Trick. . . or. . . Treat?

The spirits have attacked Grump Joe’s Place computer. What evil lurks within the bits and bytes of the iMac?

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Pumpkin Party

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Image via Wikipedia

Last Sunday, I had a privilege not many grandparents get to experience. Grandma Peggy and I crashed a Pumpkin Carving Party in Michigan. My talented and creative daughter-in-law invited kids from school to come to a pumpkin carving fest. Participants came in full costume for the Halloween Costume Parade. Mary Beth made sure there were pumpkins and carving tools to spare, and the creations were amazing. She awarded prizes for the scariest, the most creative, the funniest, etc. Each carver got a prize, and he got to take his creation home to scare off the evil spirits lurking about on the days and nights before Halloween.

The prize I took home was a cold, or at least I think that’s where I got it. It was a fun time which I wish upon all grandparents.

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Garden Creature

This creature of the vine wants to eat you!

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Be very careful when going out into the night, he may be waiting in the shadows to jump out and steal you for his own amusement.

Sweet Miss Giving’s Cookie

I disagree with comments flashing around Facebook that 1% of Monsters consume 99% of cookies.

Grandma Peggy and I planned a beautiful evening out. We have theater subscriptions for Steppenwolf and had to reschedule our date from Wednesday to Thursday a week later. We did that because our theater date coincided with the funeral of a dear friend. Needless to say, the weather a week earlier was heavenly, warm and dry. The friends we usually go with reported the play was excellent and that we shouldn’t miss it.

The plan was to leave the house at four-thirty for the seven-thirty performance. We would valet park, dine at Gianni’s, and saunter across Halstead Street to Steppenwolf. We did leave at four-thirty. That was it for the plan. From that point on things went awry.

At forty-first street all traffic on the Dan Ryan stopped. Normally, we do not hit heavy traffic until the entrance to the last express lanes at twenty-second street. Traffic delays from twenty-second are more normal than the one we sat in Thursday.  It rained this time, and the line of semi-trucks looked like a railroad train from fortieth to the Loop.

The electronic sign at thirty-ninth said it would be twenty-seven minutes to Circle. (Chicago Circle Campus of the University of Illinois). Circle is at Roosevelt Road (twelfth street from thirty-ninth is twenty-seven blocks or roughly three and a half miles). Thirty minutes later, at twenty-second street, another electronic sign flashed “thirty minutes to Circle.” That didn’t sound so good.

Peggy and I had a wonderful conversation along the way as I watched the mpg indicator on the Death Star drop from 24.5 mpg to 22.5 mpg. We moved very slowly, so slowly that the speedometer needle never left the peg. I thought this jam would be the ideal scenario for the all-electric car. When you don’t move, it doesn’t matter if the electric can only travel forty miles on a charge. Although two and a half hours with head lights on would drain the battery too.

We finally, passed Madison Street, the geographic bisector of town. Traffic began to move north out of the loop at a light warping speed of ten miles per hour.

We pulled into the Steppenwolf parking lot a seven o’clock. Both of us made a mad dash to the rest room for relief. Once the pressure was off our mind the stomach growls kicked in.  We headed for the snack bar, where I spotted the cookies. Not just any cookie, these were Sweet Miss Giving’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I took two off the rack and waited in line to pay. “That’ll be six dollars please.”

Whoa, six bucks for two cookies! It didn’t matter I became the monster and Peggy was the monsterette.

I have to blog about this cookie, I told myself. I stuffed the empty package in my pocket.

The play was as great as our friends told us. I’ll write about it later. We left feeling pretty good about ourselves for having stayed awake for the entire performance, and we actually understood what was going on. Steppenwolf does, at times, present some weird stuff.

Our drive home took a sweet forty-eight minutes.

The following morning I read the label on the cookie package. No wonder these things were so good, one cookie is two servings for a total of five-hundred calories, but Sweet Miss Giving’s cookie made up for missing dinner at Trattoria Gianni’s, and the ridiculous two and a half hour drive.

“What Are We Seeing?”

Baseball has not been my favorite sport since my boys gave up Little League. When our freinds called to ask Peggy and me to the movies we accepted without knowing what the film title or story was. Spending time with our friends seemed a heck of a lot more important to me than knowing. As I walked up to the ticket counter, I asked, “what are we seeing?”

“Moneyball,” came the reply.

“Okay, two seniors for Moneyball please.” I went into shock when the little lady behind the counter asked for fifteen bucks. We normally go to show on the week days to get a reduced rate of five bucks apiece. I learned something new that day,  don’t go to see a movie on the weekend.

Peggy and I still didn’t know what the movie was about. Our friends just said they heard it was good. We sat in a center seat in the middle of a row half way to the top. There were about six other people in the show with us.

We soon learned that Moneyball was a story about baseball. A true story about the mechanics of running a team on a very low-budget.

The story begins with the last out of the last game of the world series. The Oakland A’s need to score the men on base to win. They don’t. The A’s choked and lost the world series to the New York Yankees.

During the winter the Yankees recruit three of the A’s star players, which leaves the A’s lifeless. The General Manager Billy Beane goes to the owner to ask for money to buy some good players to replace those who left. The owner tells Billie to find a way to run a winning team on a shoestring budget.

The rest of the movie told the true story of how Billy accomplished the task, and in so doing showed major league baseball that winning doesn’t take big money. How did he do it? Well you will have to see the movie to find out, but I can tell you the story won’t bore you. The story is fascinating, well told, and well acted. Brad Pitt was Billy Beane and he played the part so well I believed he was the real General Manager of the team.

If Brad Pitt doesn’t get nominated for this film along with his co-star Jonah Hill who played his assistant, it will be a surprise to me. Maybe I’m just easy to impress.

Go see this great film on any day Monday through Friday and see it for $2.50 per person less than I did.

