Yes, I’m still here!

I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been busy.  I’m performing in a play at our local community theater, and with rehearsals lasting three hours most nights, (and even on some Saturdays), I didn’t have much free time.  We’re now putting the show on every Friday and Saturday night for three weekends in February: we just finished weekend #2 last night, and next weekend will be our final two performances.  It’s been a LOT of fun, but it has kept me from things like blogging, sleeping, and so on!

The play is a musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”  I am not a fan of musicals generally, but this is an AMAZING cast: those guys can flat-out SING!  It’s also a very funny show.  I have the only non-singing role in the show.  I play Vice-Principal Douglas Panch, who’s the guy that reads the words to be spelled.  My job is simply to move the action along, and provide support for the stars of the show.  I have really enjoyed this experience: part of me will be sad when we finish our last show.

In any case, here’s a few things I’ve seen lately that made me laugh: hope they bring a smile to your face as well!

The Importance of Walking

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 94 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $7000 per month.

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60.  Now he’s 97 years old and we don’t know where he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I’m doing.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven’t lost a pound.  Apparently you have to go there.

Every time I hear the dirty word ‘exercise’, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they’ll say, “Well, she looks good doesn’t she.”

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,……just getting over the hill.

We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads.

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look,  I just find a Happy Hour  and by the time I leave,  I look just fine.

Catholic Dog
Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company.. One day the dog died, and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, ‘Father, my dog is dead… Could ya’ be saying’ a mass for the poor creature?’

Father Patrick replied, ‘I’m afraid not; we cannot have services for an animal in the church…. But there are some Baptists down the lane, and there’s no tellin’ what they believe. Maybe they’ll do something for the creature.’

Muldoon said, ‘I’ll go right away Father. Do ya’ think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?’

Father Patrick exclaimed, ‘Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn’t ya tell me the dog was Catholic?


I promise you cannot read these and not laugh out loud. These are real notes written by parents in the Memphis school district. 

Spellings have been left intact.

1. My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.

2. Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and I had her shot.

3. Dear school: please ecsc’s john being absent on jan . 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.

4. Please excuse gloria from jim today. She is administrating.

5. Please excuse roland from p.e. For a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip..

6. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

7. Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

8. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

9. Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

10. Please excuse ray Friday from school.. He has very loose vowels.

11. Please excuse Lesli from being absent yesterday. She had diahre dyrea direathethe shits.

12. Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.

13.. Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

14. Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

15. I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don’t know what size she wear.

16. Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday. We thought it was Sunday.

17. Sally won’t be in school a week from Friday We have to attend her funeral.

18. My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the marines.

19. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

20. Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover…

22. Please excuse Brenda . She has been sick and under the doctor.

23. Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sorethroat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever an sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.

Now we know why parents are screaming for better education for our kids

A paraprosdokian (from Greek “παρα-“, meaning “beyond” and “προσδοκία”, meaning “expectation”) is a figure of speech or part of a sentence or phrase that is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.

Here are some good examples…….

Paraprosdokian Sentences 

Ø   I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Ø   Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Ø   The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.

Ø   Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Ø   If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.

Ø   We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

Ø   War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Ø   Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Ø   The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Ø   Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it   isn’t.

Ø   To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

Ø   A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

Ø   How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Ø  I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

Ø   A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don’t need it.

Ø   Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR”.

Ø   I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Ø   Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Ø   Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Ø   Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?

Ø   Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

Ø   A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Ø   You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Ø   The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Ø   Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.

Ø   A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Ø   Hospitality:  making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.

Ø   Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

Ø   Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
Ø   There’s a fine line between cuddling, and holding someone down so they can’t get away.

Ø   I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.

Ø   I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

Ø   When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Ø   You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

Ø   To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Ø   Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

Ø   Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

Ø   A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

Ø   If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

Ø   Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Posted in All About Me, Expatriate Life, Humor | 3 Comments

For Everyone Suffering From Winter Blues….

Winter has returned to the Oberpfalz where I live in Germany, alas!  We had about a week of occasional sun and high 30s-low 40s, so nearly all of our massive snow banks have melted, and some of us dared hope for an early spring.  But the cold and the snow are back, and it reminds me of why Las Vegas is such an attractive retirement option!

To help fight all that gloom and grey, and the depressing feelings that come with this time of year, I offer some photos of nice weather and a very nice place.  Hope they bring some cheer to your day!  (These were all taken by me on a Christmas trip to Oman, but don’t expect National Geographic!)

This is a Portuguese fort in Muscat, the capital city of Oman.

Here’s an interesting way to keep a kid from wandering off at the beach!  This is on the Gulf of Oman, on the Arabian Sea.

Here’s a typical date-palm oasis, near the town of Nakhl.

It’s a beautiful day, and it’s a holiday, so everyone (including us!) decided to have a picnic in a wadi.  As you can see, Omanis are amazingly friendly people!  I wish more people understood that Islam is mostly made up of people just like this: they don’t like the towel-headed lunatics any more than we do!

Who says all Muslim women wear black? Not in Oman!  These two young Omanis had no idea I was taking their picture, probably because it was taken through a bus window, as we were driving by!  It came out pretty good, I think!

