Humor & Satire

The Tenderness of Motherhood….

Originally Published November 3, 2009

The tenderness of motherhood exists throughout the world we live and we humans, as well as our animal counterparts, seem to honor and exhibit that tenderness of motherhood in exemplary fashion. A tenderness that is exhibited whether it is…..

Motherhood 1On A Riverbank….

Motherhood 2In The Artic….

Motherhood 3On the African Serengeti….

Motherhood 4In the Oceans….

Motherhood 5In the Jungles of India

Or…..

Motherhood 6At a City Park Near You

On the Lighter Side….

This is actually an old post of mine from an earlier blog published in March of 2009. It features two of my favorite videos and I wanted to re-share them. In the first video Conan O’Brien does a little bird-watching and in the second video Christopher Walken gives us a gardening tip.

If you are a die-hard “bird-watcher” with a sense of humor or even, for that matter, just a backyard bird watcher then you need to click on the link below and watch the excerpt video from the Conan O’Brien Show….

And if you are into ‘horticulture’; a plant grower; the green-thumb type, then you certainly don’t want to miss this excerpt from Saturday Night Live. Especially if you like Cactus and you’ll get a great gardening tip! That video link is just below….

Rogue Camera Murders Local Lakewood Resident

Speaking of senile ramblings, it is at times quite curious as to the things we can dream up with plenty of time on our hands. Such was the case sometime back when I purchased a new camera and it struck me that perhaps cameras actually have some measure of feelings. I wondered what my old camera, which worked perfectly by the way, could possibly be thinking when confronted by the fact it had been replaced by a newer, perhaps more sophisticated type of camera. Those results are reflected below….

Read about it here – Murder On Oaklawn Drive

Sister, Sister… Oh my, what have you done?

A few months ago I decided as one of my prerequisites in preparing for my eventual death and subsequent move to Cemeteryville I did not want to be encumbered with having to cram a bunch of stuff into my casket for the long trip nor did I want to leave a bunch of stuff sitting around that my sisters would have to deal with disposing of after my death.

Among that ‘bunch of stuff’ that I referred to was one of my favorite things, a puma/cougar statuette that I had owned now for over forty years. It certainly didn’t demand any monetary value of any consequence but it was an item that had been a centerpiece of my home decorations for all these years. The picture below I think represents the 3-foot tall statuette in all its elegance and grandeur….

antiqued-gold-panther

Now my youngest sister had in recent years expressed a sincere interest in perhaps having the statuette upon my departure for Cemeteryville and I could not have been any happier that a dear family member wanted something for themselves that had been so important to me. So it was a few months ago when I was cleaning out my attic trying to dispose of many of my ‘bunch of stuff’ items that I decided to go ahead and give the puma/cougar to my sister as I knew it would receive the care and stature that it so deserved when it moved to its new home.

So now I fast-forward to my most recent rant regarding the offense of a very early Christmas display erected by a neighbor across the street from me who is selling his house and in fact doesn’t even live there anymore. The offense of early Christmas decorating has always been a bit of a pet peeve with me. And I was again going to have to deal with the same offense again when making a recent visit to my sister’s home. But let me say in her defense, before that visit she had fore warned me she had decorated early due to her upcoming busy schedule. And I understood that and could live with that…. up to a point!

Now upon my arrival for my visit as we walked through her great room on our way to my sister’s kitchen table where our visits normally took place, I quickly took in her Christmas decorating and thought it was quite elegant as was to be expected of course.

