Damn Toyota Let Me Down

It is the last day of 2017 and what am I doing? Nothing. I’m writing an angry blog piece about a car that let me down. Lately I’ve been bragging about how good my Avalon has been to me, but today that has changed. I’ve written about the lousy experience I had with my 1969 Corolla, and how it kept me from buying another Toyota, or any other piece of Jap-Crap for thirty-six years. Once I calm down I’ll be able to explain rationally how I really feel about my Avalon. Right now the bitter sting of having to fix a car in -5 degree weather still has my shorts in a bunch.

Yesterday, I left the house on my way to my stepdaughter’s sixty-second birthday party. I gingerly placed her gift on the back seat along with a walnut roll wrapped in aluminum foil along with a fresh bottle of Champaign to help with the celebration. The temperature in the garage was low at thirty degrees. Outside it was six below. We haven’t had a winter like this since the nineteen eighties. You know, the Liberals ordered the world to go into warming mode so they could impose exorbitant taxes on us to feed the tyrants of the world, and to enrich themselves by trading carbon credits. I’m here to say the warming trend is over. By next winter the pundits will be crying ice-age once again. I like global warming cycles they keep me comfortable in the winter time. I hate ice-age like winters when I freeze me ass off. Anyway, I pushed the magic button and the Toyota chattered at me. It is that bone chilling noise one gets when a battery dies and the solenoid clicks away.

This morning I mentioned to a friend that since I have owned cars I have had a streak of bad luck with break downs when it is cold. Below zero cold makes stuff break, it makes weak stuff fail, it makes tires split, and it makes car owners very upset. What can I do? I am so dependent on a car to get around that I don’t even think about walking two miles in below zero temps to get to Starbucks. I could spew another thousand words talking about my winter break down experiences but I won’t, I’ll speak of something good instead, like improved battery life. During my life with VWs, Fords, Oldsmobiles, and Mercurys It was not uncommon to have to replace a battery every two years. Since I bought the Avalon batteries have improved, and now last for six years.  My car is  thirteen years old, has 143000 miles on it, and the second battery failed. So even though I blame the Toyota for letting me down it is the battery that is the root-cause. Since the battery is not what I sit in to drive me places I have to blame the car.

I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year without any cold weather trouble.

 

 

171229-More Lexophile Fun

“Lexophile” describes those that have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “To write with a broken pencil is pointless”     An annual competition is held by the New York Times see who can create the best original lexophile
 
This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.
 
No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
 
If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
 
Im reading a book about anti-gravity. I just cant put it down.
 
I didnt like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
 
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
 
When chemists die, they barium.
 
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
 
I changed my iPods name to Titanic. Its syncing now.
 
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool ..
 
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes
 
This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore
 
I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
 
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
 
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
 
I got some batteries that were given out free of charge
 
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
 
A will is a dead giveaway.
 
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
 
Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
 
Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now
 
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
 
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.
 
He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
 
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
 
Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.
 
Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

PSA-171229-The Last Conundrums of the Year

* Do twins ever realize that one of them i­s unplanned?

* What if my dog only­ brings back my ball ­because he thinks I l­ike throwing it?

* If poison expires, ­is it more poisonous ­or is it no longer po­isonous?

* Which letter is sil­ent in the word “Scen­t,” the S or the C?

* Why is the letter W­, in English, called ­double U? Shouldn’t i­t be called double V?­ and why isn’t “m” ca­lled “double n”

* Maybe oxygen is slo­wly killing you and I­t just takes 75-100 y­ears to fully work.

* Every time you clea­n something, you just­ make something else ­dirty

– The word “SWIMS” up­side-down is still “SWIMS”.

– Intentionally losin­g a game of rock, pap­er, scissors is just ­as hard as trying to ­win.

– 100 years ago every­one owned a horse and­ only the rich had ca­rs. Today everyone ha­s cars and only the r­ich own horses.

– Your future self is­ watching you right n­ow through memories.

– The doctors that to­ld Stephen Hawking he­ had two years to liv­e in 1953 are probabl­y dead.

– If you replace “W” ­with “T” in “What, Wh­ere and When”, you ge­t the answer to each of them.

– Many animals probab­ly need glasses, but ­nobody knows it.

