Wednesday, March 31, 2021

I May Be Going Bananas

Hi, guys. I know. It's been too long, so I figured I'd pop in to say hi and give y'all a brief update before another month slips through my fingers. My daughter has been working reeeeeeeally hard, both with a physical therapist and on her own at home, and her progress is absolutely astounding. I'm so proud of her determination and good attitude. She was even able to shoot some pool a couple days ago!

And me? I'm doing well. Better some days than others, but mostly, I can't complain. Thanks to some wonderful ham friends, all the antennas and towers that were at the side of the house got dismantled last weekend. Woo HOOOOOOOO!!! Still more antennas and towers to go, but this is a huge step. (I haven't seen the naked side of my house in years!) Hams are the BEST. Really. I've gotten lots of other stuff done, too, but no need to bore you with the details. One kinda neat thing... my neighbor mentioned that he was going to buy a riding lawn mower, and I told him he could just use mine... and asked him to give me a brief tutorial so I can operate it, too. Get this. He's gonna use my mower, but he's also gonna maintain it... and cut my grass! Win-win for both of us! Life is good.

I started writing the following post one year ago today. I got about half of it done, but then Mike got sicker, and I wasn't in the mood to finish. Now is its time. Might as well... I'd already done the research and taken notes. HA. No promises, but I'll try to get back to the blogosphere a little sooner next time. Y'all take care. I love you guys.

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Thought for the day: The older you get, the better you get. Unless you're a banana. [Rose Nyland]

Some of you may remember this cute little guy, because I've shared his picture with y'all before. Mike (AKA Smarticus) gave him to me for Valentine's Day about a thousand years ago. Give or take. 

Anyhow, when you squeeze the monkey's belly, he gives a wolf whistle and says in a raspy dirty old man kinda voice, "I go bananas over you!"( If he had eyebrows, they would've wiggled, I'm sure.)

The monkey's voice is fading and is growing more and more muffled, but he still looks good as new. Even his banana looks pristine. Which is a lot more than I can say for the bananas I bought at the grocery store a couple days ago. I swear, if I ever get a speeding ticket on the way home from the grocery store, it'll only be because I was trying to get home before the darned bananas turned brown.

A ham radio friend emailed me the picture on the right, which he described as a giant elephant made out of bananas

First thing that came to my mind was that a heckuva lot of people must've worked on THAT project. I mean, just think about what it'd be like if anyone ever tried to pull off a feat like that single-handedly. Before the poor slob even made it to the halfway point, the first bananas he'd put in place would've already mutated into smelly oozing gobs of brown mush that he'd have to replace. Impossible, I tell ya!  It'd be like trying to fill a bottomless bucket with water. Oh, and don't forget the fruit flies. The smell of overripe and rotting bananas would attract fruit flies like... um, flies. Yeah, exactly like flies. Those annoying little boogers would magically materialize out of nowhere, and they'd establish a brand new thriving community faster than a hungry gorilla can inhale a banana . 

So, um no. Not gonna try that. I'll happily bake some banana bread or a decadent banana cream pie, but ix-nay on the banana-building with a bunch of rapidly rotting bananas... while being swarmed by fruit flies. 

But what would be fun is... a banana CAR. You know, like the famous Oscar Meyer weinermobile... only instead of a rolling hot dog, it'd be a rolling... banana. I find that idea rather... a-peel-ing. 

Evidently, a guy named Steve Braithwaite liked the idea, too. 

This self-proclaimed goofy fella decided about a decade ago to up his eccentricity credentials by creating a unique vehicle to tour around the U.S. and spread joy. He wanted something totally ridiculous and fun. Looks like he got just what he wanted, dontcha think? Built on the chassis of a 1993 Ford pick-up truck, this impressive never-rot banana mobile measures twenty-three feet long and is 9.8 feet tall. Like everything else, the pandemic has changed things for this adventurous gent, but no doubt, as conditions improve, I reckon he'll be able to resume his appearances at fairs and festivals all over the country. His license tag? SPLIT. 

Hmmm, which reminds me... do you know why the banana split? 

He had artistic differences with the rest of the bunch. 

And how about the banana smoothie?

He's the one who gets all the girls. 

Ever hear of shoes made out of bananas? 

Yep, they're called slippers... (Totally nonfriction!)

