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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

We just received an email from the front desk offering anyone free “point setters” if they pick one up by 11am. I love spelling/grammar mistakes that make me laugh, especially first thing on a Monday morning. You don’t see that many any more with spell check being everywhere, but those words that while spelled correctly mean something entirely different still sneak through.

I had an awful experience once, with a simple misplaced *. I was doing the Annual Report and back-in-the-day for that association, an * next to a name meant the person was deceased. All was quiet for months until at the next board meeting, a gentleman stood up and said, “Contrary to what has been published, I am alive and well.” OMG.  Not knowing who was alive or dead,  I had had our senior exec staffer proof the report and felt safe…until that moment. The gentleman in question was truly gracious but my boss yelled at me forever over that one. Obviously I’ve never forgotten!

Back to those “Point Setters,” no they don’t chase after dead things falling from the sky. They are lovely poinsettia’s left over from the holidays and our Exec kindly offered them to any staff. I didn’t take advantage of the offer, I do better with either the silk or dog variety 🙂

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I’m one of those who answers “dog person” whenever the question comes up as to favorite pets. I’ve grown up with them and my latest, Sadie, was a combo Basset Hound – Australian Sheppard mix. I would get lots of comments about her appearance especially after she lost one eye to glaucoma. Once we even passed a gentleman who had an eye-patch and when he saw Sadie, lifted said patch and popped out his fake eye.  Not only was I speechless, but so too was the young woman on his arm, who I forever wondered if she stayed with him or not.

My soon to be sister-in-law brought two Alaskan Malamutes to the marriage and thus began my introduction to the wolf side of the dog species. These two, Havoc and Elke, were definitely hunters, Elke in particular was the silent but deadly type. With Sadie in tow, I remember the occasional evening barbecue that somehow included howling to the moon, a most impressive sound with wolves (in essence) and one basset hound. I’m sure the neighbors loved us.

All of those particular family pets have since passed on, but their memory lives on. When I ran across this little story in the paper this morning, I couldn’t resist sending it to my brother and sister-in-law and suggested they change their summer vacation plans of France to the possibility presented here. No, I haven’t heard back yet as to whether they will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity… 🙂

Washington Post Express: Nature   Join the Pack

 
A project involving conservationists and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists is looking for a few dozen people willing to howl like wolves in Maine’s North Woods. The Wolf Inquiry Project plans to conduct “howling surveys” in several areas this summer in hopes of discovering whether wolves are resettling in  Maine. The Bangor Daily News reported that coordinators are seeking individuals willing to spend a night howling in the woods and who won’t be scared off if they get a response from the wolves.

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I spent an unexpected amount of time this weekend watching Drew and John use newly designed tools to fix a broken object. From that description, sounds like I was watching a weekly PBS or cable show on home repair with a couple of hardware handymen. Nope. I was watching Astronaut/Astrophysicst John Grunsfeld and Astronaut Drew Feustel up in space giving the Hubble Space Telescope a tune-up. And if you access this blog post this Monday morning (5/18), click here to also watch the folks in space walk around your world, it’s awesome!!

One of my twitters from Saturday:

@christytj Astronaut John with red strip on back designating “free floater, wiggling his toes, 350 miles above Queensland Australia #nasa.

And a twitter from Astronaut Mike Massimino just a few minutes ago (Monday morning 5/18).

@Astro_Mike From orbit: At the end of my spacewalk, I had time to just look at the Earth, the most awesome sight my eyes have seen, indescribable.

Don’t let us forget Astronaut Megan McArthur, the women the other men constantly refer to in their space conversations. Why? She is operating the robotic arm that either holds them, their equipment or other important objects. Competent and invaluable it appears.

Either by watching them work in space, following their twitters, reading stories in your local paper or via the regular tv shows, take a moment and follow what’s happening in space. It is amazing. One last point, an answer to that often unspoken question, “Ever wonder how astronauts pee in space?

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Isn’t that a headline that makes us all look back into our own families and wonder if it happened to us or at the very least to one of our siblings? It was only after years of rumors and a DNA test that Kay Rene Reed Qualls and DeeAnn Angell Shafer of Heppner Oregon found out they had been switched at birth by accident, back in 1953.

I had to agree with what Shafer reportedly said, “”I’m trying to move forward at look at the positive. You can’t look back. It just drives you crazy.” Can you imagine? Everything you thought about your family history has now changed when you are no longer a blood relative – and yet, not changed since your history is also their family history now too.

Over my lifetime, I’ve had many numerous discussions of being “switched at birth” with friends as we diagnosed various members of our respective families and thought there was no way we could be related. This at times led to interesting insight from friends who were adopted, however, they considered themselves the “chosen” one rather than the outsider. To find out you were switched at birth for real?! I did read the hospital in question, Pioneer Memorial in Eastern Oregon, offered to pay for counseling. I have to wonder if either or both ladies in question (or their families) will look for other means of retribution, but somehow doubt it.

