My 52 Friends Plan for Retirement

We lived overseas (UK and the Middle East) for 5 1/2 years. When  it was time to return home to Canada, we were entering a new phase of life – we were retirees! It was a leap of faith. We could only guess whether our new economic situation was going to be adequate in a country we hadn’t lived in for a while!

We had made quite a few friends as expats, so before we moved home I came up with a cunning plan. If in fact there was going to be more month than money, we could sponge off visit our friends, on a rotating schedule. If I could find 52 friends who would each host us for one week, we didn’t really even have to have a home. I called it my 52 Friends Plan.

The roll out of my plan took place at our Overseas Going Away Party. We invited lots of people. Many of them were going to be retiring to places we thought we might like to visit. When they arrived at the party, I handed them a flyer I had printed up. It read as follows:

The Canadian Visitors Plan
You can avoid Surprise visits from retired Canadians by applying for Membership to The Canadian Visitors Plan. Once your application has been processed, you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your Canadian Guests will only stay with you for one predetermined week each year.

ToonadayAre Canadians Hard to Look After?
Canadians are a hardy and adaptable bunch, with relatively few special needs. We’ll send you a short list of ideas about how to make them feel comfortable in your home, along with suggested menu plans and wine pairings. We then encourage you to correspond with your Foster Canadian prior to their first visit. This will guide you in selecting a good list of sights to send them off to, so they won’t be in your home and bothering you during the day.

Is This Like an Exchange Program?
No, you are under no obligation to visit your Canadian in their home environment. But after your Canadian’s first visit at your home, your Canadian will undoubtedly encourage you to come and visit them (assuming they are not really homeless…) You will want to ascertain just what part of Canada your Canadian lives in, and what kind of accommodation they can offer you before you accept such an invitation. And while it is totally untrue that you have seen all of Canada just because you went to Toronto on business, there are many parts of Canada that you might not want to visit if your Canadian invites you to come in February.

The Selection Process
We will select a suitable Canadian, based on the preferences you indicate when you fill out your application form. Once we have assigned you your Canadian, we will send you an 4X6 glossy to hang on your fridge. But, if you are eager to start your friendship with a Canadian today, we can assign you this lovely couple… (Then I inserted our name, address, phone number and e-mail address.)

52 Weeks in a year – 52 Friends. It just made so much sense to me. Unfortunately no one took my 52 Friends Plan seriously. Not a single person signed up.

Within a month of arriving home, we received a request for accommodation from one of those expat friends. They stayed with us for two weeks – and we were but one of several people they were staying with as they hopscotched around the country. They were living my cunning plan. Excellent! My good idea worked – just not the way I thought it would.

What great ideas have you had that didn’t work out the way you planned?

 

If a Man says He Will Fix it

Mike Holmes the Make It Right Building expert, is more than a man with a hammer. His simple philosophy is to do things the right way – with your head, your heart, and your hands. He educates and inspires viewers like us.

The QuipperyOur home is about 39 years old. We purchased it 28 years ago, and for the past 15 years it has supplied us with a never ending list of things to repair and upgrade. If Holmes had been called in to assess some of our reno projects, he would have said, “This should never have been built this way.” Other projects – he would have said, “This met code when it was built, but it doesn’t today. Fix it.”

Holmes has taken up residence in our head. Every time we pick up a hammer or saw, our first thought is, what would Holmes do? The fictional character Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek also lives in our head. He inspires us to “Make It So.” Armed with these inspirations and a good selection of sharp tools to occasionally draw blood with, we set off each day on a mission.

Home Renovator’s Serenity Prayer: Higher Power (internet, Home Depot, library, family) – Grant me the courage (balls) to fix the things I can, the humility to call in the pros when I’m in over my head, and the wisdom to know the difference.
– thissortaoldlife.com –

Home renovation shows make everything look pretty fast and easy. In just half an hour, an outdated, grungy bathroom is transformed into a candidate for Better Homes and Gardens. Real reality, as opposed to television reality, means that bathroom was a disaster zone for several months or more!

Real reality often means that the only reason the project ever gets finished is because the house is being put up for sale. At least, that was how it worked out in one of our previous abodes. The project wasn’t even a reno. Just a repair.