– If you rip a hole i­n a net, there are ac­tually fewer holes in­ it than there were b­efore.

– If 2/22/22 falls on­ a Tuesday, we’ll jus­t call it “2’s Day”. ­ (BTW, it does fall on a Tu­esday. Then again, who knew?)

Things I Have Forgotten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I dreamed I was at work. It has been sixteen years since I have worked for a living, and being at work in the dream was delightful, except for one thing. I couldn’t remember a specific word that I used daily to describe a special property of the material we used to make our number one product. That spoiled my dream. Up to that point I enjoyed being an expert on the material properties. I liked to call myself an expert on the material but I was, and am still far from it, but compared to an ordinary Joe I am an expert. The same holds true for today, I am far from an expert on the use or workings of a computer, but I am further advanced in know-how than the circle of friends I hang with, they consider me a computer guru. I am also one to try to do things with a computer that no one else does, and I get very little help from anyone I know. For example, recently I conducted a class in which the students gave answers to a questionnaire. The result of the answers are meaningless unless they are compiled into an aggregate. I used Excel to do the job. I tried showing the total result to the class via a projector connected to my PC. The results were totally unreadable on the big screen. Nevertheless projecting data on a screen from a computer was impressive. The next week I imported the Excel data into a Power-Point program to display, they were better. I had used Excel in my work but this new Excel was so different it took me some time and experimentation to learn how to work with it. At the end, I concluded that although I finally made some nice graphs that the new Excel didn’t have the capabilities of the sixteen year older versions I had used. In my work I made some really comprehensive and detailed graphs to display data just like engineers did before computers. As the class progressed I kept adding more results to the Power Point until the class concluded. The last session will use the total results to make decisions about improvement projects.

While doing all this it became clear to me that I would like to show the Power Point presentation to more people. I thought I could just plug it in and play it in a loop over and over to use as a backdrop during a dinner. After much experimentation I learned that Power Point is not capable of looping.  To do what I wanted to do I would have to make a movie of my presentation. Not a problem I thought, I am very familiar with iMovie having made a dozen or so movies from my old super eight films. Except the latest iMovie program is now five years newer than the one I used forcing me to learn how to use iMovie all over again. In the process of learning, I discovered it would be easier to save my Power Point slides as jpeg images. You don’t want to know how much I swore at Apple while learning that to be necessary.

As I developed this movie using bland data I added my organization goals into the mix, now the movie was really bland. To spice things up I decided to add some canned videos before, and after my bland data, short, colorful, and informative videos one before and one after. The movie got better, except that the videos would not draw everyone into the presentation, so I added home video snips from my organization activities. This added personality to the thing and tied it all together. Making the movie was becoming easier as I repeatedly experimented with the various elements.

When I had a finished product to my satisfaction I found the loop feature in iMovie and added it; wallah mission accomplished except it wouldn’t loop.

I was giving up at this point and said it is time to burn this project to disk so I can play it on any kind of player. I set it up to burn using iDVD. I’ve used iDVD successfully many times. This time I let the computer run for twenty-eight hours before I finally shut it off to try something else. I examined the disk and there is no evidence of any transfer. I tried playing the disk and it showed up empty. In the back of my head I kept wondering if using videos from YouTube had anything to do with it. Yep it does (most likely because it is copyrighted material). I removed the videos, and the movie burned albeit with out some key entertainment. In desperation I tried showing the original file which I had saved as an MP4 on my projector and it played, but it won’t loop. I gave up and have not touched it since. Maybe it will come to me in a dream.

Today, I was delivering food to a family in need with my Lions Club and the word popped into my head, hygroscopic! That is the property of nylon that gives it the ability to gain or lose moisture from the atmosphere. Then the words nucleated, amorphous, crystalline all popped into my mind; my dream is now successfully finished.

Have you ever heard the adage “I have forgotten more than you will ever know?”

 

A Christmas Poem

soldier-sleeping

A NEW CHRISTMAS POEM

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
“SANTA DON’T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.”

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA,
IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”

This poem was written by a Marine. The
following is his request. I think it is reasonable…..

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is
due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate
these festivities.Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of
what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and
dead! , who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part
to plant this small seed.