But it was some two hours later as I was leaving from quite the pleasant visit that I glanced over toward her fire place as I was walking back through her great room and found myself staring in absolute shock. There next to her fireplace was my beautiful puma/cougar statuette totally defaced in my opinion due to a damn Santa hat on top of its head. I actually thought for a moment I was going to lose consciousness but fortunately quickly recovered. I immediately turned to my sister and asked, “What in the world have you done to my puma/cougar statuette? You put a Santa hat on him?” (Well, here…. you’ve got to see this to believe it)…..

cougar-with-santa-hat-2

My sister, rather than wreathing in pain and embarrassment from defacing one of her brother’s most cherished possessions as one would expect, immediately broke out in laughter noting that she wondered if I would notice how her Christmas decorating inspirations had befallen one of my most favorite things. In the end of course we all had a good laugh over the situation and of course in reality it was nice to see my puma/cougar get a rather prominent place in the great room’s Christmas decorations scheme of things when it was all said and done. He does look quite handsome there, Santa hat and all…. 🙂

By the way, who put the grunting in tennis?

sharapovaI seldom if ever write anything regarding the sports world but today is one of those special occasions. My little darling of tennis, Maria Sharapova, has apparently gotten herself into a bit of a pickle it would seem. She took a required drug test in late January and on March 2, was charged with using a banned substance. Sponsors are already bailing and this will definitely have a serious effect on her tennis career.

It is somewhat funny how we as fans react to such news. Had this been anyone else, say Serena Williams, I would have been calling for her head. But since its my pretty little Sharapova, not to mention the fact she’s a pretty good tennis player, I was been a bit taken back by the whole thing. In her case its best I think if we just forget about the whole thing.

There will be a lot of fans however who I’m sure will be quite gratified at this development. My pretty little Sharapova is somewhat disliked for her on court manners, to be specific her grunting during play. Holding that thought, it got me to thinking… how did all this grunting in tennis even get started?

Well, after a little brief research I found a video on YouTube that left me pretty much laughing right in the middle of my Sharapova doping miseries. To address the question posed in the title of this post, it would seem Monica Seles and Jimmy Conners are credited with starting the obnoxious phenomenon. And since then it has been incorporated into the game of many of the well known men and women players. I thought the accompanying video was both humorous and enlightening on the subject….

My favorite by the way is the very last one who the commentator equates as to what sounds like a little girl falling off a cliff. 😀

“PONG” – King of the video games….

I guess I have always enjoyed playing video games and became a huge fan of the Sega Genesis video consoles and games in the 1980s. I am particularly a fan of the arcade type space games and golf video games. Of course, as always, all good things come to an end and Sega would eventually close up shop in 1997. But there is, of course, no comparison to the graphic quality of the games on the market today verses the quality of the older game consoles.

Always slow to embrace change, I finally broke down several years ago and purchased a PlayStation 3 and have been reasonably happy with it. It’s a no-brainer with regard to the quality of the graphics. My first game purchase had to be the “Tiger Woods 09″ golf game. I loved it! I then purchased the ever popular “Call To Duty” and didn’t like that game whatsoever. That turned out to be because I just had too difficult a time using the PlayStation controller. I ended up giving it to my brother-in-law who obviously loved it since my sister threatened to divorce him if he didn’t stop playing it. But all’s fair in love and war. This same brother-in-law gave me a racing game, named “A Need for Speed – ProStreet”, and I like it so well I went out and spent another $150 on a silly-ass steering wheel attachment for my PlaStation. Not to mention another $50 for the supposedly ultimate racing game – “Grand Turismo”!

Having said all that to simply get to the subject of this post, there remains one video game that will live forever and rightly so, deserving a front row seat in the video game Hall of Fame. The one that started it all…..”PONG”! I’m sure some of the younger folks are not going to be familiar with “Pong” at all. And even today with its complete simplicity, it is still a joy to play. Not to mention the fact that the controller consist of one knob rather than numerous knobs and buttons needed for today’s typical video game.

Pong Video Game(My Pong Video Game – Click to Enlarge)

A couple of weeks ago I, by chance, ran across a little graphic animation of a ‘pong’ game and it got the ole’ memories stirring. Then I remembered having an old ‘pong’ game stored somewhere in the attic. So up I went and sure enough there it was. Now it is sitting on a table in the den having been dusted, cleaned and made like new!