One cold and blustery Christmas Day, I was cooking a turkey dinner. Twenty guests were gathering around the table in anticipation of the feast. Just as I was taking the bird out of the oven, I heard an unexpected sound, like escaping water, coming from the nearby laundry room. The water was escaping all right, from a gradually enlarging hole in the ceiling. A water pipe had frozen and then burst. We turned off the water supply and had dinner. After a leisurely meal, men with glasses of wine in one hand and sundry tools in the other, headed for the laundry room. Several hours later, the pipe was repaired and the water was back on.

The laundry room ceiling now had a hole in it measuring about 1 foot by 1 foot. We decided to let the whole thing dry for a while. For a while stretched into a long while, which might have been forever had we not had to sell the house…

What reno project or repair in your house is still waiting patiently for the finishing touches?

Are plumbing repairs blue jobs or a pink jobs at your house? What about drywall repair?

Tricky Questions to Test Your Reasoning Skills

449-mental-mettleTest your mental mettle! Here are some ‘trick’ questions to see if you are thinking ‘outside the box’!

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A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?
Answer: Meat

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A doctor give you 3 pills and tells you to take one every half hour. How long will it be until all the pills are taken?
Answer: An hour, assuming you take the first pill at the beginning of the hour, the second pill half way through the hour, and the third pill at the end of the hour.

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A farmer has 10 cows. Lightning kills all but 2 of the cows. How many are still alive?
Answer: Two cows are still alive.

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A 10 foot rope ladder hangs over the side of a boat with the bottom rung on the surface of the water. The rungs are one foot apart, and the tide goes up at the rate of 6 inches per hour. How long will it be until three rungs are covered?
Answer: Never. The boat rises as the tide goes up.

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A little girl kicks a soccer ball. It goes 10 feet and comes back to her. How is this possible?
Answer: The girl kicked the ball straight up. Gravity brought it back to her.

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A man was driving his car on a wild, stormy night. He passed a bus stop, and saw three people waiting for the bus:
1. An old woman who looked as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved his life.
3. The perfect woman he had been dreaming about for all his life.
Which one did he offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in his car?

Answer: He gave his car keys to his old friend, and let him take the elderly lady to the hospital. He stayed behind and waited for the bus with the woman of his dreams.

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A man dressed in all black is walking down the middle of a country lane. Suddenly, a large black car without any lights on comes around a corner and screeches to a halt. How did the driver of the car know to stop?
Answer: It was day time.

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A man has a fox, a chicken, and a sack of grain. He must cross a river, but cannot carry all of them at once. If he leaves the fox with the chicken, the fox will eat the chicken. However, if he leaves the chicken with the grain, the chicken will eat the grain. How can he get all three across safely?
Answer: He takes the chicken over first. Then he goes back and brings the grain, but takes the chicken on the trip back. He leaves the chicken, and takes the fox, which he leaves with the grain. Then he goes back and retrieves the chicken.

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A person fell out of a thirty story building, but lived. With luck and their landing pad not being factors, how could they have survived the fall?
Answer: The person fell out of the first-story window.

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A rooster laid an egg on top of the barn roof. Which way did it roll?
Answer: Roosters don’t lay eggs, so there was no egg to roll in any direction.

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An electric train is moving north at 100mph and a wind is blowing to the west at 10mph. Which way does the smoke blow?
Answer: There is no smoke with an electric train.

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As I was going to St Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks;
Each sack had seven cats;
Each cat had seven kittens.
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were going to St Ives?
Answer: Just one – I was going to St. Ives. The man with the seven wives was going the other way.

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Before the Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
Answer: Mt. Everest. It was still the highest mountain even if it hadn’t been discovered.

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Billie was born on December 28th, yet her birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?

Answer: Billie lives in the southern hemisphere.

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Bob’s father has 4 children. Lance, Laura, and Larry are three of them. Who’s the fourth?
Answer: The fourth child is Bob.

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Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday?
Answer: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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Every day, a cyclist crosses the border between Spain and France carrying a bag. No matter how much custom officials investigate him, they do not know what he is smuggling. Do you?
Answer: Bicycles.

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How many animals of each species did Adam take with him on the ark?
Answer: None, Noah took the animals on the ark, not Adam.

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How much soil is in a rectangular hole measuring 2 meters by 3 meters?
Answer: None. A hole doesn’t have any dirt in it or it wouldn’t be called a hole.

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How many legs does an elephant have if you count his trunk as a leg?
Answer: Four. Because calling the trunk a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

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How many sides does a circle have?
Answer: Two. An inside and an outside.

