Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Everybody Loves Some Body

Thought for the day:  Quit when you're a head.

"I AIN'T GOT NO BODY..."  [Wikipedia}

On Easter Sunday of 1722, Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen became the first European to (ahem) discover the island of Rapa Nui. Like most other explorers of his day, he felt it was his civic duty to rename the place forthwith, so the island thereafter became known as Easter Island. To the rest of the world, anyway. As anyone who regularly works the New York Times crossword puzzle could tell you, its inhabitants still stubbornly cling to the name Rapa Nui.

Early explorers waxed poetic about the lush Polynesian paradise they (ahem) found on the island, but they were probably the most astounded by the Moai, HUGE monolithic human figures that dotted the island's hillsides...

... and still do.

When considering Easter Island, those Moai heads are usually the first image that comes to mind. But guess what? They do have some bodies... I mean, they've got SOME BODIES! Those heads are like the tips of the icebergs. The rest of the bodies are underground.

Here are some of the other statues from the island. (Just hold your horses; we'll dig up those buried bodies in a minute.)

Scientists have determined that the statues, carved from giant slabs of rock from the island's Rano Raraku quarry, were created from 1250 to 1500, and those statues, weighing upwards of 80-some tons, were then moved to their designated places of honor.

These Agu Tongariki statues were restored in the '90s. [Wikipedia]

A cyclone in the 1960s  knocked over the statues at left, but they were  restored by a Japanese team several decades later. I think it's fairly safe to say they did use modern equipment to do so.

These statues throughout the island are chiefly aringo ora, or living faces of deified ancestors. Just as the lush forests that once covered the island have disappeared, so too have the skills to carve these statues, and the knowledge as to how they were moved.

However, numerous scientific experiments have led to a consensus of opinion that these mammoth carvings walked. Or to be more definitive, they were rocked from side to side like you might move a heavy piece of furniture, and that movement, implemented with a combination of ropes, pulleys, and rollers, did the trick.( I guess you could say the ancient Rapa Nui people were real rock 'n' rollers, huh?)


Today, a sign defines the Rapa Nui statues as being in a UNESCO protected area. That doesn't mean tourists can't go see them or take pictures of them. However, climbing on them, touching them, and breaking off pieces as souvenirs is severely frowned upon.(And heavily fined.)

Now, back to those buried bodies.

Easter Island Statue Program, whose home base is Santa Monica, California, is a private research and archive organization founded by Jo Anne Van Tilburg. Its goals: excavation, conservation, preservation, and education. (Plus a few other things, but I like the sound of all those -tions together.) The work done by EISP represents the first legally permitted excavation since Thor Hyerdahl's work with the Norwegian Archeological Expedition in the mid-'50s. So it's kind of a big deal.

And those statue heads... with bodies... are kinda big, too. Ready to see some of the EISP pictures? (Their reports and pics are in the public record.)

So, why were those ancestral statues buried up to their necks? Nothing nefarious or mysterious there. Scientists believe the burial was caused by centuries of wind, storms, and erosion. The newly uncovered bodies, protected by their years underground, are in excellent shape, (so to speak) and bear some interesting writings on them, yet to be deciphered. Neat, huh?

Oh, and lest you think you have to go to faraway Easter Island to see moai artifacts in person, you don't! The one at left is housed in a British museum. Others reside at the Smithsonian Institute and American University museum in Washington, D.C., at the Louvre in Paris, and in other museums in Chile, Brussels, and New Zealand.

Have you ever seen them in a museum?

Of course, as wonderful as it is to see things like this in a museum, seeing them in their original locales at places like Easter Island would be over-the-top exciting.

Have you ever been there?

If you ever do have the opportunity to visit this Polynesian island to see the moai in person, remember one thing: they are protected. So use your head; there will be none of this...

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Independence, Prohibition, and Fart Free Seating

Thought for the day:  Size ain't everything.

Good things may come in small packages, but that gold-covered fella in the picture isn't very small. (Or very dressed, either, for that matter.) The eleven-foot shivering statue, called Independent Man, stands tall atop Rhode Island's State House, 278 feet above the ground, and has been gazing out over the city of Providence since 1899.

Matter of fact, you could say he's looking out over the entire state. After all, the whole darned thing only measures thirty-seven miles from east to west, and forty-eight from north to south. Yep, that does make it one compact little package, but our smallest state is also one of our more independent ones. It's one of only two states (The other was Connecticut.) that refused to ratify the eighteenth amendment. In a state bearing the lofty motto Hope, and  founded on principles of religious freedom and free speech, I don't reckon folks had much interest in raising a glass to prohibition.