May God Bless You and Have A Great Day

Christmas Carols Using a New Instrument

Americans are inventive and resourceful. We never lack for imaginative ways to use our Second Amendment rights to bear arms. Think how much better the world is since this wonderful way to play our greatest music is spreading good will and cheer!

Santa Is Missing. (A Story)

Santa is Missing is a children’s book. It is short, and easy to read. I am presenting it to you as my gift. The story is very adult like in composition since the view-point changes every chapter. Children twelve and older will have no trouble reading it by themselves. Kids younger than twelve may  need it be read to them.

There are a few characters I should identify:

1. Morty Angel is  Guardian Angel assigned to Ben

2. Ben is a boy of ten who is watched over by Morty Angel

3. Jasper is a Lead Elf who works for Santa

4. Gabriel is the Archangel working in Heaven as God’s assistant

5. Sentra-vision, a special belt worn by Morty. It is a communication device used to call heaven.

6. Sky-scooter, a special flying scooter given to Morty by friends. Since he cannot fly like other angels he needs the Sky-scooter to travel. It has amazing properties.

7. Polly is a polar bear, a friend of Morty’s

8. Major Joe ‘Do-Do’ Taylor is an Air Force pilot at Elmendorf Air Base.

There are ten chapters and I will present one chapter every day or two until the story is complete. There are cartoon pictures scattered throughout the story. The cartoons are originals done by Grumpa Joe.

******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Santa is Missing

by

Grumpa Joe

Chapter One-God Calls

Morty sat invisible on Ben’s shoulder. He watched the snow falling gently. Ben listened to Miss Brown. The temperature dropped since they got to school this morning. Ben looked out the window and wished he could be playing in it.  Miss Brown went over math sets. There were two more days before school let out for the Christmas holiday.

Morty’s head bobbed with sleep when his wings fluttered. He jumped to attention as his wings fluttered again. “God is paging me,” he said to himself. Morty raised the end of his Sentra-vision belt to his eye. He saw Gabriel sitting at the desk outside God’s office. He squeezed the belt to signal that he was ready to receive. Gabriel pushed a button on his console and God appeared. Morty watched and listened carefully.

“Santa is in trouble. I want you to help him. It is only a few days until my Son’s birthday celebration. I don’t want Christmas to be spoiled because Santa can’t make it on time. Leave immediately.”

The bell rang just as God finished the message. School was over for the day.

Ben rushed to get his boots and coat.  He ran out of school with his Guardian Angel hanging onto his sleeve.

“I want to be first in the new snow, he whispered to Morty.”

Ben jumped into the deep new snow, and fell backwards. He swept his arms above his head and spread his legs apart.

“Look, Morty, I’m making an angel.”

That’s when Morty became visible and told  Ben to get ready. “We have to go rescue Santa.”

“What?”

“We have to go rescue Santa, God just told me to go help him. Come on, get onto the sky scooter.”

“But, but, but . . . my parents will wonder where I am.”

“Don’t worry. God will send an angel to let them know that you are okay. Now, let’s go, Santa needs us.”

Ben climbed on and wrapped his arms around his guardian angel. Morty set the navigator for the North Pole, then pushed the thrust button. They were out of sight in an instant.

To be continued…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

MORTY ANGEL AND BEN HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO LOOK FOR SANTA WHO WAS REPORTED MISSING.

****************************************************************************************************************************

Chapter Two-Where is He?

Santa is never late said Mrs. Claus to herself. She paced back and forth wondering where he was.

“He has never been late before,”  she explained to Gabriel over the Angel Network.  “He left at 8:00 p.m. last night for a training ride with Rudolph and the  first team. On a regular day, he is back by midnight. It is  3:00 a.m. and he is still gone. I sent the elves to look for him.”

“Santa keeps a strict training schedule. They have to be in perfect shape to be able to deliver all the gifts. They fly fast, stop on a roof, then start-up fast again. They pull all the presents, and Santa is not a light weight. I keep him on a diet, but poor Santa never loses a pound,” said Mrs. Claus.

The elves were still very busy making toys and wrapping presents. They used Santa’s computer to know how many toys to make. Before Christmas, Santa visits children all around the world to ask them if they were bad or good. If they answer “good,” he asks them what they want for Christmas. Each kid gives him a list of toys. Of course, Santa already knows if they were bad or good because he has Sentra-vision like the angels. He keeps a record of all the good deeds and all the bad things that a kid does on his computer.