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How many times can you subtract 7 from 83, and what is left afterwards?
Answer: You can subtract it as many times as you want, and it leaves 76 every time.

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How many times can you subtract 10 from 100?

Answer: Once. Next time you would be subtracting 10 from 90.

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I do not speak unless spoken to, many have heard me but none have seen me. What am I?
Answer: An echo.

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If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?
Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass.

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If Mrs. John’s bungalow is decorated completely in pink, with the walls, carpet, and furniture all shades of pink, what color are the stairs?
Answer: There are no stairs, because bungalows do not have a second floor.

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If you had a match and entered a cold and dark room with an oil lamp, a candle, and an oil heater, what do you light first?
Answer: The match. You have to light the match before you can light anything else.

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If a plane crashes on the border between the US and Mexico, where do they bury the survivors?
Answer: Nowhere. Survivors are people who are still alive.

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If you spell “sit for a while in the bathtub” S-O-A-K, and you spell “a funny story” J-O-K-E, how do you spell “the white of an egg”?
Answer: E-G-G-W-H-I-T-E.

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If you put a coin into an empty bottle and then put a cork into the top, how could you remove the coin without taking out the cork or breaking the bottle?
Answer: Push the cork into the bottle and shake the coin out.

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I have a book where the end is in the first half of the book, the forward comes after the epilogue and the index comes before the introduction. What book do I have?
Answer: A Dictionary

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Is it legal for a man to marry his widow’s sister?
Answer: The man would have to be dead for his wife to be a widow, so he won’t be marrying anybody.

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Sam can make 11 beaded necklaces in an hour. Sue can make 12 beaded necklaces in an hour. In one week Sam made necklaces for 6 hours and Sue made them for 3 hours. Who makes more bracelets in the week?
Answer: Nobody was making bracelets.

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Sam can guess the score of a basketball game before the game begins. How can that be?
Answer: The score of the game will be 0 to 0 before the game begins.

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Some months have 30 days, some have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?
Answer: All twelve of them have at least 28 days.

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Say ‘silk’ five times. Now spell ‘silk.’ What do cows drink?
Answer: Cows drink water. (Calves, however, do drink milk…)

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That attorney is my brother, testified the accountant. But the attorney testified he didn’t have a brother. Who is lying?
Answer: Neither, the accountant was his sister.

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There are ten birds perched on a fence. A farmer aims his rifle and shoots one. How many birds are left?
Answer: Only one – the dead bird that the farmer shot. The rest of the birds flew away.

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There are two coins which total 30 cents. One of them is not a nickel. What are the two coins?
Answer: Since only one of them is not a nickel, the other one can be a nickel, so the two coins are a nickel and a quarter.

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There was an airplane crash, every single person on board died, but yet two people survived. How is this possible?
Answer: The two were married, not single.

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What animal can jump higher than a building?
Answer: All animals, buildings don’t jump.

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What breaks and never falls and what falls and never breaks?
Answer: Day breaks and night falls.

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What do you call a person who doesn’t have all of his/her fingers on one hand?
Answer: Normal – most people have all their fingers on two hands, not one.

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What do you put in a toaster?
Answer: Bread.

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What gets bigger the more you take out?
Answer: A hole!

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What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?
Answer: A towel

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What goes up and down, but still remains in the same place?
Answer: Stairs!

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What has a head and a tail but no body?
Answer: A coin

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What is always coming, but never arrives?
Answer: Tomorrow.

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What is the beginning of eternity, the end of time, the beginning of every end, and the end of every place?
Answer: The letter ‘e’.

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What is sticky and brown?
Answer: A stick.

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What is unusual about these words? revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven
Answer: If you remove the first letter of each word, and put it at the end of the word, the same word will be spelled backwards.

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What occurs once in June, twice in August, but never in October?
Answer: The letter ‘u’.

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What two words, when combined, hold the most letters?
Answer: Post Office

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What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?
Answer: The word that is spelled ‘i-n-c-o-r-r-e-c-t-l-y’ is ‘incorrectly’.

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Without using a calculator – You are driving a bus from Calgary to Edmonton, Alberta.
In Calgary, 17 people get on the bus.
In Airdrie, 6 people get off the bus and 9 people get on.
In Innisfail, 2 people get off and 4 get on.
In Red Deer, 11 people get off and 16 people get on.
In Wetaskiwin, 3 people get off and 5 people get on.
In Leduc, 6 people get off and 3 get on.
You then arrive in Edmonton ..
Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?
Answer: The bus driver is you, so how old are you?!?