Okay, enough small talk. Let's get right to it, and check out some pictures, shall we?

The White Horse Tavern, the oldest operating tavern in the country, was originally built in 1652, and then expanded in 1673 into the barn-like structure you see at right. Over the years, this building served not only as a popular watering hole, but also as a meetinghouse, courthouse, city hall, Tory headquarters, and boardinghouse. Last restored in 1952, the tavern is still a mighty popular place to hoist a few. (No wonder the state didn't support prohibition.)

How'd you like to wander through THIS library? Built in 1747, the Redwood Library in Newport is the oldest library in the U.S. still housed in its original building. I dunno if they carry those Fifty Shades books there, but I'll bet you could find some dandy leather-bound books bearing the unmistakable scent of days gone by.

[credit: Jess Webb, Wikipedia]
The country's oldest one-room schoolhouse, built in 1716, stands in Portsmouth. Although it's undergone some renovations, its frame is original.

Walking into the building must feel like taking a step back into history. Children who once sat at the desks are long gone, but their centuries-old graffiti still lingers on the walls for visitors to see. Also on the wall is a list of the rules... and punishments... that once governed the classroom:

  •  Boys and girls playing together – 1 lash
  • Fighting at school – 5 lashes
  • Quarreling at school – 3 lashes
  • Climbing for every foot over 3 feet up a tree – 1 lash
  • Telling tales out of school – 8 lashes
  • Giving each other ill names – 3 lashes
  •  Misbehaving to girls – 10 lashes
  •  Leaving school without leave of the teacher – 4 lashes
  • Wearing long fingernails – 2 lashes
  • Boys going to the girls' play place – 3 lashes
  •  Girls going to the boys' play place – 2 lashes
  •  For every word you miss in your heart lessons without a good excuse – 1 lash
  •  For not saying yes or no sir or yes or no marm – 2 lashes
  • Telling lies – 7 lashes
  •  Swearing at school – 9 lashes

It should come as no surprise that the country's first Baptist meetinghouse calls Rhode Island home. After all, Roger Williams fled to Rhode Island to escape the restrictive Puritanical society found in other colonies. He established America's first Baptist church in Providence in 1638, and for sixty years, the congregation met in private homes or, weather permitting, outdoors. The church's first buildings were small and simple, and the current one, shown in the picture, was built in 1775.

But would you be surprised to know that North America's oldest Synagogue is located in Rhode Island, too? First built in 1763, Touro Synagogue also houses the United States' oldest Torah.

In his day, Williams was a bit of an outcast and rebel for bucking Puritanical thinking to espouse freedoms of religion and speech. But  these rights, as expressed in the constitution he wrote when establishing his colony, were later embraced in our country's constitution.

The New England Museum of Wireless and Steam, located in East Greenwich,  has a ton of old radio gear, including an intact 1907 wireless station, as well as a wealth of old steam-run machinery.  I'm gonna share a couple videos with you now. The first shows some of the steam machines, and the second shows a spark gap transmitter in action. (The spark gap video wasn't taken at the museum, but the generator  in the video is very similar to one that's there.)

[credit: Matt H. Wade, Wikipedia]
The Breakers, a private home built for the Vanderbilt family in 1895, only has seventy rooms. To be more precise, the home was actually built in Newport as a summer home for Cornelius Vanderbilt, so I guess that explains why its rooms didn't number in the triple digits, huh? Sitting on thirteen acres, this place cost twelve million dollars to build back then. In today's world, that equates to approximately three hundred and thirty-five million, less than it takes to run some small countries. Today, the Breakers is a National Historical Landmark, owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. So we might not be able to live in it, but we can visit. (And be grateful we don't have to clean all those rooms and wash all those windows...)

In Cumberland is Nine Men's Misery, the country's oldest known memorial to U.S. veterans. It honors colonists who lost their lives during King Philip's War of  1676.

Also in Rhode Island is the Memorial to Black Soldiers, built in Portsmouth to honor the many black soldiers who died while fighting in the Battle of Rhode Island... August 29, 1778.

Watch Hill's Flying Horse Carousel is the nation's oldest.