Elf-Jasper was charting Santa’s route and connecting each gift to a child’s house. He was ready to download the chart into the tracking system on the sleigh when Mrs. Claus asked him to look for Santa.

Jasper ordered his elves to hitch the back-up team to the red sleigh. They left to search all of Santa’s training routes, but it was snowing so hard and they could not see anything.

To be continued…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Ben and Morty Angel are rushing to the North Pole to Find Santa aboard Sky-scooter.

*************************************************************************************************************************************

Chapter Three-Rescue Plan

Ben and Morty hung onto the scooter as it sped to Santa Claus Village near the North Pole. Morty used his Sentra-vision belt to get information about the mission. He learned that Santa was missing on a training mission, and the elves could not find him in the snowstorm. Morty wondered how he was going to find Santa.

Ben must have read his mind.

“Morty, why don’t you send a message to all of the animals in the world to look for Santa.”

“Great idea,” Morty shouted over his shoulder. They were traveling so fast the noise from the wind and snow made it hard to hear.

The Scooter, automatically began to slow down and lose altitude. The voyage to Santa’s Village was nearly over. Morty called Jasper to ask for help.

“Jasper, please contact Gabriel. Tell him to spread the word to the animal kingdom. Have them report all suspicious activity.

“Make a special call to the wolves to search for the reindeer with their noses. They have a keen sense of smell and can tell when an animal is hurt. If the reindeer are injured, the wolves will find them,” said Ben.

“Fantastic idea,” said Morty. “Did you copy that Jasper?”

“Ten four,” answered Jasper, “I did.”

Jasper locked Sky-scooter onto the landing beam. Then, he relayed the message to Gabriel.

To be continued…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Morty and Ben begin the plan to find Santa as they fly to the North Pole.

***************************************************************************************************

Chapter Four-Roll Call

High on a Mount Denali glacier, deep in a dark crevasse, Santa crawled out from under the green sleigh. He checked himself for broken bones and brushed snow off his suit. He started a roll call.

“Rudolph.”

“Here.”

“Donner”

“Here,” answered Donner weakly.

“Blitzen.”

“I’m here,” he said, “My antlers are tangled in the runner.”

“Dasher.”

“Here, but my leg is broken.”

“Prancer.”

“I’m here, scrapped and bleeding.”

“Comet,— Comet, does anyone see Comet?” asked Santa.

“I can feel him,” said Cupid, “He’s out cold.”

“How about Dancer and Vixen?”

“We are okay,” they answered in unison.

“Donner, please help Comet.”

“Dancer, Vixen, see if you can help Prancer.”

“Rudolph, turn your nose on.”

“Oh great, my light doesn’t work, now what do we do?”

“Try harder,” said Santa, “we need that light.”

“How will we find our way home without your light?”

“Why did we crash?” Asked Cupid.

“Something exploded right next to us,” answered Rudolph, “the shock forced me into a downward spin, then my light went out. We broke through the clouds, and saw the mountain, but it was too late. We landed fast, and slid into this crevasse.”

“Comet is waking up,” said Prancer.

“Where am I?”

“We crashed into a crevasse,” answered Prancer.

“Let’s put our heads together and see how we are going to get home,” said Santa.

“Does the  Sentra-vision work?” asked Rudolph. “We can call Jasper. He can  find where our signal is coming from.”

“I checked it before, it doesn’t work either,” said Santa, “See if you can repair it.”

“Blitzen, splint Dasher’s leg. Dancer and Cupid, explore the crevasse in that direction. see if we can climb out of here.”

“Donner and Vixen, explore the opposite direction. I’ll help Rudolph with the Sentra-vision.”

To be continued…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

SANTA CRASHED INTO A GLACIER ON MOUNT DENALI AND IS LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GET OUT.

***************************************************************************************************************

Chapter Five-Under Attack

Sergeant John Jacobs watched the radar at Fort Greeley missile base. Sargeant John served at on the far edge of Alaska. Everything appeared normal until eleven o’clock. At eleven the screen started flashing, and the horn sounded. John nearly jumped out of his seat. A strange blip headed toward North America at very high speed. He knew what all the other blips on the screen were, but this one behaved different.

