PSA-200826-Fun With Words

I love it when friends feed me things I can post.


Lexophilia

 “Lexophile” describes those that have a love of words, especially in word games, such as: “To write with a broken pencil  is pointless.”  An annual competition is held in New York Times to see who can create the best original lexophile. This year’s submissions:    

I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s 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. 

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. 

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me. 

Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils? 

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

Moaning is tolerated and rated for effectiveness.

Dreams

My pillow wrestled with me all night long while I dreamt sad dreams. I couldn’t believe the sadness that overwhelmed me even though I was in a deep sleep. The dream was about my former place of employment. Mind you, I retired in 2001 and yet I dreamed about the dismantling of the manufacturing plant where I spent a huge part of my life.

There was a lot of confusion that didn’t make sense as in most dreams, but the theme dealt with ending the life of a very successful manufacturing plant that began in the 1950’s and continued producing until sometime in the 2010’s. The product line consisted of two items in various sizes. One was a plastic duct for routing wire, and the second was a plastic tie to bind loose wires together. These products evolved into a catalogue of the same in various material, colors, lengths, and accessories to enhance the finished product of electricians who used them in their work. As most successful companies do, ours grew. By the time I left the company our product line was merely a section in a large catalog and a department within a larger division. The products still have life, but no longer merit the attention they once did. They still produce profit and therefore they continue to live, but at the sign of a decline the business will change the model and eventually they will be sold or dropped.

Throughout his life the owner re-invested his profits to make more stuff. Out first plant (the one in my dream) became one of eight around the world. Eventually, the product I spent my life designing, improving, and making became a Division. Each of the manufacturing plants had their own product specialties, and they also grew. Of the seven domestic plants in the towns of Tinley Park, New Lenox, Romeoville, Cummings, Burr Ridge, Lockport, and Orland Park four have been moved to foreign countries. Three of the plants were sold and repurposed by the new owners. Only one, the one I toiled in, is gone from the face of the earth, and now I am having dreams about it.

I don’t miss being there anymore, and I am forgetting the names of the people with whom I worked, but I still recognize their faces although with an extra twenty years on them it takes a few seconds to register who they are. Why my brain decided to play this movie about the dismantling of the Tinley Park plant makes no sense to me. The second thing that makes no sense is the feeling of sadness that overwhelmed me. Maybe it is because four of my former bosses have passed as well as the owner, and their souls were uneasy last night. What did I do to poke my mind into this confusing whirlwind of disconnected stuff being removed, sold, destroyed, or sent someplace else?

All day, I’ve been feeling down because of this dream. Maybe it was because I took a bike ride yesterday instead of a walk. My entire body might have gone into automatic as it did for the many years that I commuted by bicycle to the office. I didn’t drink anything unusual, nor did I over eat. I will never solve this mystery and once this post is online I will put the whole affair to bed.

I enjoyed the fire fly display the night before much better.

Binge Watching TV

It all began when my financial advisor asked me what I was doing since my wife died. I told him I watch movies on TV. He asked me if I watch any of the material being produced by the new companies like Amazon, and Netflix. I told him I can get all the movies I can watch without Netflix. That he dropped a bomb on me. You know these companies are now producing their own movies and series TV shows don’t you? “Well, no I didn’t know that, I’ll have to look into it.”

I can’t lose anything so why not try something new and daring. I’m not so old yet that I’m happy watching public TV programs at fixed times of the day. I found a series produced by Showtime called “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It turned out to be a hilarious comedy about a family in New York. I watched four seasons within a month. I can hardly wait for the next season to begin.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Six months ago A friend suggested I look at a TV program titled Homeland. I did, and I became addicted. We watched episodes together, she in her home, me in mine. Afterwards we texted each other with questions like will “Cary take the bait,” or will “Brodie turn terrorist?”We never could predict what the next moves would be during this complicated story. That is until she watched non-stop to finish the entire series. With modern TV it is easy to watch what you want when you want to watch. Services like xFinity or Amazon Prime Video keep all the seasons of various programs available on their servers. For a nominal subscription price I have been able to see entire seasons of a specific show (like 8-12 episodes) within two evenings. This form to TV viewing is referred to as “binge” watching. I finished eight seasons of Homeland within a couple of months of binge watching several episodes nightly. I couldn’t get enough.

