Friday, December 31, 2010

Flashback Friday # 120

The Trial

A warm welcome to you on this last day of 2010. Perhaps you are bewildered at the title of this Flashback Friday post. If asking yourself how a trial has to do anything with childhood memories perplexes you, continue reading.

In our history class (the same one that had the slave auction)we held a mock trial. Here is the synopsis. A man was driving home from a party. He had four martinis while there. His car's defroster did not work properly. While he was wiping fog from the windshield, a boy ran from between two cars and was struck by this man's car and killed. His alcohol blood level was beneath the states limit for drunk driving. Is he responsible for the death of this child?

Mr. Bowser assigned everyone a role to play. He chose a judge, bailiff, 12 member jury, expert witnesses and defense and prosecuting attorney teams. I was one member of the three man prosecuting attorney team. The most popular boy in the class was chosen to be the car driver.

The defense kept hammering the point that the driver wasn't drunk. We kept hammering the point that, yes, he wasn't drunk, but he was impaired. We also pointed out the he knew his vehicle was unsafe, but continued to drive it.

Unlike the slave auction, that took all day, the trial was kept to the confines of the regular class schedule. Since this was the case, the trial lasted a week, given the testimonies from the various witness and the cross examination thereof.

On the day of closing arguments, I was chosen to give the closing argument for the prosecution. If I must say so myself, it was quite a rousing rendition. It would have made Perry Mason proud. However, since the jury was nine girls and three boys, the jury became hung on convicting the driver. The foreman argued that since the boy was jaywalking, the driver couldn't be held responsible. I personally think that the girls didn't want the popular, hunky boy to think that they didn't like him.

Since the jury was hung, there was no conviction. Mr. Bowser said that this was the first time that the driver hadn't been convicted. I have to wonder if he purposely selected jurors that he knew admired the popular boy.

That got me interested in possibly becoming a lawyer. Who knows, if the cost of law school wasn't so prohibitive to my family, it might have happened some day.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Crowning Of The Champion

Our fantasy football league at the church ended Sunday with the team "Men Without Fear" taking the title. They made the playoffs as the #4 seed and knocked off #5("Huskers Rule The Big 10"). They then had to play #1 seed "Big Blue". A win over them put them in the "Super Bowl" against "Blake's Airforce (#6 seed) who knocked off #3 ("Harrys") and #2 ("Bible Thumpers"). The Men Without Fear team totally dominated Blake's Airforce to win the title plus the coveted Stanley's Cup trophy and the championship banner.(a close up of the trophy & banner can be seen here)

This is DD holding aloft is "valuable prizes".

In related news, I took the title in our work league for the 2nd time in a row and fifth time since we started 11 years ago.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Couple Of Seasonal Pics

Everyone takes pictures this time of year. I took a couple that I think are pretty neat.

These are the three wise men from our children's musical "Not So Silent Night". I should say that these are the three wise guys. I've had them all in my Sunday School class (two are currently there) therefore I should know. (That's my grandson "The Boy" in the middle.)

I had to get a picture of this . I spotted something unusual while I was out Christmas shopping with "The Ogre".

Yes, My friends, That is a Jaguar sitting in a Big Lots parking lot. I always thought that people who drove Jags shopped at Nieman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue. I found it humorous to see one at Big Lots (but then again, perhaps this is how he saved enough money to buy one).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Flashback Friday # 119

The Animated Christmas Classics

A hearty welcome to all who have taken the time in this busy, busy season to stop and read my ramblings. In today's post I discuss the classic Christmas cartoons. Since I was young before the advent of the VCR, if you missed them when they were on TV, you had to wait a whole year before you could see them again. We set up our TV watching schedule around these.

We now live in a world where you can watch these any time you want, thanks to video, DVD, TIVO and the Internet. I own several of them on VHS (yes I still have a working VCR). We make it a point to watch them every year.

When was the last time you saw any of them? When you watch them, do you really pay attention, or just go through the drill. Here are a few trivia questions for you to try. No peeking at the answers, Santa is watching and you'll wind up on the "naughty list".