Could it be a missile coming in? He checked the equipment. Everything was normal. The blip kept coming. John picked up the red phone and dialed Elmendorf Air Force Base.

“Major, we have a red alert coming at us from the west. All the equipment checks out; it is the real thing.”

“I’ll be there in a flash.” Major General Holmes was at home decorating his Christmas tree when the Sergeant called.

“I’m sorry kids, it’s an emergency I have to go.”

Minutes later, Major Holmes saw the blip on the radar screen himself. The object was near the coast line now.

“Scramble the tactical unit,” he ordered.

“Yes sir.”

Elmendorf confirmed the unidentified object approaching U.S. airspace. It was too fast to be an airplane.  It had to be a missile. Three F16 jets sped toward the blip.

“It looks like we’ll intercept it over Denali,” Radioed Major ‘Do-Do’ Taylor.

On this evening Santa took the team to Siberia. He was returning to the North Pole from the extended training flight. The reindeer were at peak condition. Rudolph and the team were feeling good. Santa knew they were ready for Christmas Eve. They would deliver presents to good kids all around the world.

The team was excited. It felt good to fly fast. They loved speed. Santa was anxious to get home early. He and Mrs. Claus still had gifts to wrap for the elves. Mrs. Claus knitted new caps and socks for them.

The F-16‘s approached Denali, the highest peak in North America. A heavy cover of clouds hid the mountain, and the pilots flew by radar. Major Do-Do spotted the object on his radar.  It flew under the clouds. Most of the time the jets flew above the clouds where the the pilots could see the stars and the moon. This flight was different.

Major Do-Do used pilot nicknames to talk to his wingmen.

“Crackers, do you have anything on your radar?”

“Yes I see something that is flying a crazy pattern.”

“I see it too,” said Dogface.

“The orders are to make contact with the object and determine if it is a missile, turn on your after burners,” ordered Do Do, “Let’s catch it.”

All three jets sped up to sixteen hundred miles per hour and broke the sound barrier with a loud bang.

“Did you hear that?” shouted Santa.

“Yes,” they sang in unison, “What was it?”

“I don’t know,” answered Santa “Maybe it is the ice cracking on the glacier below.” Just then, Santa let the reindeer have some fun. He flipped the reins gently, signaling them to go faster. The sleigh jumped forward. The team loved going fast, the faster the better. Even at this high speed they were barely breathing hard. They could go even faster if Santa asked them to.

“Get ready to practice a high speed landing,” said Santa.

“Okay,” responded Rudolph, “Let’s have some fun.” Neither Santa nor the reindeer had any idea that they were being chased by the jets.

Just as Santa gave Rudolph the signal to speed up, Major Do Do received orders to shoot. He fired a missile without knowing that he was shooting at Santa. The rocket was just a few yards behind the sleigh when the team kicked into high gear, and shot forward. They flew faster than the missile. Santa signaled the landing maneuver. Rudolph turned them into a sharp upward loop. The team was at the top of their loop, flying upside down, when the rocket exploded. It blew up just as they curved downward. The explosion caused Rudolph’s nose-light to go out, and knocked them off course.

“Oh oh, this is going to be ugly,” said Rudolph. The confusion caused the team to drop hard and fast.

Do Do, Crackers, and Dogface saw the object disappear from their radar.

“Mission completed,” radioed Do Do, “let’s head for home.”

Rudolph pulled the team out of the loop onto the glacier at top speed. The reindeer skidded and plowed a trench in the snow. Rudolph went down. The team tumbled, rolled, and slid behind him. Dasher clipped a large chunk of ice and shattered his leg. Comet banged his head and went unconscious. After sliding and plowing snow for what seemed like an eternity they disappeared into a deep crevasse.

To be continued…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The Air Force spotted Santa, but thought he was a missile. They fired at the team, but they out ran the missile. The maneuver caused them to crash-land on Denali, and to disappear from all radar.

*********************************************************************************************************************

Chapter 6- THE SEARCH

At the North Pole, Morty and Ben set up a communication center. Ben opened a map of the world and pinned it to a wall. He marked the location of every report that came in from the animal kingdom with a push-pin. The messages began coming in immediately.