The country's (heck maybe the whole world's!) largest bug can be found in Providence, Rhode Island. Nibble Woodaway, a big blue termite, is fifty-eight feet long. Hmmm, I don't know that I'd care about seeing him, but there sure are a lot of other things in this little state I'd like to see. Wooden you?

Okay, it's time to move along and check out some of the laws still languishing on the books in this tiny state.

  • I guess kids there don't play cowboys and Indians anymore. Cap guns are illegal.
  • It's against the law to string a rope across a highway.
  • Control yourself. It's illegal to bite off another person's leg.
  • Riding a horse over any public highway for the purpose of racing or testing the horse's speed is against the law. 
  • Exercising any labor, business, or work, or using any game, sport, play, or recreation, or causing any of the above to be done to or by your children, servants, or apprentices on a Sunday results in a five dollar fee for the first offense, and ten dollars for the second. (How about ministers?)
  • Professional sports, except ice polo and hockey, must obtain a license to play on Sunday.
  • Any marriage where either of the parties is an idiot or lunatic is null and void. 
  • It's illegal to throw pickle juice on a trolley. (How about beans? Can ya throw beans?)
  • One must make a loud noise before passing a car on the left. (Better eat some of those beans.)
  • In Newport, it's illegal to smoke a pipe after sundown.
  • In Providence, it's against the law to wear transparent clothing. (Evidently, not all sightseeing is encouraged.) 
  • And on Sundays, it's illegal to sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer. (This one's a real head-scratcher, isn't it?)
  • In Scituate, it's against the law to drive down any street with beer in your car, even if it's unopened. (I guess they want you to do your drinking at the White Horse Tavern, huh?)

Okay, boys and girls. It's that time again. Time for (ta-DA!) the 

Weirdest News Stories of the Week

*** Have you ever done a backflip? In a car? On purpose...? A post about  a small state deserves a big story about a small car... a Mini, to be exact. Believe it or not, stunt driver Guerlain Chicherit recently executed an amazing back flip in his Mini at the ski resort of Tignes in the French Alps. Wanta see?

[image from seniorark]

*** A New Zealand police officer was running a wee hours of the morning routine patrol this week when things suddenly turned rather wild and woolly. He thought there was something odd about the 1994 Ford Laser hatchback he spotted... and he was right. Inside the very small car were four men. And ten hog-tied sheep. Nope, they weren't out on some kind of a kinky date. These very baaaaad men were stealing the tasty critters. Since it is currently the middle of a very hot summer in New Zealand, I suspect the men were't all that upset to be relieved of their hot dates. What? You don't think ten wool-covered critters in a compact car are hot... and smelly? (I'll bet they had to take a hose to the interior of that car.)

*** Remember TV's Mr. Ed? A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse, of course, that is unless the horse, of course, is the famous Mr. Ed. Well, the Midland, Michigan horse in this short video may not be able to talk... at least, he hasn't said anything yet... but he does do a pretty good Houdini impersonation:

WE TOLD HIM NOT TO EAT THE BEANS! [image from seniorark]

***  An article in this week's New Zealand Medical Journal suggests that airplane passengers should damn the consequences and let those farts blast. After all, cabin pressurization can only go so far in easing intestinal discomfort exacerbated by pressure changes. Good manners, of course,  dictate that a person in distress try to be as discreet and polite as possible when seeking relief, but seeing's as how the air inside those cabins is constantly recirculated, fellow passengers may not take too kindly to frequent out-gassing, no matter how sweetly you say, Excuse me. (So it's probably best to let it out as quietly as possible and keep your mouth shut.) Dr. Rosenberg, the article's author, suggested that airlines should consider installing seats embedded with charcoal, or hand out blankets with the stink-zapping compound sewn into them. Or how about this? Travelers could be breath-o-lyzed for methane prior to boarding, and then those with high levels, indicating a higher probability of, you know, letting 'em rip, could be assigned to a special seating area. No more smoking and non-smoking sections anymore, but with the able assistance of this simple non-invasive test, planes could institute farting and non-farting sections. A Fart Free zone, if you will. (One can only wonder what one would do in the free zone if yesterday's burrito starts to kick in.) I guess passengers could always wear odor-absorbing undies, too.  (I mean, how uncomfortable could a crotch full of activated charcoal be?) Anyhow, so there ya have it. According to at least one medical authority, holding in that gas could be hazardous to your health, so the next time you're airborne, don't be afraid to scent the air, if need be. Just, um, don't sit next to me.

