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November 21, 2012

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
Really Good Quotes "A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Greetings, Quotaholics:

In the US, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Other countries celebrate this day, only not on the same date. But for me, tomorrow is the day set aside to count the many things for which I am thankful. In order to get a jump on the day, I thought I would create a list.

I am thankful for RGQ. I began reading this ezine back when Bruce was the only person working on it and it came out five days a week, only missing weekends. Back then, Bruce did it all and did it often. I began helping out by formatting the comments for him many, many moons ago. Then, about four years ago, I started writing and you, Gentle Readers, have graciously allowed me to use this forum to present my writing ever since.

I have written my history essays for four years now. I began putting them online and offered 366 essays per year. I’m grateful for the technology that has given me a voice and allowed me to entertain and possibly educate along the way. The written word has always enthralled me and I’m grateful for both the ability to read and write.

I was watching some TED talks recently and came across this. This young man was raised in the system (in Britain) and has much to say about the central role that family plays in one’s life. I’ve always known I was blessed to have my family, but listening to this man made me even more grateful for my husband, children, parents, sisters, in-laws, extended family, and friends who have become as close as family.

Speaking of friends who act like family, I’m thankful for the RGQ staff. We are abundantly rewarded for writing here. We are not remunerated at all, but we get to have this space, this community, and this opportunity which is something wonderful itself. I’ve been told that online doesn’t create real friends, but I know that is simply untrue. I enjoy friendships with my "coworkers" here and I miss Sied and Tim. These people have become important in my life and I’m thankful I have had the chance to know them, even if it is in a virtual realm.

I’m grateful for my job. It is just a little, baby job. It is only 20 hours per week and doesn’t pay squat. I’m woefully underemployed, but it is all I wanted to do at this point in my life. I am not a nurse anymore (unless someone is in need of life-saving intervention and then that stuff is all still in there and I can use it). I appreciate having a job that gets me out of the house, proves useful to our clients, and gives me enough money each month to buy my health insurance.

I’m thankful for my health. I’ve ignored it for so long and let myself get lost in the indolence of old age. But in the last few months, I’ve taken up exercise again. I’ve improved substantially in that time and I’m amazed at myself and what I, an old lady, can still do. Admittedly, if I had never slacked off, I’m sure I would be farther along in this adventure. But overcoming 18 years of idleness has been quite an undertaking and I’m grateful for the coaches and my peers who have helped me along and made sure I don’t hurt myself as I move forward.

I’m grateful for my country’s ability to weather the storms of elections and keep us safe and secure from whatever lies outside. Or at least to make me feel like I’m safe and secure. I’m grateful for the people who work in the public sector, especially the police and fire departments as well as all military services. I’m even grateful for those in Washington, D. C., because as Will Rogers liked to point out, it is really hard to find comedy like this elsewhere (or something like that).

I am thrilled to live in a land where I’m free to be me. I haven’t had to become something I’m not to placate a dictatorial regime. I’ve not had to hide what I am because of that, either. I’ve been permitted to make choices, either good or bad, to suit myself. My career path has been of my choosing as had my family life.

I don’t mean to say that my life, my country, or my world is perfect. I could just as easily have written a list of things that I wish would improve or be better. In fact, some day I might do that. But for today, I’m going to live in the moment, get into the spirit of the season, and be thankful for all the blessings that have been granted to me.

What are you thankful for?

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Today’s Quotes

Men in no way approach so nearly to the gods as in doing good to men. - Cicero

Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating. - Carl von Clausewitz

Today’s Chuckle

[Thanks dEE]

A man died and went to Heaven. As he stood in front of the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, “What are all those clocks?”

St. Peter answered, “Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock move.”

“Oh”, said the man. “Whose clock is that?”

“That’s Mother Teresa’s,” replied St. Peter. “The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.”

“Incredible,” said the man. “And whose clock is that one?”

St. Peter responded, “That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abraham told only two lies in his entire life.”

“Where’s my congressman’s clock?” asked the man.

“It’s in my office. I’m using it as a ceiling fan!”

Life Sentences

Fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are.

There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.

My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it. - all from Quentin Crisp, British writer and actor, who died on this day in 1999

Image’n That!

A Real Money Launderer

My Most Embarrassing Moment
My Scariest Moment

Speak Up!
Speak right up!

Cliff’s Notes


It’s that time again.  The extended family gathers together for a large meal, then we have the annual family argument.  It is as anticipated as the upcoming visit from Santa, but, in a different way.