Most reports were “nothing sighted, scented, or heard in our sector.”  If a spot on the map looked empty, Morty called the animals in that sector and asked for a report. Soon the map was filled with red push pins. There was one bare spot on the map.  It was in Alaska. It was snowing very hard all over the state and the snow kept the animals from moving around.

Morty called Gabriel, “Send a fleet of Guardian Angels to Alaska, and have them look for Santa.”

Gabriel paged all available angels and sent them to look. Each angel was assigned a sector, and was asked to report unusual activity.

The grizzly bears were hibernating, so they were out, and the wolves, elk, sheep, and goats were all down at lower levels for the winter. The highest points of the mountain were assigned to the bald eagles, but they had to wait for the morning light and for the snow to stop.

Mrs. Claus began to cry. Ben took her to the kitchen to make some tea. There, in the kitchen, he spoke softly and assured her that if anyone could find Santa, Morty could.

Morty studied the map with Jasper. There were red pins everywhere. Where could Santa be?

“Do you see what I see?” asked Morty.

“Yes, there is a big blank spot over Denali.”

“I bet that is where they are,” said Morty, “If he is high on the mountain in the storm, it would explain why we have not heard from anyone there. It also means that we’ll have to use some special tools to find him. I’ll ask my friend Polly to help.”

He called Gabriel over the Sentra-vision.

“Find Polly Polar Bear, and let me know where she is. I think she can help us on Denali.”

“I will get back to you as soon as I find her,” said Gabriel.

Just as he promised, Gabriel called back with Polly’s location, “she is on an ice floe near the North Pole.” He down-loaded her location into Sky Scooter.

“Let’s get going,” said Morty.  Together, they boarded the scooter. Morty hit auto pilot and they were off to find Polly. It was still snowing hard when they left.

Polar bears love the cold, and Polly was on an ice floe hunting for seals. Morty landed on the ice right next to her.

“Hello Polly, meet Ben.”

“I haven’t seen you since last year, what brings you here on a night like this?” asked Polly.

“Santa is missing and I need your help to find him. We think he is lost on Denali,” said Morty.

“I know, I called in my report earlier,” answered Polly.

The three of them squeezed on the scooter, and took off.

On the way, Morty called Gabriel.

“Tell Jasper to get the elves and the Red team ready to meet us.”

“Roger,” answered Gabriel. “While you were fetching Polly I got a report from Guardian Angel Frederick. He was with his pilot who got an order to fire a rocket over Denali.”

“Oh Lord,” said Morty, “I hope it wasn’t directed at Santa.”

To be continued…

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Morty and Ben have picked up their friend Polly Polar Bear to help with the search for Santa.

*****************************************************************************************************

Chapter 7-The Smell of Fire

Morty landed on the top of Denali. Polly jumped off and put her nose into the air.

“Nothing human or animal, but I do smell something, it smells like fire,” said Polly.

“That could be the missile. Can you tell where it is coming from?”

“I can’t tell for sure.”

“Polly, you scout this side of the mountain, Ben and I will fly to the other side. I’ll check with you later.

“Ben, you drive the scooter, and I’ll look for Santa.

“Don’t be afraid,” said Morty, “you will do very well, I trust you very much.”

With that said, Ben and Morty left to start their search.

Polly followed her nose down the mountain. The smell of the fire was still there. She ambled down to the glacier. “This is going to be fun,” she thought, “I’ll just slide on my belly while I search.”

Polly zigzagged going down. The smell of the fire got stronger.  She changed direction and the smell grew weaker. After the third pass, she was certain the smell was stronger on the West side.

“I’ll stay on the side where the smell is strongest, and cut my slide time in half,” she said to herself.

The big polar bear continued sliding, but now she only went half the distance. On her fifth pass the scent was very strong, and she saw disruptions in the snow.

Those look like tracks that have been snowed over.  I’ll stop here and wait for Morty to check in.

Ben and Morty flew back and forth down the opposite side of Denali, and saw nothing unusual.

“It’s time to check on Polly.” Ben pointed the scooter to the top of the mountain and over to the other side where Polly was waiting for them.

Morty called Gabriel.

“Frederick reported that after the missile exploded the object disappeared,” said Gabriel

To be continued…

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C8-RED SNOW

Posted on 08/12/2010 by Grumpa Joe | Edit

Morty, Ben, and Polly split up to search for Santa on both sides of the mountain. Polly finds something suspicious.