*** One final video, and this is especially for all the Star Trek fans out there. Would you believe computer scientists at the University of Illinois, in Chicago, have developed a 3-D Star Trek holodeck? Called CAVE2, scientists envision some mighty amazing possibilities for it:

              Pretty neat, huh? Here's to a weekend that's simply out of this world...

                                Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

[NOTE: Images lacking attribution come courtesy of Wikipedia and public domain.]

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Care for a Crapcake Sandwich?

Thought for the day:  What we've got here is a failure to communicate. [Paul Newman, in Cool Hand Luke.]

Remember our pal Chopsticks? He's been waiting in the back of that truck for some time now, just a-waiting for us to take off to look for some more of those bizarre Chinese-to-English translations he enjoys so much.

So, whattaya say we humor him?

As always, thanks to the fine folks at engrish who so graciously granted me permission to share their fun stuff with you.

So, ready? And awaaaaay we go...

Okay, Chopsticks is getting a little too excited at the thought of that huge crap seafood, so I think we'd better call it a day for now. He wants to go out back and find something disgusting to roll around in... his idea of grooming, I believe.

                                Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Breezy Thoughts for a Windy Day

Thought for the day:  The optimist pleasantly ponders how high his kite will fly; the pessimist woefully wonders how soon his kite will fall.  [William Arthur Ward]

When's the last time you flew a kite?

I loved flying them when I was a kid... every step of it,  from putting one together, to making a ragtag tail for it, and then launching it into the sky.  I especially liked to get a kite up really high in the air, and then lie on my back and daydream, while watching it dance, and feeling it tug at the string in my hand.

Didja ever build your own box kite out of wood strips and newspaper? Not as fancy as the kites you can buy ready-made these days, (or back in THOSE days, for that matter) but we sure had fun with them.

I often sit and wish that I
Could be a kite up in the sky,
To ride upon the breeze, and go
Whichever way I chanced to blow.

Mind you, I'm not saying I was ever very good at flying a kite. Just enthusiastic.

Matter of fact, the last two times I flew a kite... some years ago when our kids were very young, and just last year with our grandchildren... this is where our kite ended up.

And yes, I said "our". My hubby was with me, so he should share the blame, dontcha think?

Have you read this book? Trust me, once you read it, you'll never ever think of kite-flying the same. In Afghanistan, where most of this story takes place, flying kites is a vicious competition. On a scale of one to ten, I'd rate this book an eleven. It provides a fascinating window into a culture completely alien to most of us.

Talk about something being alien to most of us, would you ever consider flying a kite in the middle of an electrical storm?

Yay, Ben!

Would you believe there's a museum in Washington state that's completely devoted to kites? This place has more than 1500 kites on display from 26 different countries, and provides info about kites used for entertainment, industry, and scientific experimentation. (Yay, Ben!)

What's more, this is also the location for the Washington State International Kite Festival. From what I can see, their competitions are nothing like the vicious string-cutting endeavors depicted in The Kite Runner, but they do showcase a side of kite-flying completely different from what I... and I suspect, you...  have ever experienced. (I sincerely doubt if any of these folks have ever landed a kite in a tree.)

In this video, you can watch one of the regular competitors in action. Ray Bethell is an 80-plus-year-old Canadian, and his skills flying three (count 'em... THREE!) kites at the same time are phenomenal. Watching the way he makes those kites dance is like watching a ballet. Amazing.  Don't believe me? Watch it for yourself:

                                                              Let's go fly a kite
                                                              Up to the highest height.
                                                              Let's go fly a kite,
                                                              And send it soaring
                                                              Up through the atmosphere,
                                                              Up where the air is clear.
                                                              Oh, let's go fly a kite,
                                                               Let's go fly a kite!
                                                              [from Mary Poppins]

Again, I ask you, when's the last time you flew a kite? (Or donated one to a tree?)

                             Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

You will find truth more quickly through delight than gravity. Let out a little more string on your kite.  [Alan Cohen]

True courage is like a kite; a contrary wind raises it.  [John Petit-Sem]

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Last Hoorah

Thought for the day:  There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together.   [Josh Billings]

Here we are at the last... special edition Thursday... posting for False Start Fridays. Thanks, Suze for coming up with this super idea. It's been fun.

Well, I didn't hitch too many words together for this piece, because the editor only wanted 800 of them. like the story I posted last month, this sad little rejected and dejected short story was submitted to Woman's World along with another short story that DID get published.

Its title? Raining Cats and Dogs.