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You are driving a bus. When you begin your route, there is an old woman named Mrs. Smith and a young boy named Raymond are on the bus. At the first stop, the old woman leaves, and a salesman, named Ed, enters. At the next stop, Jack and his sister Jill get on, as well as three women with shopping bags. The bus travels fifteen minutes, then stops and Raymond gets off and a man and his wife get on. Next, a woman with a bird in a cage gets on the bus. What is the name of the bus driver?
Answer: You are the one driving the bus – so what is your name?

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9th Blogging Anniversary – What Were You Doing 3287 Days Ago?

Nine years ago (the aforementioned 3287 days) I published my first blog post: Did you Get the H1N1 Flu Shot in 2009. It was not highly successful and has been viewed a grand total of 13 times. At the other end of the scale,  Tricky Questions – Thinking Outside the Box has been quite popular with over 36,000 views. Go figure…

That’s the interesting thing about blogging. While I might have a general idea what my readers might find interesting or when it is a good time to catch them in a reading mood, I  have no idea how the Search Engines will promote or trash my posts! I do know this involves algorithms that judge, filter, penalize and reward content, but that is about the extent of my understanding!

While the stats for the Tricky Questions post are fascinating to watch,  I like the H1N1 post as much and I love the process of researching and writing.  I’m happy with my blog as a whole –  a scrapbook of my photos, thoughts and ideas – my Codex Vitae.

I think the pleasure of completed work is what makes blogging so popular. You have to believe most bloggers have few if any actual readers. The writers are in it for other reasons. Blogging is like work, but without coworkers thwarting you at every turn. All you get is the pleasure of a completed task.
– Scott Adams –

I’ve mapped out a plan for the next year of blogging at Fueled by Chocolate (because 9 years of blogging won’t be as newsworthy as 10 years of blogging!) I’m bringing over all my quotation posts from The Quippery and will roll them out, two every week, for the next six months. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed collecting them.

Old words are reborn with new faces.
– Criss Jami, Killosophy –

My Birds and Bugs will keep being updated.

When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.
– E. O. Wilson –

I’ll also be taking a Conservative exploration of topics that include politics, the environment, media bias, free speech – but also the exciting possibility of a return to civil discourse!

The reason that free speech is so important… It keeps the balance between those two tendencies. You need the questioning, and you need the order. You think, “how much of each?” The answer is, “the recipe changes day to day.” And so you think, “well, if it changes day to day, how are we going to keep up?” The answer is, “by keeping up! Here we are. We’re alive. We can keep up, but we do that by thinking, and we think by talking, and we think and talk by disagreeing. And we better disagree conceptually, because then we don’t have to act out stupid ideas that would kill us.”
– Jordan Peterson, Oxford Union Address –

What were you doing 3287 days ago? What was the most popular post you have ever written? Which of your posts is your favourite?

All the Best of The Universal Laws

ToonadayHow many of these Universal Laws do you have first hand experience with?

A closed mouth gathers no feet.
– Finster’s Law –

A good education is the next-best thing to a pushy mother.
– Charles M. Schulz

Always borrow from a pessimist – he doesn’t expect to get it back.
– Simpson’s Rule Of Pecuniary Advancement –

Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.
– Wethern’s Law –

A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
– Segal’s Law –

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.
– Grossman’s Law –

Do not place your coffee next to the cup you clean your brushes in.
– Painter’s 2nd Law of Watercolors –

Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when you’ve made it again.
– Holbrook’s Other Law (Russel & Crawford) –

For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong.
– H.L. Mencken –

Friendly fire isn’t.
– Murphy’s Second Military Law –

He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.
– Chinese Proverb –

Hot glass looks the same as cold glass.
– Dominic Cirino’s Law of Burnt Fingers –

If you need four screws for the job, the first three are easy to find.
– The N-1 Law –

If at first you don’t succeed, read the manual.
– Montgomery’s Maxim –

If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.
– Charles Kettering –

In approaching a double door, you will always go to the one door that is locked, pull when you should have pushed, and push when the sign says pull.
– Ehre’s Double-Door Law –

In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.
– Imbesi’s Law –
…but you can get everything dirty without getting anything clean.
– Freeman’s Extension –