Homeland

After Homeland Another series titled “Billions” came upon the scene, although not very new because it to had four seasons in the can. I chose not to watch it immediately because the main character in Billions was also a main character in Homeland. I felt that I wouldn’t be able to separate them. I watched movies instead. There are some evenings when I will watch two movies before retiring. I love drama, comedy, love stories, adventure stories, and modern westerns. I deplore zombies, terminators, and comic book stories. My movie list now contains 221 films watched. Of those 121 were since my wife Peg died a year ago. I watch a lot of films. So much so that I have set a goal to watch less and write more. It was time to begin “Billions.” Within the first five minutes of this new story I was able to separate actor Damian Lewis from his role in Homeland as a US Marine held hostage by radical Muslim Terrorists for eight years and he new role as Bobby Axelrod the owner of AxeCapital a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. I watched all four and a half seasons and look forward to new episodes as they come online. Then one day while discussing this story with a friend he asked if I was aware that Damian Lewis is an English actor. “Get out,” i exclaimed. Since then I am looking at act biography to learn about the and their careers. Yes, he is Brittish and can speak with a heavy Brittish accent when he wants to. Quite amazing that he can pull off the accent of a New Yorker with ease.

Yellowstone

After “Billions” I found a newer series called “Yellowstone” a story about a rancher in Montana that is at constant war with Indians who want their land back, and real estate developers who want his land to build multi-million dollar estate for the filthy rich. It is a western set in 2020. The scenery alone in this story was enough to hook me into watching Kevin Costner defend his ranch any way he saw fit. The story has mystery, murder, fist fights, chicanery, love, jealousy, and ranch life. I am also waiting for the arrival of new episodes on this one as well. So far there are only three seasons completed.

This afternoon after spending several hours in the garden trimming shrubs and pulling weeds I found myself wanting to know who the actors are in the latest series that I am hooked on called “Heartland.” This story takes place in Alberta, Canada. The scenery is magnificent, and the story revolves around horses. This is the ultimate horse lovers film. The actors in this story must all be experienced equestrians. The story is the longest running TV program in Canada TV history. There are fourteen seasons to watch. The main character is fourteen years old when the story begins. Imagine watching someone grow up on TV in a fictiious story. By the fourteenth season these actors grew up, got married, and had children, and some of them have died. The story has me mesmerized even though I know it is fiction and it is a serial soap opera. I find myself living in this story and I can’t get enough. I want to be one of them, and I find myself digging into the actor’s lives to learn more of them and their families.

Heartland

It is beginning to warm up here in Illinois and when the temperature begins climbing into the nineties along with the humidity I know I will be enjoying watching a series in a darkened cool room.

Dull Day

It must have been all the partying I did on Father’s day but today, I’m feeling punk, no energy, no motivation, no desire for anything. I forced myself to take a walk during the hottest part of the early afternoon, and I am glad because it started raining shortly after I returned. We had a typical summer thunder boomer with high wind, hail, and lots of heavy rain. Now, we are in after rain stillness. It is the kind of day when one would benefit by taking a nap.

Summer has officially arrived in Illinois and for once we had a normal spring which transitioned into a summer. The past few years we had winter followed by a couple days of really cold spring followed by the heat of peak summer. In other words no smooth transition.

COVID-19 is still around here with fifty new cases in our county today. We also have an abundance of testing sites. Manufacturing companies are screening employees in the parking lot before they are even allowed to park. If one has a temperature he just keeps on driving to return home. The attitude in general still prevails with masks and social distancing unless you are in an outdoor eating and drinking establishment. Evidently the virus does not like outdoor eating and drinking.

This morning I had to make a deliberate trip to the gas station to fuel up. Why? my tank showed one gallon left. It is the driest I have ever allowed my car to get in the past fifteen years. I use the dash board display which shows the number of miles remaining in the tank and have always gotten fuel when approaching 100 miles remaining. Today, the meter showed twenty-five miles left.