Q: What does Lucy really want for Christmas in A Charlie Brown Christmas?
A. Cash
B. Real estate
C. A pony
D. Tickets to France

Q: What is Linus planning to do with his blanket when he grows up?
A. Perhaps turn it into a sports coat
B. Turn it into a quilt
C. Cover his car seat with it
D. Give it up

Q:What is the name of the drummer boy in The Little Drummer Boy?
B. Jonah
C. Ben
D. Aaron

Q:What was the problem with the Jack-in-the box in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer?
A. His spring is broken
B. His name is Charlie
C. His hinge is broken
D. His latch won't open

Q: In How the Grinch stole Christmas, Where was he going to dump the stuff he took?
A. From the top of Mt. Crumpet
B. From the top of Mt. Who
C. Into the Valley of Despair
D. The Whoville dump

Q. Who was the narrator of How the Grinch Stole Christmas?
A.Vincent Price
B. Orson Wells
C. Lon Chaney Jr.
D. Boris Karloff

Q. In Frosty the Snowman, what is the name of the magician?
A. Professor Wonder
B. Professor Marvel
C. Professor Magic
D. Hocus Pocus

Q: Who voiced Santa in both Santa Claus is Coming to Town AND The Year Without A Santa Claus?
A. Mickey Rooney
B. Buddy Hackett
C. Fred Astaire
D. Danny Kaye

Q: Who voiced characters in ALL the following classics: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Coming to Town & Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol?
A. Mel Blanc
B. Daws Butler
C. Sebastian Cabot
D. Paul Frees


The answers to the questions spell out bad bad bad. If you did bad, bad, bad on the quiz, come over and watch them with us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Riddle

On the the back of my Dilbert page-a-day calendar was a riddle. The riddle is "He who has it, doesn't tell. He who takes it doesn't know it. He who knows it doesn't want it. What is it?

The answer is counterfeit money. However, when I posed this question to a co-worker, his response was "An STD?" ROFL

Monday, December 20, 2010

Long Lines At The Pump

While travelling home today, I noticed that gas prices had shot up 20 cents a gallon from the price I paid this morning. While at a stop light, not far from my house, I saw nine cars vying to get into the local UDF to buy gas. There would have been more cars on the lot if the lot was bigger. Why the mad scramble to buy gas? UDF hadn't raised prices yet. They were at $2.82 per gallon while everyone else in town was at $3.05. I snapped a quick picture since the light was about ready to change.

Thank you big oil companies for gouging the public before the holidays. I hope you make it on Santa's naughty list.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wait. Did I Miss Something?

We were in the store today (December 18) and saw the most amazing thing.

Easter Candy! Whoa, wait a minute. Winter hasn't even officially begun (that comes Tuesday), and Spring is in the air? Did the Easter Bunny throw a body check and take out Santa? In the movie Nightmare Before Christmas, the Halloween folks kidnap Santa and try to do Christmas. Are the Easter Folk plotting the same thing? Here is a current picture from our front porch:

I could hide plenty of Easter eggs under the snow!!!! Come on retailers. Let us enjoy one holiday before you start pushing another.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flashback Friday # 118

The Spelling Bee

A warm welcome on this chilly day to those who have stopped by. Today I bring fort a narrative that the Spellcheck will find hard to believe. (My Spellcheck thinks I'm an idiot.)

In 8th grade, we were given a 50 word spelling test. The top 25 spellers would compete for a chance to go to the county level. I was somewhat surprised to discover that I was among the top 25.

The 25 finalist met in the auditorium one night. The school wanted the parents to be able to watch and cheer on their children. It was a good sized crowd.
One by one the kids misspelled words. Round one finished and I was still going. Round two went by. Round three I was still unscathed. By this time, There was only five students remaining. These were going on to the county spelling bee.

Round four saw the field whittled to four. I was up. My word was "submerge". I spelled it as "submerdge". I finished fourth. My best friend, Bart, finished third.

The county spelling bee was held in Cardington, my Mom's hometown. The school there had a visiting dignitary who agreed to be the Spell Master. She was from New England.