Our family gathers for a pot-luck meal. Each family brings some of the parts of what will become a huge banquet with more food than this group could eat in a week.  As each sub-family has their own strengths and abilities, we volunteer our contributions knowing what is needed to complete the meal.

Once the repast has been consumed to the point even the most athletic begin to waddle, we sit around chatting and catching up on the news each group can provide about their lives since we saw them last.  Pregnancies, marriages, divorces, jobs, and all sorts of surprises are shared.  Some are so shocking, as was one pregnancy announcement as we had seen them only a few months earlier, but the pregnancy was obviously nearing term.  OK, it really wasn’t an announcement.  It was more of a confirmation.

After the B.S. sessions wind down and excitement of "news" wanes, it is time for the "family meeting". Although which sibling is host has been determined in a rotational cycle, how the Christmas gathering one month hence will be discussed.  Gifting is the biggest factor.  Do we have a gift exchange for only the children?  Do we have a gift exchange of one gift per family unit?  Do we have a gift exchange at all?

The discussion usually gets spirited. Only the siblings of the base family unit have a vote. Only they participate in the discussion.  Spouses, children, even grown ones, and guests are not included.  The sibling host usually gets their way,  although economic situations are considered heavily.  Voices raise and the discussion can be heard elsewhere even though the participants try to isolate themselves for the debate.

Inevitably, someone comes away from the debate feeling their thoughts and/or feelings were not given as much weight as it should have been.  Shortly thereafter the gathering disperses back to individual homes.  The goodbyes are sometimes chilly from those whose opinions are contrary to the final decision.  But, in about a month, we will again converge to do it all again with a different attitude and a different theme.

Here’s your quiz:
Do you prepare your Thanksgiving meal, or do you use commercial establishments?
If you prepare your Thanksgiving meal, is it all you job, or do other contribute?
Do you have the "family discussion" to plan for future holiday activities?

Family - You Can Choose Half Of Them
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn’t rate a fancy ’signature pic’)

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BJ’s Ponderings

Paradise Lost

I have written many times about my home in Caldwell, Kansas and the Norman Rockwell like status of the town. For close to three years we have not had to lock our doors, people walk the sidewalks and visit with us and children play in the streets totally safe. On the fourth of July, people set off fireworks from their front yard on in the streets, it is an amazing town where you can still charge your bill at the local lumber yard or at the local pharmacy. However, try and do business during lunch hour…forget it…everyone shuts down for at least an hour. The post office, the banks, everyone shuts down for lunch, except the local eateries. Now this all sounds fine and it was until we came back from church and found our pain pills had been stolen.

All it takes is one person to change things… So we now have to lock our house. I ordered a wireless security system with cameras to hook up to my desktop. I really hate to do this but I figure if they cannot find meds, they will take money, if they cannot find money, they will take ‘stuff’. I still live in Oklahoma five days a week and my wife will not defend herself with the weapons I have at home, so this is another quandary for me. Retirement is just a few months away but until then Paradise is Lost…


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Kirsten’s Krazy Kaleidoscope

Kirsten wasn’t able to write today.

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Lucille’s Lunacy

Oink! Oink! Tomorrow is my favorite holiday. I don’t have anything against Christmas. In fact, after enough egg nog, I’m inclined to accept Santa Claus’ existence as a scientifically proven fact. If I really work at it, I even find myself petting the eight reindeer. They’re a little like Cinderella’s pumpkin in that they assume the shape of a golden retriever by morning, but when the eggnog is going down, I am always sure there are at least two of them, if not eight. It doesn’t even strike me as odd that they bark and express a preference for raw hide chews.

The reason I like Thanksgiving best is that it is a long weekend. You don’t have to shop for anything special for it except for groceries. I like to eat pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and just about anything else that lands on my plate. In fact, my enthusiasm is such that some things land on my plate several times before the feast concludes.

This year, Mom and I are going to Chicago to spend the day with Chicagoann and her husband, His Berber Highness. Chicagoann is even a better cook than me, although I don’t readily admit it. So, I know whatever she feeds us will be yummy. She never lets me help, which relegates me to the pleasant task of sitting in her living room reading while she does the hard work.

When people come to my kitchen and offer to help, they get an assignment. However, few people are as good at managing a job site as I am. All right, there aren’t too many who are as bossy or lazy, either.

This year, I thought I’d try an experiment in spreading holiday cheer. I do, of course, wish all of my family, friends and readers a happy thanksgiving. However, one of my favorite Thanksgiving wishes is to advise people not to eat too much turkey. It occurs to me that strategic placement of a comma can give the greeting a little more ooomph. Yep, I think when I’m on my way out of Judgipoo’s courtroom Wednesday, I’ll smile, wave and holler, “Happy Thanksgiving! Don’t eat too much, Turkey”. But, then again, maybe I’d better not.