When I was a young man and my first car was a Volkswagen bug I had the habit of running out of gas with great regularity. The bug didn’t have a gas gauge, but when the tank level reached one gallon the car started to cough and stall and hesitate. That was the signal for the driver to stretch his leg to the firewall and move a lever from vertical to horizontal. That little trick opened the tank to allow the final gallon of gas to be burned. If I was within thirty-five miles of a station I was safe. If not, I walked. When I first bought the car I used the final gallon trick constantly, except I kept running out of gas. It turned out that the final gallon valve didn’t work. I kept complaining to the German service agent at the dealer that the thing didn’t function. He only stared at me in misbelief and refused to check it out. In order to convince him that the valve didn’t work I ran the car out of gas, and my dad towed me to the dealership. I didn’t tell them what the problem was, I just told them the car would not start. A day later they called to tell me the car was fixed. Dad drove me to the dealer and I retrieved my bug. I asked what the problem was and the answer was. . . drum roll, the gas valve didn’t work, and they replaced it. I never ran out of gas again.

A year later I traded the bug for a brand spanking new Karmann Ghia. What a beaut it was. It was really just a bug dressed in Italian clothes. It still relied on the final gallon gas valve for gauging the fuel. On days when I forgot to refill and I knew it was low, I’d take my wife’s car to work and leave her with instructions to go to the gas station before she went anywhere. On several occasions she ran out of gas within a few yards of the fueling station. Poor lady would end up pushing the damn thing the final fifty feet. She never forgave me those incidents and was always my talking gas gauge afterwards. Whenever we got into the car together her first words were “do you have gas?”

Day 37-Quarantine-Social Isolation

There is a huge difference between social distancing and social isolation. I am involved with a group of blind people who often find themselves in the isolation category. What ever form of vision impairment they have it overwhelms them. Of course someone who is blind from birth is in a different category, but people who have aged into blindness have problems dealing with the isolation it brings. I often think about how I would react to living in the darkness all the time. I practice at bedtime when I shut the lights off and try to navigate around the house. I still have the advantage of sight and when my pupils open large looking for light even the darkness is navigable

.

I have on occasion been camping in the wild when there was no moon, and the darkness is total. That is scary dark. Even with very wide open eyes one can not see anything but stars. One night after going to bed I was awakened by owls hooting in the trees behind my house. I snuck downstairs and scanned the dark sky looking for anything, but it was so dark I couldn’t even distinguish the tree line from the sky. Only the hoot pointed me in the direction of the bird. I was convinced that I knew where this creature was but he suddenly became quiet. I stared at the trees in front of my windows and then I felt something, a presence. I swear the owl lifted off his branch and glided over me to another tree. I swore that my wide open eyes saw a darkness about six feet wide glide overhead. I’m sure the owl saw me in technicolor, but I needed radar to see him.

In a few minutes I will join a Zoom meeting of OASIS a support group for the visually impaired. Since COVID-19 began they had to quit meeting at the community center and took to Zoom. Even though they cannot see each other well they react to the voices, and the chatter between individuals. The mood change is instantaneous. Those whose sight is totally gone join by phone and those with partial sight join via computer, and turn on the cameras. We have a jolly good time kibitzing. What is really funny is to watch individuals snacking away or picking their nose, or what ever.

Kim, who runs the group is excellent at what she does and opens with a inspiration reading from her bible. then she will begin asking questions she has prepared like, “what part of being blind depresses you the most?” It takes a few minutes to get warmed up, but that one question provides an outpouring of loneliness. I don’t think Kim has ever gotten past two or three questions before it was time to end the session.

Twenty years ago, when I was prepping myself for retirement I began making lists of what I would do with my time. The lists generated some great new goals, Writing children’s stories was on of them. I told myself that after spending ten hours a day for forty years with people that being alone might require that I seek out people to socialize with. Here are some of the ideas I had and use to this day: go to the grocery store, you always see people in the stores, go to the library, my favorite because I have gotten to know the people who work there and often run into a friend. People need people to live with and to maintain their sanity. OASIS is such a group of people who are seeking like minded people to talk to and to share problems with. Thankfully, with today’s technology such as the telephone, texting, e-mails, Zoom, Skype etc. there are many ways to keep from becoming totally isolated. Even blogging is a form of socializing. I have blog friends who I reply to as often as I can, it makes me feel connected. So comment on the blog sites you visit and you may wind up becoming socially connected.

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