   The crowded waiting room reeked of wet dogs, Lysol, flea spray, and fear. Jason checked his watch again. Doc Woods was usually an in-and-out kind of vet. So, what was the big hold-up?
     “Sorry for the long wait, girl,” he told his English mastiff. Dixie stared at him with big sad eyes, gave a slobbery snort, and then rested her massive head on his knee.
    Jason looked around him at all the agitated dogs. So this was what his first free Wednesday in twenty years looked like, huh? Where was the cascading confetti, the marching mariachi band? He chuckled and stroked Dixie’s head. So far, the only thing raining down around here was rain, and none of these mutts looked like they felt like doing the mamba.
     Oh well, no biggie. Now that he’d hired another dentist to help with his practice, he was going to be free every Wednesday, so there’d be plenty of time for confetti and fun later. Get the annual vet visit over with today, and then, starting next week, there’d be nothing but fun, fun, fun.
    When they finally made it into the treatment room, a petite brunette, clad in snug-fitting jeans and a pale blue tee shirt that claimed Animals Are People, Too, was waiting for them. She had amazing copper-colored eyes, a light dusting of freckles across her nose, and a 100-watt smile.
     She was definitely worth the wait.
    “Oh!” Jason said, fervently wishing he’d shaved and worn clothes that weren’t old enough to vote. “You’re not Doc Woods.” Brilliant, Sherlock, he thought. Just brilliant.
     She smiled. “Not the Doc Woods you were expecting, anyway,” she said. “I’m his granddaughter. What a beautiful dog!”
     “Thanks. And you’re a vet?” he asked. No, she’s an architect, you moron.
     “Yes, my grandfather wants to retire and turn his practice over to me. So I’m trying it on for size.” She checked Dixie over, administered her shots, and then petted her. “Good girl.”
     “Must be your lucky day,” he said. “It’s raining cats and dogs out there.”  He winced. Man, that was lame.
      She laughed politely. “Cute,” she said.
      She certainly was, he thought. But now he had to wait a whole year to see her again? Probably. Dixie didn’t just look like a horse; she was as healthy as one, too.
     Unless …
     The following Wednesday, Jason returned to the clinic, toting his elderly neighbor’s tomcat, an overweight beast with anger issues and razor-sharp claws. Jason’s arms were shredded and streaked with blood, but at least he was clean-shaven and well-dressed this time. Doc Meredith looked even more beautiful than he remembered. And she remembered him! “Hello, again,” she said, then frowned. “You need to see a doctor. Those scratches look pretty bad.”  Not exactly the reaction he was hoping for.
     The week after that, he carried in a litter of boxer puppies for his sister. One of them piddled all over the front of his shirt, putting a certain je ne sais pas crimp in his style, but Meredith still graced him with a smile. Definitely making progress.
     Before he brought a stray kitten in the following week, he sprayed himself with some cologne guaranteed to make any man irresistible. It made Meredith sneeze. She did smile at him again, though, and between sneezes, asked about Dixie.
     It was almost time to ask her out.
     When he took his buddy’s poodle into the treatment room the following Wednesday, she laughed and said, “I appreciate all the business, Jason, but enough of this junior high stuff. Ask me out already!”
     So they finally had their first date. After dinner, they went back to his place, but before he could pull into the driveway, Jason had to toot his horn to shoo a cat. Several more were lounging in the yard, and three dogs came running from next door to woof a friendly hello. Dixie greeted them when they went inside, and close behind her were two cats and a border collie. 
    Meredith laughed. “I see Dixie isn't an only child anymore. Know what I think?” she asked.
    “I’m nuts?”
    “Maybe a little, but also very very sweet,” she said, kissing his cheek. “I was going to say that it’s obviously been raining cats and dogs again.”
     “Cute. Very... very cute,” he said, leaning in closer to claim a proper kiss.

                           Yeah, I know, pretty groan-worthy, huh? No wonder it got the boot.

 Again, thanks to Suze of Subliminal Coffee (the thinking person's cafe) for initiating this whole false start thing. It's been a blast. And now... alas, it is done.
                                   Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.   
                                Always proof read carefully to see if you any words out.
                              Oops, almost forgot! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend Jennifer Shirk's newest book. It's as sweet as a box of chocolates, but completely calorie-free. Believe me, once you read it, you'll never think of Cupid quite the same again. And hurry up! In honor of Valentine's day, you can get the e-version from both Amazon and Nook for the paltry sum of ninety-nine cents. So, go... buy! Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What's Love Got to Do With It?