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Odds and Ends - Math gone wrong!
The following is a "proof" that one equals zero.

Consider two non-zero numbers x and y such that:

x = y.
Then x2 = xy.
Subtract the same thing from both sides:
x2 - y2 = xy - y2.
Dividing by (x-y), obtain
x + y = y.
Since x = y, we see that
2 y = y.
Thus 2 = 1, since we started with y nonzero.
Subtracting 1 from both sides,
1 = 0

OK, math people, what is wrong with this proof?

Thanks for your "awesome" limericks. Try this one -

I once drank a gallon of beer/ale/wine…

Hints:  Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool.
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at
Limerick rules. 

Submit Opening Line
Submit Limerick

I once saw my grandma in the buff…..
I saw more than enough…..
The view from the rear…..
To my mind was too clear….
Sho am glad I missed the muff.
- Skeeter
I once saw my grandma in the nude…..
I tried not to be rude…..
Turned my head very quick…..
And that did the trick…..
But the picture still sticks with me, dude.
- Skeeter
I once saw my grandma in the buff…..
Boy! was that really tough…..
On an impressionable lad…..
And it still makes me sad…..
That my head wouldn’t turn fast enough.
- Skeeter
I once saw my gramma in the buff.
She walked down the street strutting her stuff.
A cop saw her booty,
and made it his duty
to tell gramma enough is enough.
- Lucille
I once saw my grandma in the nude…..
And it gave me a new attitude…..
I don’t mean to be mean…..
But the things that I seen…..
Almost caused me to come unglued.
- Skeeter

"There is no straight line in nature. If you see one, it’s man-made."
Reader Comments

Re: Clothes

I only have comfortable clothes; the ones with no holes and a full set of buttons get worn to meetings, until the day the paint or something finds ‘em. I’ve only used costumes a little bit - a fresh white tyvek coverall works as a fine credential to teach kayak repair, ferinstance. It is more the neighbors than the weather that keeps me in shorts some days; I need all the surface area I can expose to store up Vitamin D in a short season. Of course, most days, the bugs keep me from getting any tan. For years, I blended in pretty well, but all my outer garments were particularly suitable for bicycling. I probably had several friends wondering why I had a speedo, but it was the only reasonable option for a bicycle tour, where every gram counts, and I try to wear out anything I buy. - Bob of the North

Honest to God, Cliff, what have been smokin’ or drinkin’ lately?? I thought I already expressed my opinion on clothes, the wearing of, appropriate or not, several issues ago? Six years at Wally, and quite a few more in other public venues has made me a firm believer in people keeping clothes on, prefereably as much as possible in some cases. Do I need to refer you to the website “People of Walmart” as a reminder? That being said, I have one wardrobe style as I’m old enough and doing the kind of stuff that does not require a specific type of clothing. Believe me when I say it is both comfortable and durable, mostly jeans, and tops that cover everything else. (Hey, I’m short, and unfortunately, fat now) I did tend to wear much the same thing at most of my jobs, when I wasn’t stuck in a ridiculous uniform (I’m thinking of the one job that insisted on having me wear ORANGE shirts, tucked in, unless I wanted to sweat it out in a sweatshirt, which I did.) Clothes do make the person, but I also know enough about fashion and clothing construction to judge who’s showing off and who’s into serious frugality, and who’s just being lazy and or tacky. I think that’s one of things I dread about moving back down South. Warmer weather most of the year and many people in ugly clothes. It’s too bad there aren’t courses in fashion and proper dress in school, along with manners and morals. I think we’d all be better off for it. And I would never be a nudist again, having children fixed that. My poor husband thinks I’m sexy, but I maintain he needs new glasses. At least he can take them off! - Ruth in WA
[ Sometimes I have a thought and begin an article.  While writing it, it forks and I continue in one direction, but want to follow the other direction, too.  Rather than write a novel, I split it and make it a future article.  That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  The fact I’m getting old and repeating myself isn’t a factor at all.  And neither is the fact I’m older and repeat myself sometimes. - Cliff ]