Is it a blood connection that makes a family really? Genetics do come into play for medical reasons, more so as science and technology continue to advance and we can become more proactive (if we can afford to, but that’s another blog post).  But I can think of non-blood “relatives” who I consider just as close as my real family. Not just spouses or partners but friends who act more like family than family. It’s the connectivity people have, the caring for each other, the sense of community they build, the support they provide that make up a “family”.  It sounds like once the shock of discovery wore off, the “switched at birth” ladies now consider themselves “sisters.” And that’s not a bad thing.

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Swine flu media blitz influencing the youngest generation?? I don’t know if the author this particular story, Little Pig is Missing,  was subliminally impacted by the recent massive media coverage of the swine flu… but I do know this story made me smile widely. Written and illustrated by Quinn, an intrepid five year old, I was given this as a gift and recognize it for the treasure it is. Couldn’t resist sharing your story and some of your illustrations – thanks Quinn!

Little Pig is Missing    Written and Illustrated by Quinn

pig-is-missing

Little Pig and Daddy Pig

Little Pig and Daddy Pig are swimming in the jungle water .

 

 

 

 

tiger-and-rhino1

Tiger and Rhino

The Tiger and the rhino came and they were talking to Daddy Pig. The rhino stepped on Tiger’s tail and he ROARED!

 

 

 

 

Little Pig got scared and ran away.   And then he was lost forever….but the parrot brought him home.

Parrot in Little Pig is Missing by Quinn

Parrot saving Little Pig

 

And Little Pig and Daddy Pig swam at slug-o-rama in the sluggy water.

 

                  THE END

 

 

copyright 2009 Quinn C

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I pass the National Education Association (NEA) main office everyday going to work and today I happened to notice a big sign out front celebrating “National Teachers Day.” Of course it made me think of the numerous teachers in my life, both good and bad, and pay a mental tribute – again both good and bad.

I remember in third grade a certain Mrs. Kennedy (it was always Mrs. or Miss in those days, no Ms. to choose from). She was an African American women, strong in opinion but gentle in approach. There was no doubt that I liked her, but what made her memorable was the fact she was going to have a baby and actually talked about it. I think we all learned more about “sex ed” though her conversations on the subject than anything we received officially for years to come, whether in school or at home. It made us more aware of what was real vs. rumor as well,  helping down the road when the subject was of much more considerable interest.

Then there was Mr. Cook in the 9th grade, our Spanish teacher who refused to speak English to us from day one. I suppose he thought that was a good approach, “immersion” as it might be called now, but without any English explanation, I was lost from the beginning, and Spanish was my first language too – not from heritage but logistics as my dad was in the Army and we had been stationed in Columbia. An honor student, I actually flunked the class which was shocking to everyone but me, I felt relief the year of torture was over, until I discovered upon entering the 10th grade, that “Senior Cook” and I were paired once again.

There was Mr. Mason, a high school history teacher who made me realize the importance of learning from the past so as not to repeat the future. There were others who taught me lessons I only vaguely remember now but who’s impact I feel all of the time as they have become part of who I am. And there was that nameless substitute health teacher (coach of the football team), whose one-liner, “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” has stuck with me always.

So here’s to you, the teachers of America, underpaid, overworked and unfortunately leaving the profession in droves as a result. You tend to be wonderful, compassionate people who really do care about our children. As we honor you today, may the halls of our leadership do something about recognizing your value to the future of this country and address your needs.

And if you are not a teacher but would like to show support, there is DonorsChoose.org, a wonderful organization that allows you to contribute in a meaningful way to the school of your choice. Of course, there is AAUW too, contribute so that a graduate study student can continue their higher education in today’s tough economy.

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I’m taking a break from headlines, horror stories, and other fears that are seemingly being blown out of proportion. I happened to receive an email this morning from a friend of mine, Anita Singh Soin. She and her husband have just posted a new website for their company, Ibex Expeditions,  highlighting the eco tours they provide in some of the most majestic places in the world.

Rated “amongst the best adventure travel companies on earth,”  by National Geographic Adventure, I just have to talk about them here. They are one of the most environmentally committed couples I’ve met (and working for a tourism association for fifteen years, I met many!). They truly care about this planet of ours and having heard how eco-conscious they are from people who went on their tours, I have to applaud their efforts.

Have I ever been on one of their tours you ask? No — time, distance and being out-of-shape my excuses. I have been to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other parts of that world though and know the beauty, not only of the scenary, but of the people (check out my Travel, Travel, Travel blog).  I consider myself very lucky and expect to go back someday, maybe even start working out to get into better shape to take one of those treks…

Meanwhile, I’m not going to let fear be my decision maker, either for where I travel, or whom I meet. I’m a firm believer in taking precautions and  being pro-active to learn what I need to do/watch out for, but not in just refusing to try something, go somewhere, or shake someones hand because of headlines in the news.

Speaking of headlines, I can’t resist, here’s one that’s worth a read! Wage Gap Study arrives in time for Equal Pay Day.

“A state-by-state analysis of male and female earnings provides fresh fodder for today’s Equal Pay Day. Among women with college degrees the widest wage gap was in Nevada. The widest wage gap overall was in Wyoming.”

After you check out your state and realize how much less money a woman makes than a man, go check out the IbexExpeditions web site, there’s nothing like dreaming of how you would have spent that money you would have earned.  Besides, ecotourism is still a great thing and something we all should focus on a bit more when we can. Enjoy.

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