TELL ME THIS KID ISN’T CUTE!  This little Omani boy is wearing the traditional garb that nearly all males wear: the “dishdasha” robe with the embroidered “taqiya” cap.

Playing games on a picnic: an international pastime!  And check out the game that these ladies are playing!

Finally, I leave you tonight with a picture from another beautiful spot in Oman: just imagine  you’re sitting under a palm tree here, reading a good book and thinking about your friends shoveling snow!  (It was a lot of fun doing that, by the way!)  Hope you liked the pictures!

Posted in All About Me, European Travel, Expatriate Life, Travel Pictures | Leave a comment

Boys in Uniform

Only a very few of my friends here in Germany will “get” the title of this post.  I intend to keep it that way.

Last weekend I was in Vienna with some friends, and we had the opportunity to see the Vienna Boys’ Choir sing at Mass in the Hofkapelle in the Hofburg palace.  They sang the Haydn Short Mass.  We couldn’t see the altar, or the mass (except on TV monitors) but I had a pretty decent view of the choir, so I tried filming some of their songs.

I think the thing that I found so interesting about it was that, if you think about the Vienna Boys’ Choir, you think of immaculately dressed and groomed boys, singing and acting like little angels.  Well, I’m here to tell you: they DO sing like angels, but in between songs, as the mass went along (since they were up in the choir, and basically no one in the church could see them, they thought!), they were chattering, poking each other, laughing, and pretty much acting like a bunch of 10-14 year old boys!  Very refreshing, really.

Anyway, here are the videos I shot.  The first three feature the entire choir, while the fourth includes a soprano soloist.  They are accompanied by a men’s choir from the Vienna Opera, and the musicians are all from the Vienna Philharmonic.  Amazing music!  (Just ignore the shaky camera work….!)

Oh, and Pam: this one is for YOU!  The ultimate “boys in uniform” story!

Posted in All About Me, European Travel, Expatriate Life, Music, Travel Pictures | Leave a comment

Weekend Edition #2

I will be traveling for the next several days, but I did want to post a couple of things for the weekend.

I’m starting my weekend off with three cartoons.  They made me laugh, and maybe they’ll bring a smile to your face as well!

First off, let’s start with Opus and Bloom County.  Anyone remember that comic strip?  What a great one it was!

Next, another one from one of my favorite strips, Non Sequitur.

And finally, what else?  Calvin and Hobbes, of course!

Have a great weekend!

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Women and Cats

Thanks to Garrison Keillor (Prairie Home Companion) for the following!

“I’ve never  understood why women love cats.  Cats are independent, they don’t listen, they don’t come in when you call, they like to stay out all night, and when they do come home they expect to be fed and stroked and then left alone to sleep.  Everything that women hate in men, they love in cats.”

Posted in Expatriate Life | 5 Comments

Marine Humor

I got home from work very late tonight, so I don’t have time for a long post.  But someone sent me this over the weekend, and I wanted to put it on the blog right away.  (My liberal, feminazi friends might want to avert their eyes at this point…..)

A Marine squad was marching north of Fallujah when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist who was badly injured and unconscious. On the opposite side of the road was an American Marine in a similar but less serious state. The Marine was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to both men, the squad leader asked the injured Marine what had happened. The Marine reported, “I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed insurgent. We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along the road.. I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein was a miserable, lowlife scum bag who got what he deserved. and he yelled back that Barack Obama is a lying, good-for-nothing, left wing Commie who isn’t even an American. So I said that Osama Bin Laden dresses and acts like a frigid, mean-spirited lesbian!  He retaliated by yelling, “Oh yeah? Well, so does Nancy Pelosi!” “And, there we were, in the middle of the road, shaking hands, when a truck hit us.”

Posted in Expatriate Life, Humor, Military | 1 Comment

I Cannot Possibly Say It Better Than This Ex-Marine

This article is going around the internet, erroneously (according to attributed to the actor on CSI that has a similar name.  Regardless of who wrote it, though, I have to share it here.  I can’t remember the last time I read something with which I was in 100%, total, complete agreement.  If you want to know why I, and millions of other Americans, are angry, read this.

“I’m 63 and I’m Tired”

by Robert A. Hall

I’m 63.  Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked hard since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I’m tired of being told how  bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers  In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of  Zimbabwe , the freedom of the press of China  the crime and violence of Mexico , the tolerance for Christian people of Iran , and the freedom of speech of Venezuela .

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because  they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls;  of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”;  of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Al lah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told  that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but thinks that Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of  presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News?  Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I’m tired of being told  that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.

I’m tired of being told  that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do.  Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off?  I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I #@*# sure think druggies chose to  take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I’m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime What’s next?  Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”?  And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion.  I’m willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record  and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military…. Those are the citizens we need.

I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need  bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the ” Illinois  Combine” of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet.

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I’m real tired.  But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.  

Robert  A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.

Posted in All About Me, Expatriate Life, Political Commentary | Leave a comment