Inside every small problem is a large problem struggling to get out.
– Second Law of Blissful Ignorance or Hoare’s Law of Large Problems –

It works better if you plug it in.
– Sattinger’s Law –

In any organization, there will always be one person who knows what is going on. This person must be fired.
– Conway’s Law –

It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
– Stewart’s Law of Retroaction –

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
– Hanlon’s Razor –

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.
– Joe’s Law –

Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a bigger can.
– Zymurgy’s First Law of Systems Dynamics –

Shredded cabbage goes great with shredded carrots and mayonnaise.
– Cole’s Law –

The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
– Jennings Corollary to the Law of Selective Gravity –

The first place to look for anything is the last place you would expect to find it.
– Law of the Search –

The trouble with resisting temptation is it may never come your way again.
– Korman’s Law –

The most important leg of a three legged stool is the one that’s missing.
– Lyall’s Fundamental Observation –

The one that snores always falls asleep first.
– Bedfellow’s Law –

The only things that start on time are those that you’re late for.
– Cayo’s Law –

The other line moves faster.
– Etorre’s Observation –

That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to or subtracted from the answer you get, gives you the answer you should have gotten.
– Skinner’s Constant –

Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed
– Law of Probable Dispersal –

When in doubt, mumble.
-Boren’s First Law –

When you need to knock on wood is when you realize that the world is composed of vinyl, naugahyde and aluminum.
– Flugg’s Law –

Whoever has the gold makes the rules.
– The Golden Rule of Arts and Sciences –

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you Can’t Fool Mom.
– Captain Penny’s Law –

More Puns – What These Words Can Also Mean!

Can you look deep inside a word and find another meaning?

ABASEMENT: Where the furnace is located.

ABDICATE: to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

AFTERMATH: Relaxation after algebra class.

ALARMS: What an octopus is.

ARBITRATOR: A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonalds

AVOIDABLE: What the bullfighter tried to do.

BALDERDASH: A rapidly receding hairline.

BARIUM: What the undertaker usually does.

BAROQUE: When I spend more than I make.

BERNADETTE: The act of torching a mortgage.

BUCCANEER: The price of a cob of corn.

BURGLARIZE: What a crook sees with.

CANTALOUPE: When you can’t run off and get married.

CARNATION: Place where every citizen owns an automobile.

CATALOGS: Material used to build cow fences.

CAUTERIZE: Made eye contact with a woman.

COFFEE: The person you coughed on.

COLANDER: Someone who arrives on the same plane as you did.

COUNTERFEITERS: Workers who put together kitchen countertops.

CYTOLOGY: The study of real estate.

DIPLOMA: Da’ man who fixes da’ pipes

DOCKYARD: A physician’s garden.

ECLIPSE: What a barber does.

FLATULENCE: Emergency vehicle that picks you up after you have been run over by a steamroller.

HAMLET: A small pig

HEROES: What a guy in a row boat does.

KHAKIS: What you need to start the car in Boston.

LEFTBANK: What the robber did when his bag was full of money.

MEDIEVAL: Not totally wicked.

MISTY: How golfers create divots.

MYTH: A female moth.

NEGLIGENT: describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

NITRATES: Opposite of day rates.

OCTOPUS: A cat with eight legs.

PARADOX: Two physicians.

PASTEURIZE: Too far to see.

PHARMACIST: A helper on the farm.

POLYGON: A dead parrot.

POSTOPERATIVE: The letter carrier.

PRIMATE: Removing your spouse from in front of the TV.

PROPAGANDA: A gentlemanly goose.

RELIEF: What trees do in the spring.

RUBBERNECK: What you do to relax your wife.

SEAMSTRESS: What happens to your pants when you eat too much.

SELFISH: What the owner of a seafood store does.

STALEMATE: A leading cause of divorce.

SUDAFED: Brought litigation against a government official.

TOBOGGAN: Why we go to an auction.

URINE: If you haven’t gone out.

How many did you guess? Can you add any?

Why and What of Vanity Sizing and Metrics

Many years and houses ago – there was an odd looking dog living near us. She was a cross between a basset hound and a shepherd. Her name was Katie. She had short shepherd legs and a broad shouldered basset body; basset ears framed a shepherd muzzle. She was social like a basset and she seemed to have inherited the less than average intelligence of that breed too.