Okay, how about some fun facts about bananas?
  • The inner skin of a banana peel works well to polish leather. (I wonder what inspired someone to try this for the first time...?)
  • Bananas can float on water, because they're less dense. (Does that mean they're smart? )
  • Bananas grow on plants considered herbs, but the banana itself is classified as a... berry. ("Berry" is a botanical term, indicating the presence of seeds, pulp, and three separate layers: the exocarp is the outer skin, the mesocarp is the part we eat, and the endocarp is the part closest to the seeds... which are on the inside. Ironically, blackberries, mulberries, strawberries and raspberries aren't actually berries at all... but bananas, pumpkins, avocados, and cucumbers ARE.)
  • Bananas are low in salt and high in potassium, generously providing a natural way to help lower blood pressure. Most of you probably already knew that, but did you know banana potassium is slightly radioactive? (K-40) Not dangerous... just interesting. (If someone eats too many bananas, do you think he could go into banana-phalactic shock...?)
  • Bananas may serve as a mood enhancer. That's because they contain tryptophan and B-6, which help the body produce seratonin. (All they do for me is give me gas... which makes me giggle. So yeah... mood enhancer... never mind.)
  • In addition to polishing your leather shoes with a banana peel, you can also rub that inner peeling on your skin to alleviate itching and inflammation. (And the fruit flies will just LOVE you!)
  • Would you believe humans share about 50% of the same DNA that's in a banana??? 
  • A cluster of bananas is known as a hand, and each banana is a finger.
  • In China, it's illegal to stream videos of anyone eating a banana.
  • Despite the banana's phallic shape, alas, its sex life stinks. Cavendish, the kind of banana most of us eat, is sterile. In the wild, most bananas have very large seeds and are mostly inedible, and what we eat is a mutation, in which the seeds are underdeveloped and incapable of sexual reproduction. Farmers use cuttings to start new plants and replant cuttings to clone.
There. Now you know far more about bananas than you ever cared to know. You're welcome. 


   

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

P.S. The picture of the giant elephant made out of bananas that my friend sent me is actually a depiction of the Hindu god Ganish, made of green bananas. It was created in Odisha, India, in 2017, and at the conclusion of a 10-day festival, the ripened bananas were then distributed to the poor.

44 comments:

  1. It is WONDERFUL to see you back here and to learn that you and your daughter are (mostly) doing well.
    Keep it up. Both of you (which is both a request and an order).
    I will only eat green bananas. The brown ones? Bleah.
    Loved the banana god - and the weird facts too.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. It's good to be here.

      Me, too. I've got a soft spot for weird facts, too. :)

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  2. Strangely, I knew humans share about 50% of the same DNA that's in a banana. It demonstrates an exquisite continuity of evolution. And doggoneit, I'm proud to be half banana!

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    1. Hmmmm, I just had an epiphany. If we're half banana, THAT would explain the brown spots... I've always thought of them as age spots, but maybe they just mean my banana parts are getting too ripe. :)

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  3. Hey You! Glad you surfaced. Glad to hear you were not up on a ladder trying to take down Ham Gear - grateful for all the ham helpers. Did you serve ham sandwiches as a reward...?
    And as for bananas - I am a purist - I only eat very fresh - green/yellow bananas chopped up with milk and Cheerios.
    No banana splits, no banana pudding. Nope - no banana flavors elsewhere.
    Weirdo - yep!
    Take good care and glad you are busy just being you. Hope vaccinated and feeling the spring air - believe me, the TX air (i.e. wind) will knock you off a bench. Big Easter hug!

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    1. Hey, yourself! Who said I wasn't up on a ladder? HA (I do try to restrain myself from climbing when I'm alone... but I don't always listen to myself...)

      Not a weirdo at all! I'm not a huge fan of bananas, to tell the truth. The window of opportunity for getting that perfect degree of ripeness is too small. If it's the only fruit choice available, I'll eat it, but there are lots of other fruits that I like so much more. (And I LOATHE anything that's "banana-flavored.")

      You guys take care, too. Yes, I got my first vaccination a few weeks ago and am scheduled to get the second on Tuesday. (YIPPEE!!!) I hope you're close to getting vaccinated, too. Maybe you'll be able to go see your dad soon!!!

      And a great big Easter hug right back atcha. And chocolate, too... yeah, lots of gooooood chocolate. Take care.

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    2. Ray and I both got the 1 shot J&J with no side effects. Whew! We feel better about life but still being careful - masks, outdoors, etc. My dad, brother, sister are all vaccinated in PA. My friends up there are slowly getting theirs. I have a 3 week trip planned in July - drive up and hang out - can't wait!!!! Dad turns 90. Yowza. The man is slowly losing memory but still sharp on some crap. He's a hoot.