Thought for the day:  If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

Ahhhh, Valentines's Day. It's the day after tomorrow, ya know. (Consider this a public service announcement, guys, just in case it slipped your mind.) Yep, the day of loooooove... also of chocolates, red roses, and heart-shaped you-name-its. Oh, and sappy sentimental cards. Mustn't forget the cards.

I'll never forget some of the romantic cards and gifts Smarticus has given me over the years. (sigh) We were all of twelve or thirteen the very first time he wrote a poem (just for me!) in my autograph book. It went like this: Roses are red; violets are blue. You've got a shape like a B-52. I mean, doesn't that send shivers of sheer delight up and down your spine?

We weren't much older that that when he extended a lovely decorated box toward me, smiled seductively, and told me to open it. When I did, I found a barf-worthy severed finger lying atop a fluffy bed of cotton. It was his finger, of course, stuck through a hole in the box bottom and doctored up to look as disgusting as he could make it. Yeah, I know. Smartius was a bit of a farticus in those days.

But, what can I say? I married him anyway. How could I not? He's a gen-u-ine original, and even after all these years, he still knows how to make my heart sing.

Talking about original, have you ever wondered who St. Valentine was and why he's associated with a feast day devoted to love? Why we associate this day with the color red... with red roses in particular... and why we exchange Valentines?

Well, then, you've come to the right place.

Our man Valentine was a priest in Rome during the reign of Claudius the Cruel, an emperor with an unholy affinity for declaring war. In fact, this dude's wars were so frequent and so unpopular, it got to where very few men were joining the military. The emperor, who was evidently just as stupid as he was cruel, decided the only reason men weren't rushing to fight his wonderful wars was because they were too darned attached to their wives and family. So he came up with a solution. He banned marriages.

But fear not. Our hero priest continued to perform marriage ceremonies in secret. That is, until the mean ol' emperor found out about it, and had him killed. By beating, stoning, and then beheading. (Talk about overkill.) Valentine was killed on February 14, 270.

Legend has it that he left a special note for the jailer's daughter, and signed it... from your Valentine. 

So, why the color red, you ask? For obvious reasons, blood red is the color of martyrs. And thanks to the martyred St. Valentine... it also became the color of love. Red roses represent Venus, the goddess of love. And Valentine himself sent the first Valentine card. St. Valentine's feast day was established in 496, but it didn't become recognized as a lovers' holiday and big day of romance until ten centuries later, when popular belief held that the fourteenth of February marked the start of mating season for birds.

So, if you consider Valentine's Day to be for the birds... you aren't entirely wrong.

At right is an example of a 1909 Valentine's Day card, which I found on Wikipedia. As a young girl, I remember buying big fancy cards for my mother... complete with scented stuffed satin hearts and lace around the edges... for the exorbitant price of thirty-five cents. My sweet Smarticus has sent me a bunch of beautiful cards over the years, but he'd still probably be more comfortable with one that said: Roses are red; violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, and so are you... The roses are wilting; the violets are dead. The sugar bowl's empty, and so is your head.

Just kidding. He's actually quite the romantic. (But I sure am glad he didn't know about St. Valentine losing his head over love when we were kids. The finger was bad enough.)

He's outgrown sending this kind of card, but he isn't above laughing at them. Neither am I. With sincere thanks to our friend and fellow amateur radio operator Bill, who sent these cards to me, I present to you cards some of the world's most notorious despots might have sent, because ya know... even bad guys need love.

Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never met.

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in muddy boots.

Lots of things are considered aphrodisiacs... like big red juicy strawberries, and rich dark chocolate... or better yet, big red juicy strawberries dipped in rich dark chocolate...

Um, where was I?

Oh, yeah. I wanted to tell you guys about one of the best aphrodisiacs of all time. Wanta put your lady love in the mood? Do the dinner dishes. I tell ya, nothing is as sexy to a woman as seeing her man tackling a load of dishes  while she's in the easy chair with her feet propped up... eating strawberries dipped in chocolate. Or if ya reeeeeally want to make her weak in the knees... clean the toilet bowl. 

Put a lotta love in your heart

Anyhow, whether you celebrate in a small way, or whether you go reeeally BIG...

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all. But wouldn't it be nice if we celebrated love...  every day?

                                        Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Never go to bed mad--- stay up and fight.  [Phyllis Diller]