Woman’s view - clothes may “make the man” if he’s a salesman. Or maybe a millionaire. Otherwise, he’s just a guy on the street or wherever wearing clothes. Style today is dictated by a bunch of folks who create sit-coms and soaps on TV, where All Women are dumb and sexy, and All Kids are brats, and Men are extras. Sexy today seems to be defined as anything extremely short, in loud clashing colors and shoes so high foot doctors are writing articles about ankle damage. Retailers fill their ads and windows with stuff a lot of us consider clothes styled for teen kids, or inspired by homeless people who might combine a ragged top with Good Will skirts and wind something found in a big rubbish bin around their shoulders for added warmth. Modern Art sometimes looks like that and it sells, too.
Fashion is a joke today. We occasionally see those runway clothes-hangers ( models) strut in a Creation By Someone Famous that gets a WalMart version a few months later. But one thing about the original creations is they have a unique factor - when the skirts go up, we are having a bad economy. When the hemlines go down, we’re prospering. It’s been happening ever since men got to see women’s ankles when they walked down a street. 1930’s Depression = Flapper Era, WWII= mid-calf, Ike in office = Mini Skirts, since “W” = short and shorter, except on our First Lady! Plus Spandex. I think that fiber is all that keeps a woman’s skirt from riding up to show off her undies when she bends over. Men probably still wear a noose around their necks to display that they are close to being bankrupt paying for all that crap. $90 gym shoes for kids who will outgrow them before they wear them out? Designer labels on the outside advertising everything you wear? Ridiculous, but that’s today’s world of Fashion!
Exceptions are a few catalogs that sell clothing that is what Real People wear, and us folks who never want anybody to see our knees again. You can also find patterns for making such clothing, too. I make many of my clothes. I can choose the colors and fabrics, make a neckline and hemline that is flattering to someone my age (stores don’t sell them) with all my own un-enhanced parts, and can be worn to church or a special event.
You guys may ogle a bustline that almost covers huge breasts, but I knew a couple women who grew them naturally, and the problems they had finding decent clothes to wear. When a bustline gets to be over a 40, buying clothes off the rack is close to impossible unless you get a garment a full size larger and end up looking like you’re wearing a bag. I made one of those gals her wedding gown. Men’s shirts are sold by the neck measure, women’s blouses by the bust size. A guy with a “bull neck” and narrower chest also has a bad time finding a well fitting dress shirt unless he never buttons the top button. OR he buys tailored shirts. Or I tailor the purchased ones, as I did my husband’s. It ended up easier to simply make his sport shirts. - Nancy L in Ohio

If it was up to me, jeans and a flannel shirt or T-shirt would be perfectly acceptable for all occasions, including court. - Lucille

Re: Archive Retrial

You can’t really release Sirhan Sirhan without a retrial, or everybody else would want the same deal. The trouble with a trial is that it opens a rather gigantic can of worms, snakes, and worse. The U.S. has not really convinced any majority of thinking people with any of the big trials in the last fifty years. As for the hypnotic suggestion angle, that applies to John Lennon’s assassin as well. Things have gotten a bit more interesting since Dubya decided to let the FBI work internationally, and let the CIA move in on their domestic turf. Police forces are definitely an area that can benefit from some competition. - Bob of the North

Let it be.
Respect the dead and stop contributing to the hatred and divisiveness that abounds our world today.
Let it be! - Paul

Re: Cooking

Amen! Cooking is surviving, I thought, until I met a few of today’s young families - I’ll be eating Thanksgiving dinner with a couple of them - and am finding out I have a couple granddaughters who avoid kitchens, too. One has a Significant Other who loves to cook. The other simply slides onto a chair at a table of some relative for supper or does Take Out. In her case, it might be she has emancipated herself from doing dishes. In the other one, she has a mom who also didn’t like to cook ( my daughter can shoe a horse but can’t bake chocolate chip cookies unless the dough comes ready to shape and bake.) She’s improving, though. Now she phones me and asks how to do this or that, and she also has a husband who can cook. I think the problem begins in school. They teach girls basic cooking. So you end up knowing how to make white sauce. (That is all I remember of MY 8th grade cooking class).
If boys end up learning, it’s because they have a Chef’s Class after hours at that school. I have a nephew who took such a class and prepared a wonderful Christmas dinner for the family one year. He was 15. He still loves to cook.
School systems need to have a Senior class titled Living On Your Own. It would include budgeting your income, basic cooking that produces actual meals, basic familiarity with a needle and thread (buttons do fall off), apartment maintenance, laundering your clothes, and basic tool use ( girls need to know how to use a hammer, screwdriver and pliers,too). Whether a teen is heading for college or into a job, they need to know some of the basics, which also are rarely taught at home. - Nancy L in Ohio

Yep and please don’t let your husband take lunch to work..Everyone wants his lunch and sendsmssages back for you to send them the recipe . - dEE

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