****************************************************************************************************************************

The big snow storm covered over the crevasse, making it impossible for Santa and the reindeer to see. Donner and Dancer returned from their exploration. There was no way out, except up. Rudolph worked on the Sentra-vision unit with Santa. They could not make it work. Rudolph stomped his hoof against the dashboard in frustration and to his surprise his nose lit up.

“Santa, watch this,” he said. He held his hoof against the dash and his nose glowed red. It didn’t light up as brightly as it did when he was leading the sleigh, but it was bright enough to give them some light in the crevasse.

Ben and Morty crossed over the peak of Denali and started down to look for Polly.

“Did you see that?” asked Ben.

“What?”

“The red snow down below.”

“No, I didn’t see it. Do you see Polly yet?”

“Yes, she is just up ahead.”

Ben landed the Sky-scooter next to Polly.

“I’m glad you finally came, I found something interesting in the snow, and a few seconds ago I thought I saw a red glow in the snow up ahead,” said Polly.

“I saw it too,” said Ben.

“Let’s check it out,” said Morty. “Turn on the signal beacon so Jasper will know where to send the rescue team. Ben, you hover over us while I ride on Polly’s back. We will move forward cautiously.”

“There it is again,” shouted Ben, “a red flash in the snow about fifty yards ahead of us.”

Polly walked slowly down the glacier with Morty perched on her back. She followed the tracks, then suddenly she stopped.

“I smell reindeer blood,” she said, “it’s fresh under the new snow.”

“Where are they? Asked Morty, Keep on walking.”

“I just saw the red light again,” said Ben from the air. The snow lit up with a red glow just a few feet ahead.”

“They could be covered by snow,” said Polly, “but I don’t see any bumps or mounds anywhere.”

“Let me try something,” said Ben, “if I pass over the top of the snow quickly, maybe I can stir it up, and uncover something.”

“Go ahead,” said Morty, “tap the thrust button, and then hold on tight.” Ben tapped the button, and the scooter shot down the mountain, creating a turbulence of air behind it. Snow flew everywhere. Polly and Morty felt like they were in a blizzard. The swirling snow covered them over. Ben turned at the bottom of the glacier, and flew back. Morty and Polly were brushing snow off of themselves

“There is a hole in the snow with a red light coming out of it,” said Ben.

Polly took a few steps forward. She stopped abruptly, and backed up. Suddenly, the snow covering the crevasse began to cave in revealing a deep canyon in front of them.

“A crevasse,” growled Polly. “They slid down the glacier into the crevasse. That explains why we couldn’t see them or smell them.”

The falling snow-bridge nearly buried Santa and the team.

“I hear voices, someone has found us,” said Santa, “Rudolph keep your nose flashing on and off.”

Rudolph was up to his antlers in snow and couldn’t move.

“I need some help to dig Rudolph out of the snow pile, come here quickly,” called Santa. Cupid started jumping as hard as he could and soon freed himself.  He sprang up and over to Rudolph and started moving snow with his antlers. Santa was on the other side digging with his hands.

Morty got on the scooter with Ben and looked down into the crevasse. He saw Santa and Cupid shoveling snow off of Rudolph.

“Don’t worry Santa we’ll clear the snow out of there in a second.”

Morty moved Ben out of the driver’s seat. “Hold on Ben.”

Morty took Sky-scooter high over the crevasse in a big arc. He nosed downward and tapped the thrust button. Sky-scooter swished down into the crevasse at supersonic speed. Just as he was about to hit Santa, Morty pulled up, and steered the scooter out of the crevasse. The scooter created a vacuum and the snow that fell came flying out after the scooter. It looked like a giant white tail on the end of Sky. The snow arched up and over Polly’s head and landed into a huge pile.

“Gabriel, we found Santa. Send Jasper with the rescue team. They are trapped at the bottom of a deep crevasse,” radioed Morty.

To be continued . . .

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C9-THE RESCUE

Posted on 09/12/2010 by Grumpa Joe | Edit

IN THE LAST CHAPTER, THE SEARCH TEAM SPOTTED A MYSTERIOUS RED GLOW IN THE SNOW. THEY  DISCOVERED SANTA ON THE BOTTOM OF A DEEP CREVASSE THAT WAS COVERED BY A SNOW BRIDGE.

