Sunday, November 26, 2006

Today I...

...learned how to draw blood and neutered three cats. It was remarkably easy.

Friday, November 24, 2006

30 Seconds . . .

. . . is not as much fun as it used to be, now that anybody can post comments from the Web instead of phoning them into an answering machine. Most of the comments are now so illiterate, negative, and depressing that the feature's entertainment value is almost gone.

However, every now and then there's a glimmer of the column's former glory. For sheer illogical delight, I submit that this one is right up there with the best.

"Children are smarter than most, especially having been born at a young age. Besides how many children do you know with a full time job?"
Woman from Earlville

Monday, November 20, 2006

Purpose, camaraderie, and self-respect

Click Here.

The American Friends Service Committee is the Quakers. I cringe when I remember that I was married in a Quaker meeting house.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Drill competition at Cornell

On Saturday, Dad and I drove over to Ithaca for Rudy's memorial service and to see Luke, whose ROTC drill team was competing at Cornell. They were in Barton Hall, an enormous former airplane hangar (we think) which is the ROTC facility for Cornell-based units. (Luke's group spent the night Friday night on the gym floor in sleeping bags.)

None of the pictures I took of the competing drill teams came out, but here are a few that I found online that give a feel for what the place is like -- it's a cavernous structure -- and what the competition looks like.

After Rudy's service at Sage Chapel, we stopped back in at the drill competition and watched a few minutes of "trick" competition, which is precision work with guns that is more like baton twirling than anything else. Absolutely fascinating. (Come to think of it, that's probably where baton twirling got started.) Luke was catching up on his sleep, so we didn't disturb him. He would not, however, have been easy to disturb. See below -- can you spot Luke?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Anudder one!

You are given four cards. Each has a symbol on it. The symbols are A,D,3, and 7. You are told that each card has a number on one side and a letter on the other. Which cards must you turn over to establish the following rule: If a card has an A on one side, then it has a 3 on the other.


Does this make sense?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Really, really simple math

You have a sack of potatos which weighs 100 lbs. The potatos are 99% water. (Ignore the sack.) You leave the potatos out for a couple of days. The potatos are now 98% water. What does the sack of potatos weigh?

Or is it potatoes? As Dan Quayle said, "The future will be better tomorrow."

Not quite so simple math

Each letter represents a different digit:

A+B=C and C+D=EA

What is the value of B+D? Numerically, I mean.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A cautionary tale for Election Day

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven.

Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I
would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable.

What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were

Today you voted."

How many t-shirts can one man wear?

Find out here.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

More on Soldiers

From Hitchens, who just makes me howl sometimes. Click here.

An excerpt:

"He had intended (pause for thigh-slapping and guffawing) to make a truly original joke about the IQ and educational level of the chief executive. His crack team of gag-writers had toiled on the joke and combed all the bugs out of it. It was there, poised on the pad and ready for launch. And it fizzled. (Funny--that punchline usually activates the easy-laugh track, as Messrs. Leno, Stewart, Maher and Colbert demonstrate with airy ease practically every night of the week.) And out of the syntactic chaos came the impression that Mr. Kerry thought only a dumb jerk could end up in uniform in Iraq.
No wonder Mr. Kerry feels hard done-by: He can't recount a joke that practically tells itself and has been road-tested to work with almost Pavlovian certainty, especially on campuses. Surely everybody--any fool, in fact--knows that it's Mr. Bush who is supposed to have the difficulties with timing and articulation? Ah, the unfairness of it all."