But we soon learned that Katie only understood Chinese. Once we adapted to that, we realized that Katie was actually quite bright. Katie’s short legs, long body and broad shoulders would have caused her no end of grief if she had been a human and had to buy ready made clothing. I know that, because I am a Katie.

My body measurements would be reason enough to hate shopping for clothes, but even more despicable is the world of This Size Fits Nobody and  Vanity Sizing. Presumably on purpose, some manufacturers have changed the cut of their garments so that a women who wore a certain size of garment in high school, can still wear that size years later, even though she has put on 20 pounds and her hourglass figure is now more like a pear or an apple.

Other manufacturers, however, tell it like it is. This means the average grandma like me will visit every women’s clothing store at four malls and will eventually find two pair of pants, one pair of shorts and three shirts – that more or less fit – and they will be either a S or M or L or 10 or 12 or 14. Then she will alter eveything, because no one makes clothing for Katie bodies, and it is too late to hire someone to make these things fit by Monday.

Toonaday dog scalesThe short and the short of it (there is no long in my short world) is that most of the numbers that were once my touchstones, really aren’t all that relevant anymore.  My age, my height, even my weight, have become nonessential numbers in my life… okay, weight might be an essential number, but only if I truly want to do something to change it. If I don’t, then there is no point obsessing about it.

On the internet, social media thrives on vanity. Facebook and Twitter, just to name two, offer users the opportunity to gather friends, likes and or followers. These numbers, though they might look impressive, could be meaningless statistics, which is why they are called Vanity Metrics . This was a phrase coined by author Eric Ries and it refers to measurements that look good, but don’t actually indicate how successful something or someone is.

Here in the WordPress Blogging World, we have a Vanity Metric called ‘Followers’. This number should indicate how many people read our blog in the WordPress RSS feed reader. What it actually  means is how many people read our feed plus how many people don’t read our feed, but hope that by clicking the ‘follow’ button, we will reciprocate – thus boosting their Vanity Metric.

I have  been descended upon by a hoard of Fake Followers. These are people or bots that hope I will click the link to their blog and either buy their product or (and this is the mysterious part) click their link and find an empty blog.  Here are a couple of the more recent ones: Capture I don’t look at my followers list anymore – it is that useless. There might be some legitimate followers in there, but I really don’t have the time to try to find them. For the sake of full disclosure, I now have 956 followers –  and my best guess is that the vast majority of them are not actually readers.

If a measurement matters at all, it is because it must have some conceivable effect on decisions and behavior. If we can’t identify a decision that could be affected by a proposed measurement and how it could change those decisions, then the measurement simply has no value.
– Douglas W. Hubbard –

Now it is your turn – do you have a Vanity Number that makes you feel good, even though it might be just a tad unrealistic?

I Cut My Own Bangs

Bang (fringe) length – has little to do with beauty, and a lot to do with just being able to see! So, yes, I admit it. On occasion, I cut my own bangs. Okay, it is more than just occasionally. My hair grows very fast, so while I often let the sides and back grow two or three inches between visits to a salon, my bangs need more frequent attention.

bangs fringe cut own hair ToonadayAfter much trial and error, and close observation of how my hairdresser cuts my bangs, I have perfected my technique. I must do a pretty good job, too. My hairdresser ‘called me out’ on home bang cutting yesterday, and when I sheepishly admitted that I had, in fact, cut my own bangs she said, “You did a great job. You only missed about six or eight hairs over here on the left side…”

I don’t know what your relationship is with your hair, but I live with a head full of rebellious hairs. They curve and stick up in all the oddest places. Some years I let them all grow (except the bangs) until they are mid way down my back. Some years I have them all cut off to just a few inches. Neither style changes their nature – they still resolutely head off in a contrary direction, each marching to their own drummer.

I grew up in the days when sleek, long, straight hair was what all the cool girls had. All the tall cool girls.  All the skinny tall cool girls. Genetically, I am not a skinny, tall, straight haired girl. (The foundations for my distrust of the fashion and beauty industry were laid early, and I don’t even want to discuss why “A Good Hair Day” might mean something to me…)

But – every time I go to a hairdresser, I entertain the hope that a miracle will happen. My hairdresser will find the precise right length to cut each hair (because apparently she keeps track of the length or each and every one of them).  That perfect length will be the one where each hair nestles contentedly beside the one beside it. Not a single hair will object to the company of any of its 150,000 neighbours. I will be able to just toss my head and every hair will move into place without the touch of a comb!