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    3. Glad to hear you guys have been vaccinated. It's like getting a new lease on life, isn't it? Awesome about going to PA in July. I have a feeling it's gonna be your best visit EVER. (Absence really does make the heart grow fonder!)

      Thank you for the Easter card. You're too sweet. :)

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  4. The inner peel of a banana can be used on the skin to relieve inflammation and itching, but NEVER do that when bees are around. The scent of banana angers them and sends them into a stinging frenzy, they will attack you.
    I used to love bananas, and still do if they are fresh, but the cold storage one brought out and ripened artificially have no banana smell, no banana taste and the flesh is sometimes crunchy, they go bad far too quickly and the seedy centre which should be pale and easily eaten, is too often mushy black seeds surrounded by a woody core.

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    1. So bees don't like the smell of bananas, eh? I did not know that. Good to know! Thanks.

      I'm not a huge fan of bananas. It is sooooo rare to catch a banana at optimal ripeness, it's hardly worth the effort. A perfect one is... well, perfect... but most of them disappoint.

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  5. The best bananas are yellow with a light dusting of brown freckles, that is when they are fully, naturally ripened and sweet; mashed they are one of the best foods you can feed a baby. Larger brown splotches are the ones used to make banana cake or bread.
    Really lovely to see you back here.

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    1. Mike usually ate a banana every day, so I used to buy a lot more of them than I do now. Making a loaf of banana bread with the overripe ones were an additional plus, as far as he was concerned, so they never went to waste. Now, I occasionally buy one or two.

      Thanks. It's really lovely to be here. :)

      Take care, sweet lady. Happy Easter!

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  6. Hi Susan, great to see you blogging again. Lots of interesting facts about bananas, too. Here they don't go brown so quickly as it's not so hot, and I usually pick up 2 or 3 at a time when I go to the stores, so they can be eaten quickly. That giant elephant must have been a huge amount of work! Keep well, stay safe, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Hi-ya. It's good to be here... and to "see" you. :)

      You keep well and stay safe, too. Hugs back atcha.

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  7. Good to hear from you!
    I'd love to hear the reasoning behind that stupid China law.
    I think that's a brilliant idea that your neighbor uses your mower and cuts both plots. Definitely a win-win.

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    1. Good to be heard from! :)

      Um, I think the reasoning behind the Chinese law is that those kinds of videos could be a bit too suggestive.

      Isn't it a great deal? We're both pretty happy about it.

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  8. Glad to see you back! And good to hear you - and your daughter! - are doing well overall.

    Minions are the best! :)

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    1. Thanks! It's good to be back.

      Yes, minions ARE the best. Mike absolutely loved them, so they always remind me of him. :)

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  9. Good to see you haven't lost your sense of humor, it makes everything better when we can laugh about it. Good you have some wonderful friends to help you out and also ones that like to laugh and smile too. Your post has made my day and I'm now smiling, Glad you took the time to give us an update!

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    1. You're right. I dunno how anyone can fully enjoy life without a sense of humor. It's always been my coping mechanism. :)

      I'm VERY happy to have made you smile. Take care, sweet lady, and Happy Easter!

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  10. Gosh, it's good to 'see' you again. And bonus feels knowing you and your daughter are doing well.
    I soooo enjoyed these factoids -- and the minions, too. Still trying to wrap my mind around sharing DNA with a fruit. 😲

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    1. Gosh, it's good to BE "seen." :)

      Yeah, it does seem a little weird to think that we share that much DNA with a banana. Then again, I always HAVE bruised very easily...

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  11. Glad to know you're hanging in there and doing well. It's always great to see your posts (blog posts, I'm talking about....)

    As for bananas, I was never a big fan. They're either under-ripe or over-ripe, like avocados and the persimmons. Much of the information you provided was new to me - and has given me a better understanding of our slippery yellow friends.

    That elephant made of bananas is fantastic - but too bad it didn't last long. Donating it to the poor was a good idea.
    I like the banana vehicle! When I was a kid in California the original weinermobile came to our school (heaven knows why). I was only mildly impressed....

    I remember your cute Valentine monkey!

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    1. Thanks. Yep, I'm still hanging in there. :)

      I'm with you when it comes to bananas. The window of just-right ripeness is too darned small. I hate 'em when they're green, and hate them even more after they turn to mush. There are lots other fruits that aren't so darned persnickety.

      Very cool that you saw the weinermobile in person. I've only seen pics of it.

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  12. We are all so happy to see you back on Blogger. You and your wonderful sense of humor were sorely missed.