Five stars * * * * *

Let Me Introduce You to Ann Barnhardt

A friend recently sent me a message with this poster, and a copy of an blog post written by a lady named Ann Barnhardt. I never heard of her before yesterday, but today she is my hero. I went to her blog and read her stuff. Not only is she funny, she makes great sense, and stands up for her principles.

YES, THE EMAIL IS 100% TRUE AND CORRECT
POSTED BY ANN BARNHARDT – SEPTEMBER 29, AD 2011 11:12 AM MST
For some reason I am suddenly getting scads of emails asking to confirm my response to a musloid death threat. Yes, that is 100% real and accurate, and yes, that picture of a rosary-wrapped hand grasping a pink AR-15 is me. It is my very real Colt M4 that has been custom DuraCoated. Yes, yes, yes. Here is the original exchange from July 22 via YouTube. This guy is a musloid over in the U.K., hence the driving directions citing the daily direct flights from Heathrow to Denver:

YouTube user mufcadnan123 has sent you a message:

Watch your back.

To:annbarnhardt

I’m going to kill you when I find you. Don’t think I won’t, I know where you and your parents live and I’ll need is one phone-call to kil ya’ll.

Re: Watch your back.

Hello mufcadnan123!

You don’t need to “find” me. My address is 9175 Kornbrust Circle, Lone Tree, CO 80124.

Luckily for you, there are daily DIRECT FLIGHTS from Heathrow to Denver. Here’s what you will need to do. After arriving at Denver and passing through customs, you will need to catch the shuttle to the rental car facility. Once in your rental car, take Pena Boulevard to I-225 south. Proceed on I-225 south to I-25 south. Proceed south on I-25 to Lincoln Avenue which is exit 193. Turn right (west) onto Lincoln. Proceed west to the fourth light, and turn left (south) onto Ridgegate Boulevard. Proceed south, through the roundabout to Kornbrust Drive. Turn left onto Kornbrust Drive and then take an immediate right onto Kornbrust Circle. I’m at 9175.

Just do me one favor. PLEASE wear body armor. I have some new ammunition that I want to try out, and frankly, close- quarter body shots without armor would feel almost unsporting from my perspective. That and the fact that I’m probably carrying a good 50 I.Q. points on you makes it morally incumbent upon me to spot you a tactical advantage.

However, being that you are a miserable, trembling coward, I realize that you probably are incapable of actually following up on any of your threats without losing control of your bowels and crapping your pants while simultaneously sobbing yourself into hyperventilation. So, how about this: why don’t you contact the main mosque here in Denver and see if some of the local musloids here in town would be willing to carry out your attack for you? After all, this is what your “perfect man” mohamed did (pig excrement be upon him). You see, mohamed, being a miserable coward and a con artist, would send other men into battle to fight on his behalf. Mohamed would stay at the BACK of the pack and let the stupid, ignorant suckers like you that he had conned into his political cult do the actual fighting and dying. Mohamed would then fornicate with the dead men’s wives and children. You should follow mohamed’s example! Here is the contact info for the main mosque here in Denver:

Masjid Abu Bakr
Imam Karim Abu Zaid
2071 South Parker Road
Denver, CO 80231
Phone: 303-696-9800
Email: denvermosque@yahoo.com

I’m sure they would be delighted to hear from you. Frankly, I’m terribly disappointed that not a SINGLE musloid here in the United States has made ANY attempt to rape and behead me. But maybe I haven’t made myself clear enough, so let me do that right now.

I will NEVER, EVER, EVER submit to islam. I will fight islam with every fiber of my being for as long as I live because islam is pure satanic evil. If you are really serious about islam dominating the United States and the world, you are going to have to come through me. You are going to have to kill me. Good luck with that. And understand that if you or some of your musloid boyfriends do actually manage to kill me, The Final Crusade will officially commence five minutes later, and then, despite your genetic mental retardation, you will be made to understand with crystal clarity what the word “defeat” means. Either way, I win, so come and get it.

Deo adjuvante non timendum-
Ann Barnhardt

———————————————————-

Visit her blog you will learn a lot.

Barnhardt

Truly, A Shovel Ready Job

President Barack Obama pauses after laying a w...

Image via Wikipedia

Today, I experienced  what most people do not want, another funeral. In my last report, I posted a poem written by Anon Ymous which I read at a friend’s funeral a week ago. Today, I sat as a distant relative-friend, a lady of many years (96), went to her final resting place. I knew little about this fine lady until recently. We often invited her to our parties, and when we met at Peggy ‘s daughter’s house. I knew she raised five kids, four boys and one daughter. She outlived two of her sons. She drank a Vodga martini every day.  Until a few weeks ago, she drove to get around, her husband’s eyesight is too poor for driving. She loved her husband, her kids, her grandkids, and her great grandkids. What else should a mother be remembered for? She died from a complication of having her appendix removed at age twenty-two.

The funeral mass reminded me of my origins and how I will eventually return to the same dust God used to create me. Ever since my Barbara died, funerals have affected me in a pronounced way. The music especially brings home the message. I am overcome by a sadness for the family. In this case the husband of seventy plus years who now goes home to an empty house, his mate left so coldly in the ground.

The funeral ended at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery near Elwood, Illinois. The widower being a vet has the right to bury his widow in his gravesite. Her name engraved on the backside of the gravestone. The  front side awaits his arrival sometime in the future.

My sick sense of humor began to consume my thoughts as the Federal employee consoled the Christian family without any mention of God in her scripted message. I looked around at the thousands of  precisely placed gravestones marking those who sacrificed to preserve “one nation under God” and thought, this and all the other National cemeteries in America are the only places that truly have “shovel ready jobs.”

Peggy and I finished the day with a visit to her husband Ron’s grave.

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