And I also ended up making a video clip to pay homage to this giant of the video game world. So you’re invited to share a nostalgic moment in time if you dare and to click on the video below. There is an unmistakable sound that emanates from a “Pong” game and if you ever hear it, you will never forget it. You may wish to forget it, but you won’t!

If you are also a fan of some measure of the “Pong” video game, be sure and visit The Pong Story, a website containing lots of historical information and technical tips regarding the game and its many faces.

Brother-In-Law, what are they good for?

You know, for as long as I can remember it’s a known fact that when we talk about extended family the infamous “mother-in-law” has always topped our list of conversational topics and mostly gotten a bad-wrap to boot. There are certainly some beloved mother-in-law’s out there but we mostly hear about the mother-in-law from hell. But given my most recent birthday, I have given considerable thought to what is considered the standard norm when it comes to talking about individuals who are members of the extended family.

Now I have two brother-in-law and we all seem to get along fine when in each other’s company, or so I thought. In fact, I have always assumed that we actually enjoy each other’s company. However that assumption came to a screeching halt recently with the advent of my birthday.

Now you have to understand that my two brother-in-law don’t play golf together or have lunch with each other from time to time or just in general hang out together in any form or fashion. So I found it somewhat disturbing when I got birthday cards from each of them which were almost identical when it came to the birthday card’s cover art and subject matter. Now, either it is one of the most profound coincidences ever or they are both “ass” holes, to coin a term I was able to derive from the creature depicted on the cards I received. The damning card cover’s are shown are below….

Randy’s Jackass 2
Vergil’s Jackass 2

Of the hundreds of humorous cards that are on the market, what in this universe would have been behind such an unfathomable coordinated event? Astrologically I am a Scorpio but at the moment I feel like someone has bitten the tail off my scorpion. They think I’m a jackass?

Well, so be it I suppose but I must surmise that when I attend future family get-togethers or join my sisters and their husbands for dinner out… there will be a palatable chill in the air courtesy of this jackass brother-in-law as reflected in their loving birthday greeting! 🙁

Natalie’s Birthday Tape….

Featuring “Natalie’s Birthday Tape”

Natalies Birthday Tape - 05

I should preface this particular chapter of my music anthology by noting that not all my recording endeavors involved singing or playing. Such was the case when it came to what is known around my house as Natalie’s birthday tape….

Well if you recall the subject of this post, Natalie, who was featured in an earlier post was targeted as the unsuspecting victim of a prank that proved to be of considerable embarrassment for her, even though unfortunately for me, the perpetrator, it was a short-lived prank. But although embarrassed by the whole ordeal, she was a terrific sport about it. And because of that I decided that I would put together for her a compilation of Christmas music for her on a cassette tape because we were aware she had an upcoming birthday. The reason I chose Christmas music was that in previous conversations with Natalie I had learned she really liked Christmas music and loved to listen to it any time of the year. I had also learned that she was an Elvis fan also.

Now at the time I just happen to have had a pretty good selection of Christmas music in my music collection along with several of Elvis’ Christmas songs. So it would be fairly simple for me to record these songs to tape and give them to her for her upcoming birthday. On the other hand, I was wanting to somehow try to make it a little more special than just simply a bunch of songs on a tape. So the wheels started spinning…

Mice - 04Somewhere along the way, perhaps inspired to some degree by Alvin and the Chipmunks, it hit me that I should try and create some sort of scenario where chaos and catastrophe ensued when I tried to do something so simple as to record her Christmas songs on a tape. That’s when the idea of creating a scenario where I had three mice who lived in my house who I had become friends with over time. I would record an audio episode of my working on the tape with my three mouse friends helping me, who by the way were named Mike, Ike and Clarence. Mike and Ike were twins while Clarence was what we refer to in the trade as the loose cannon!

Natalies Birthday Tape - 02I did have at the time a rather sophisticated cassette recorder which allowed the recording of several tracks on a tape along with allowing me to control the speed of the tape during recording. Those two things combined allowed me the capability to create a tape with four interacting parties, myself and three mice. It all actually seemed to come together quite quickly and I felt I had accomplished my goal in the end. So if I may, here is that recording of the chaotic introduction and associated dialogue that preceded that tape of Christmas music….