***************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Mrs. Claus breathed a big sigh when the news came. The elves cheered. Jasper left immediately with the rescue team. He followed the signal sent by Sky-scooter. The Red Team landed on the edge of the crevasse. The elves jumped into action with rope ladders and lifting equipment.

“Take care of Dasher’s leg first, then Comet’s head,” said Santa.

Four elves found Dasher, put a sling around his body, and gently lifted him up to the sleigh. Albert Elf placed a compress against Comet’s head, and Mercy bandaged Prancer’s bloody shoulder. It was Prancer’s blood that Polly smelled.

The Red Team raced back to the infirmary at the North Pole with Dasher, Prancer, and Comet then returned. The elves lifted Santa and the reindeer out of the crevasse while they were gone. Only one more thing had to be rescued; Santa’s favorite supersonic sleigh.

The sleigh was wedged between the walls in the deep split. Neither Santa nor Morty could budge it. Ben came to the rescue again.

“I’ll tie a rope to the runner and you tie the other end to Sky-scooter,” he said.

“Great idea,” said Morty.

Ben shimmied down a rope into the crevasse.

“We will use the power of the scooter to pull the sleigh out.”

“I can pull too,” said Polly, “let me try first.”

Morty looped a rope around Polly’s neck. Ben tied the other end to the runner.

“Pull hard Polly,” said Morty, “pull really hard.” Polly pulled with all her might, and the sled moved a tiny bit.

“That’s it Polly,” yelled Morty,“it’s moving.”

Ben pushed on the sleigh from another direction, and loosened it some more.

“Pull again, Polly,” said Morty.

Polly strained and the sleigh started to move up the wall.

“I can’t hold it,” she said.

“Ben, is the rope tied to the runner?

“Yes, it is.”

Morty pushed the thrust button for power.

“Pull, Polly, pull.”

She pulled as hard as she could. On the other side of the crevasse Sky-scooter made a long loud roar, and the sleigh inched out of the hole onto the glacier.

“Thank you,” said Santa. “Now, please take me to the North Pole, it is Christmas Eve, and I have work to do.”

To be continued . . .

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C10-MORTY TAKES OVER

Posted on 10/12/2010 by Grumpa Joe | Edit

In the last episode, Ben and Morty  rescued Santa and the reindeer from the bottom of the crevasse.

********************************************************************************************************************

Morty rushed Santa back to the North Pole. Polly said she would find her way back alone, and Ben returned with the elves.

Mrs. Claus and the elves had a back up sleigh packed and ready to go, but there was still one problem. Santa didn’t have a replacement light for Rudolph’s nose.

“I’ll lead you Santa,” said Morty, “with Sky-scooter I can fly anywhere.”

“Would you do that for me Morty?”

“My orders from the Boss were to make sure his Son’s birthday was not spoiled. If you don’t get the presents to all the good kids, they will be disappointed on Jesus’ birthday.”

By this time, Ben arrived.

“Can I come too? He asked.

“You can ride with us until we get to your house.”

“We will go to your house first,” said Santa. ‘Morty will tuck you into bed while I climb down the chimney. After I eat the milk and cookies, we will be on our way again.”

That night Morty rode on Sky Scooter at the front of the reindeer team. Morty and Sky-scooter did such a good job, Santa didn’t even know Rudolph was not there. Santa took off from each roof shouting his wish

“Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho.”

Morty helped Santa complete the delivery of Christmas presents to good children all around the world to celebrate Jesus birthday.

As Morty led Santa from house to house, Ben slept. He was cozy and warm in his bed dreaming of how he helped to rescue Santa from the glacier. He remembered having tea with Mrs. Claus and assuring her that Morty would find Santa.

On Christmas morning, Ben awoke and ran into the room where the Christmas tree stood. There were presents piled everywhere. Morty was there too. He sat on a pile of packages with Ben’s name on them. He yawned, and stretched his arms out wide. Ben dove into the presents and started tearing them open.

Morty thought to himself, I’m really tired. The trip with Santa was a great work out. I wonder how he does it every year?

THE END

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

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