked off the job."

"Nah," the man said, "he's just a good ole boy." Whereupon, a young guy clearly descended from India or Pakistan walked out and spoke to us in an accent that was not southern. Somewhere there must be a dictionary definition of "good ole boy" that includes Asians.

Seen on a tombstone: "Here lies the most noble creation of God, an honest man."


The bagpiper stood in a chilly morning on a windy mountain, and played enthusiastically. So suggestive of a highland hillside in Scotland or Ireland. When it was done, Pat said: "Thank you for the beautiful music."

"Y'all are surely welcome," he answered.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

History 107

When I see pictures like this, I have a feeling that we might have missed a chance in American history to enrich our understanding of the Great Puzzle that is society. I'm not sure how society adapts itself to possible new templates, but I suppose there is a need for a charismatic leader and spokesman.
Then I consider that, after all, what this picture evokes in many people is in fact, a set of concepts that have taken hold -- a new way of looking at the earth and how to live in sympathy with it, a new respect for that which is unconventional, and a comfort in living with that, a new sense in many people that they are free people and people of choices and equivalent value.

And, I know some of those people and am very glad for it.

So what this calls up is not nostalgia, because I never had a painted bus or a life on the road, nor did I follow a band or go to a rock festival. What it calls up is a sense that often, freedom is what we make it, to hell with the critics, and that respect goes to better things than money or power.

neither democracy nor christianity

I agree with Michael Moore's themes in his latest movie, Capitalism: A Love Story. You should take whatever opportunity presents itself to you to see this movie.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More and more Americans are finding excellent places to have surgery in other countries at a much, much smaller cost than in the U.S. This is helpful when your insurance company refuses to pay for the operation, as happens to many Americans. The so-called "best health system in the world" no longer is, for most people.

A guide for Americans seeking affordable medical treatment abroad


Sunday, October 4, 2009


I have no doubt that the violence by youthful thugs in Chicago defeated that city's offer to hold the 2016 Olympics. And, I have no doubt that the thugs will also discourage lots of visits to the city from even peaceful U.S. citizens like you and me.

Intelligent folks, like you and me, ought to be asking ourselves why youth violence is so wide-spread in our country. The issue has certainly been discussed enough.

Here are few thoughts:
1. The prisons are full of young men, in fact they're bursting at the seams. Therefore, obviously, imprisonment is NOT the answer. It is PART OF the answer. Remember, Chicago differs from almost any other city in America, only in degree. It's just a matter of how much violence there is in each.

2. We have to stop thinking that punishment is going to discourage youth crime. The answer lies somewhere else.

3. You will never cure the problem of violence without dealing with the huge number of weapons out there.

4. The best way to stop youth violence is with adult supervision.

Any suggestions???