Remarkably, this latest haircut seems to be as close to perfection as any I have ever had. Oh, there is still much mass confusion down at my neck, but the hairs on the side and top of my head are serene. My bangs, well, they are quite perfect and the hairdresser only had to fix the eight hairs on the left side.

Tragedy is when you cut your own finger. Comedy is when you cut your own bangs.

Do you cut your own bangs? Any horror stories about hair cuts?

 

From Rags to Riches – the Spam Way

I opened a few Gmail accounts a while back – I am migrating from Hotmail to Gmail, though for the life of me I can’t remember what prompted me to do that. Regardless of the reason, I have never checked the Spam box of my Gmail account until today. Imagine my surprise when I discovered all the ways I could be a wealthy woman if I simply follow the instructions in these emails:

1. If I can just help out Mrs.Fatoumata Zongo, the wife to the deceased former Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa, I will get 30% of  US $7 million. Her husband was the linkman between the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country. He died from cardiac arrest, though she doesn’t say whether that might have been just after a bullet or an arrow pierced his heart.

I suggest this because it appears like Mr. Zongo was a bit of a shady character. He seems to have skimmed the money off the  allocated oil quota in OPEC. Mrs. Zongo isn’t all that honest either, and she wants me  to assist her to claim his ill gotten gains. The process appears to be very simple. There are some claim documents that will be processed and sent to me. The documents will be amended to reflect me as the beneficiary so that I can  collect the fund as his business associate. Then, I will keep 30% of the total funds and give her the rest when she arrives  in my country.

Now I have to ask the obvious question – why would I give her the 70%?  She anticipated that question, so she appealed to my humanitarian side – she needs it for the up keep of her only son. Well, Mrs. Zongo, you are very wrong if you think I have both a greedy side and a humanitarian side!

My dear Mrs. Zongo – this is a dangerous game you are playing.  Run, Mrs. Zongo before you and your son also experience ‘cardiac arrest’.

2. The next email skipped the preliminary story and got right to the point.  Mrs. Fatu Kabri wished to solicit my partnership to transfer $20 Million US dollars. She would send me more information and procedures once she received this information from me:
1. Full name……….
2. Nationality………….
3. Age…………….
4. Occupation…………..
5. Phone number………….

I expect the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Kabri ‘s $20 million were not all that honest either. Run Mrs. Kabri before you suffer ‘cardiac arrest’ too!

3. The third email was to notify me that I was a Winner in UKNL of One Million Pounds. All I had to do was Contact Agent Larry William Via his Email address and tell him my:
Full Name:
Contact Address:
Tel:
Age:
Country:

Toonaday shark

I had to wonder, how did I win a lottery that I didn’t enter in a country I don’t live? Clearly Agent Larry doesn’t know any of these answers either. Agent Larry also should know by now that One Million pounds is chicken feed compared with what is being offered by his fellow crooks in South Africa.

That was all there was in my Spam Box – three incredibly stupid stories intended to appeal to either my greed or my gullibility. It would all be very funny if the purpose of these emails wasn’t fraudulent, and if some people weren’t victims of the schemes behind these emails.

Think of your Spam Email box as shark infested waters. Don’t even think of going swimming in there!

Unsolicited e-mails, however, are often the initial means for criminals, such as operators of fraudulent schemes, to contact and solicit prospective victims for money, or to commit identity theft by deceiving them into sharing bank and financial account information.
– The United States Department of Justice –

Who is the Artist of Toonaday Cartoons

For many years I subscribed to Ron Leishman’s  Toonaday Digital Clipart. I have used many of  Ron’s toons in my blog posts,  as you can see in the following gallery. Ron is  a fellow Canadian and Albertan (Alberta is a Province in Canada).  Though I have never met him, I have traded emails with him on several occasions, and he has generously created several toons that I requested.

I sometimes combine several of his toons to illustrate my story and that makes me appreciate the immense variety of topics he has covered!

I didn’t appreciate how hard it is to draw until I tried to do it myself. It is one thing to be able to say, “Of course I know the difference between a pirate and a fire hydrant.”  It is quite a different thing to remember enough detail about each to draw them well.

Which one is your favourite?

SLIDESHOW: Click on any photo to open a slide show. Press your ‘es-ca-pay’ button to close the slide show.