“Natalie\’s Birthday Tape” – featuring Alan, Mike, Ike and Clarence

In the end I’m happy to say the effort was well worth it and Natalie liked her birthday gift. It wasn’t long after that I moved on to another job in another state and left Mike, Ike and Clarence to their own demise. I did consider bringing them along with me to see what havoc we might create together in the future but in the end, I though better of that and decided to leave well enough alone…. 🙂

The Telephone Maintenance Work Order….

It was probably around mid-summer of 1988 and I was living in Millwood, Alabama and working at a General Electric Lexan Plant in Burkeville, Alabama. Both locations were in the proximity of Montgomery, Alabama just to give you a little better perspective of where I was living and working.

Open Bay Office - 02I was working in the Field Engineering office which was a large, open bay area where desks sat either side by side or back to back. There was probably some twenty or so desks located in the area where some of the engineers and superintendents would sit and work when they were not out in the plant. Also working in the area was a young clerk named Natalie who was just barely out of high school. She pretty much just ran errands around the office or made copies of documents on the large office copy machine for the various engineers.

Now my best friend Jimmy, one of those superintendents I previously mentioned and myself were of such a disposition that we were seldom up to any good. And we both agreed one day that Natalie was a prime candidate for the old telephone maintenance farce and so it was that on one particular afternoon Jimmy and I decided it was time to put the plan in action.

Now the way this little scam worked, someone had to make a call to the office and impersonate a telephone maintenance worker so it was imperative that the impersonator be in the correct mental mindset so as to not bust out laughing right there on the telephone when you get your unsuspecting victim on the phone. So it was that on one particular day I opted to play the role of the telephone worker so when we knew Natalie was occupied Covered Desk Telephone - 01with work at her desk, I went to get on a phone in one of the back offices of the building and made my call to her desk. She promptly answered, I explained to her that I was a telephone maintenance worker and explained to her that once a year the local telephone company had to blow the dust out of the telephone lines. I informed her that in approximately a half-hour we would be blowing out the dust in the lines of the phones in the office where she worked and that we needed someone to go around the office covering all the phones so that when the dust came out of the phones it didn’t blow all over the office or the workers. She assured me that she would take care of it immediately and hung up.

I immediately gasped a sigh of relief that I had gotten through my role in the scam without busting out laughing so I started heading up the hall to the main office to observe what I thought would be poor little Natalie running around covering telephones.

Now Jimmy had remained in the main office as an observer so he could relate to me Natalie’s actions during and immediately after the call. It took me a bit of time to get back to the main office but when I did the first thing I see is Jimmy laying on the floor laughing his ass off. Embarassed - 02Some of the other engineers had huge grins on their faces. Natalie was standing there obviously overwhelmed with embarrassment, then a few minutes later staring piercing daggers at the entire bunch. There were only two or three phones that had gotten covered up before apparently my partner in crime just busted out laughing and laid bare the perpetrated scam. And as it turned out, Natalie may have looked like she could bite nails into but she immediately joined in on the laughter and then began to tell us all how terrible we were.

Of course I was ready to kill Jimmy for blowing the whole thing. If anyone was going to give the scam away, I always feared it would be me. Jimmy claimed the reason he lost it was when little Natalie went into a panic because she was having trouble finding rags and stuff to cover the phones.

And I will readily admit that to this day I still wish the scam would have held up and I could have watched Natalie cover all those phones, especially when she got to the bosses offices. That was the only time that Jimmy and I ever ran that scam on anyone. It is, however, one of the really great ones when it can run its course. 🙂

I should confess in conclusion that I do have a bit of an ulterior motive for sharing this little antidote and that is to somewhat lead into an upcoming post featuring another of my recording projects that I consider part of my ‘music anthology’ where Natalie is once again the unsuspecting subject but for now, this will have to do…. 🙂