    Did you ever hear the song by the late, great Harry Chapin, 30,000 Pounds of Bananas? I love that song (and Harry Chapin), although it doesn't end well.

    Banana Elephant is quite a feat, that in the end, will smell like dirty feet (with a fungus).

    I won't comment on the sex life of a banana; the jokes are just too easy.

    Glad to hear your daughter is getting better everyday and you are keeping yourself busy. That was a very good trade that you made with your neighbor. Sweat equity is a good price to pay for the mower. You both made out well.

    Take care, dear Susan, and be well.



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    1. Thanks. It feels kinda nice to be here. :)

      I had to go to Youtube to check out that song, and yep, I had heard it before, but I'd forgotten all about it. (I really like the way he says "bananas"...)

      I think the deal my neighbor and I made is super. He also has some back issues, so I'll pick up the fallen branches from our yards before he cuts our grass.

      You take care, too, dear Arleen. Happy Easter!

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  13. Hi Susan – I doubt it … but I knew the post would be fun … you’ve had a tough time … and then your poor daughter – I’m so glad to read she’s healing slowly.
    A naked house – well that’s a bit of a shock … but brilliant the ‘hams’ are being the best and helping you with various hammy things. Your neighbour – sounds a good dude … definitely win-win.
    You’re taking your time and that’s right … life has its hurdles and we just need to wait til things feel easier … and yes we love ya girl!
    Love seeing your Monkey Belly squeezey – I hope he doesn’t completely loose his voice. That banana elephant is such fun … I reckon those green bananas would have last a few days … but squidgy bananas with a healthy pong do put me off banana anything, except banoffi pie = too delicious. I’m glad it was put up for a festival and the fruits were handed out to the locals …

    What a great car: a banana makes … seems like Steve B has the right idea. Banana facts … and I could only watch 19 secs of the first Minions video … but fart one I managed to the end … also about 20 secs … ah well – I heard it – thankfully couldn’t smell it …
    Stay safe and peaceful … all the best - Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Well. maybe I'm not going bananas, but since we share 50% of their DNA, I'm at least halfway there. :)

      The hams have been amazing, not that I was surprised. The ham community has always been amazing. It's humbling how hard these guys have been working on my behalf. Same for my neighbor. Family... friends... I am truly blessed. I keep using the word humbling, but that's exactly what it is. I'm more accustomed to being the one helping someone else, so this is new and, yes... humbling.

      Just so ya know, Steve B was originally from the UK, so his eccentricity was born there. Not sure when he moved to the US.

      You stay safe and peaceful, too, sweet lady. Happy Easter!

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  14. Glad to see you back, Susan. I've been quiet online this year, just not inclined to blog, but I'll maybe get a post out soon.

    I am a banana-a-day person, good source of fibre. Loved the fun facts!

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    1. I understand not feeling motivated to blog. (Obviously.)

      Take care, Ian. (Gee, if you eat that many bananas, do ya think your shared DNA percentage may be higher...? HA)

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  15. Positively delicious to have you back! I am the weirdo that eats the brown bananas, and boils up the skin to make banana tea :-) Have never thought of them as a good sculptural medium, that is novel. Sending get well wishes to your daughter, and a yay for you (and your monkey) xx

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    1. Delicious, huh? That kinda cracked me up... Mike used to tell me I "looked delicious." Made me laugh every time.

      Nooooo, can't say I can stomach those brown mushy bananas. Can't even bear the way they smell. But banana tea, huh? Never heard of that, but I love peach tea, so why not banana?

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    1. And on this side of the world I have just finished a cup of chai. Tea drinkers of the world unite.

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  17. Hi Susan. I posted here a few days a go but it seems to have disappeared! Never mind; nice to see you posting!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s ultimately unthinkable Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hi-ya. Sorry that bully Blogger ate your first comment. Thanks for coming back and giving it another whirl.

      Thanks. It's good to be here.

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  18. I wondered whatever would happen to all those bananas on the Elephant. So glad to know they would be given to the poor when ripened. Great post.

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    1. I was wondering about all those bananas, too. I'm glad they did't go to waste.

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  19. Yay for the lawnmower deal! I looked at that banana car and thought: airplane! Can you imagine looking up and seeing a huge banana with wings?!

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    1. Hmmm, if I looked up and saw a giant banana with wings, I think I'd mosey on into the house and take a nap. :)

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  20. And here I am just pitching my bananas when they go black. Because who are we kidding, I'm never making banana bread.

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    1. As far as I'm concerned, making bread gives those annoying overripe bananas purpose. :) (Plus, it tastes sooooo good... especially with peanut butter...)

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