Needless to say, her New England accent was a bit harsh on our mid-western ears. In the second round, she asked me to spell "Huwisk". My eyes got big, I gulped, and said, "Huwisk, h-u-w-i-s-k. Huwisk" That is incorrect she bellowed. The proper spelling is w-h-i-s-k. I guess in New England, you pronounce the WH words as HW. Around here, Wheat is pronounced "weet". Whisk is pronounced "wisk". Nevertheless, I was out.

None of the kids from my school fared too well. It just hwasn't our night.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ta Da! Itsa Contada

We've practiced Sunday. We practiced Tuesday. We practiced Tonight (Thursday). We've been practicing for a couple of months now. This coming Sunday is the big day. 6PM at ACC. Be there if you can.

All I can say is that the voice I use in hitting some of the HIGH notes would make Pee Wee Herman sound like a manly man.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flashback Friday # 117

Political correctness did not exist in this game

Welcome back one and all. In today's post we cover a game we played in school that would have the PC Police beside themselves today. I'm sure the game is still played today, but under a different name. What it's name is today, I have no clue. The game I am talking about is "Smear the Queer".

The rules are very simple. First you need a football. You throw said football. Everyone races to it. Whoever picks up the football becomes "The Queer" and everyone else tries to tackle, or "Smear" the ball carrier, hence the name.

Those of us who were manly men took the brunt of punishing tackles with a glint in our eyes and a grunt emanating from our lips. Many times it took three to four people to bring me down, with my low center of gravity and keen sense of balance. Those who lacked manliness would fling the football over their shoulder as soon as a would-be tackler breathed down their neck.

This game was a game for all seasons. You could play when it was sunny. You could play in the snow. You could even play in the rain (but what a mess). When we played it at school, in the snow, we had to sit the rest of the day in cold, wet pants.

We would play until lunch time was over, or until someone got hurt, whichever came first. If someone got hurt, the teacher would always say "I told you someone would get hurt roughhousing like that". Do people even use the word "roughhousing" anymore?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amusing T-Shirts

I work every year at our county fair and at the sweet corn festival. I also go out every year on Black Friday. I have seen some very amusing t-shirts. Here is what some of them say:

"If life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic."

"Warning, If zombies are chasing us, I'm tripping you."

"Dear Math, I am not a therapist. Solve your own problems."

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself...and spiders."

"I support recycling. I wore this yesterday."

"Pyros of the world, Ignite."

"I am disappointment in you're grammar."

"An apple a day will keep anyone away, if thrown hard enough."

"I have not yet begun to procrastinate."

"I'm confused. Oh wait, maybe I'm not."

"5/4ths of people have trouble with fractions."

"If life gives you lemons, keep them. Because, hey, free lemons."

"Why don't hedgehogs just share the hedge?"

"I'm a vegetarian, except for meal time."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Flashback Friday # 116

Goodbye Pauline

Greetings to all who have stopped by for a spell and to those who have accidentally stumbled upon my ranting & reminisces.

All (or should I say both) of you who read my Flashback Fridays for a while, know of my infatuation with Pauline Pershing, my neighbor when I was a teen. She was the first girl that I was ever "in love" with, even though she wouldn't give me the time of day.

One day, when the school bus was coming down the road, I noticed that Pauline hadn't come out of her house yet. Both of her parent's cars were still in the driveway. Perhaps she's sick? I never had both parents stay home with me when I was sick. I got on the bus and hoped she was feeling better when I got home.

When I got home, I was taken completely off guard. Not only were both of her parent's cars gone, but everything else of theirs was too. They had moved away while I was in school. I had no clue as to where they moved to. I was heart broken.

A couple of years later, I was at our county seat (home of the Rat Palace movie theater, see Flashback Friday #91) when who do you think I ran into? If you said "Pauline and her family", you would be correct. There had been several issues with their house that the landlord hadn't fixed, so they found a different house, closer to their dad's work.

When I saw her, all the old feelings I had for her came flooding back. I asked her what time it was, she told me she didn't have a watch. She still wouldn't give me the time of day. I did eventually get over her, but that is a topic for another time & another post.

Did you ever have a "crush" on someone that was hard to shake?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Too Cool

This is a really cool optical illusion. Don't worry, nothing is going to scream at you and scare you. I promise.