Jim’s Jottings

In this case ‘light’ means non-heavy – as in: If you are going to try cross country skiing, start with a small country.
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The First Christmas
If the first Christmas, the three wise men had been women, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, cleaned the stable, helped deliver the baby, made a casserole and brought practical gifts.
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Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of its tail.
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Environmentalists are complaining that too many catalogs, especially L.L. Bean, Orvis and Eddie Bauer, are selling nature short by printing on virgin paper instead of recycled paper.
What is virgin paper? Paper made from trees that have never been seeded?
Several years ago makers of newsprint, the stuff you’re holding to read this, felt they were forced to use recycled paper in their final product. These makers said recycled paper would cost more and not hold up as good through the printing process. We’re talking cheap paper here.
So, maybe we get recycled paper and maybe we don’t, but major newsprint makers started putting “recycled” on their packages, and we were told it had up to 5 percent recycled. We wondered at the time if they meant only the label had recycled paper.
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Nothing better to do dept.
Swedish and Chinese scientists analyzed the DNA of 654 dogs from Europe, Asia, Africa and North America and found that almost all dogs share a common gene pool. It proved that man’s best friend came from East Asia at least 15,000 years ago.
The key words here are ‘almost all dogs.’ That’s a scientist’s way of saying, “We’re not really sure, and don’t put me under oath.”
Our conclusion is that no scientist wanted to say the Bull-Mastiff and Rottweiler came from one of their countries. Certainly no one but the French would want to be held responsible for the Poodle and only the Mexicans want Chihuahua credit.
Of course, we Americans want the labs, spaniels and hounds. Things that won’t bite us and we won’t step on.
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Pacific Life Insurance Company brags in their commercials about helping people reach their financial goals. They do it with action film of professional football players.
In none of the financial planning pitches I’ve read or heard about has anyone compared what I should do for my financial future to that of a million-dollar-a-game athlete. They would have lost me on the first play.
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Very longtime readers of Jottings know that I have a love of bread and butter sliced pickles (non-store-brand) topped with creamy peanut butter.
I should have reminded you November was National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, not to be confused with National Peanut Butter month which is March.
I’m closing with some peanut facts, then I’m going for a spoonful: The peanut is a legume, not a nut; Peanut butter is nutritious; Creamy is preferred over crunchy; George Washington Carver (1864-1943) is the recognized father of the peanut industry. He made over 300 products from the peanuts.

? My current advice: ‘Believe their actions, not their words.?
? Baseball is called both America’s pastime and America’s game. At the All Star game recently the lead off hitter was Japanese. What a country!
? With little else to do and time to do it, I decided to test my chewing time vs. ma’dog Shayna. I took eight chomps before I felt comfortable swallowing a piece of weiner. Shayna didn’t chomp at all, just swallowed. A piece of steak took me 14 chews. Shayna, four. What the heck is her hurry?
? Love it the way office holders in Washington, DC use time to pitch whatever they’re legislatin?.
‘This legislation will save billions of dollars over the next 35 years,? they may say.
They obligate future generations and administrations, and don’t bother to explain. What president Obama has said is, ‘Just follow the plans I have laid out.?
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? Take time to Work — it is the Price of Success.
? Take time to Think — it is the source of Power.
? Take time to Play — it is the secret of Perpetual Youth.
? Take time to Read — it is the Fountain of Wisdom.
? Take time to Worship — it is the Highway to Reverence.
? Take time to be Friendly — it is the road to Happiness.
? Take time to Laugh — it is the Music of the Soul.
? Take time to Dream — it is Hitching your wagon to a Star.
? Take time to Live.
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I believe I mentioned ‘Liz Tricks? before. Here are a few more of her (Elizabeth Baldwin’s) pranks.
? If they like premium beer, give them the cheapest beer you can buy.
? Put candy in a plastic bag inside an empty Epsom Salts box.
? Plan a white tie evening and take your guests to a White Castle in a limo.
? Give husband of ailing wife a recipe for chicken soup and a live chicken.
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It’s been several years since I first gave Jottings readers this quote of Jim Covert, former Supt. of Royal Oak Schools.
‘I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatsoever I can.
‘I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.
‘I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle for me, it is a sort of splendid torch which I have hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.?
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? Remember car coats?
First off, they weren’t CAR coats. They had bulky bottoms that ended at our bottoms. They bunched up when you sat down in a car, and were too short to be warm, and too long and bulky to flex. Why do we let some dippy designer sell us into stuff that gets rejected even at garage sales?
? One of my recent ex-friends said he was going to start a newspaper in opposition to me. He said, ‘I’m going to take the opposite position from you on whatever you write . . . just as soon as I figure out what the opposite side of a straddled fence is.?
? The reason Congress takes recesses is so members can go home to mend their fences before the voters give them the gate.
? The best description of a politician I ever heard is: He shakes your hand before election and our confidence afterwards.
? They all promise you pie in the sky, but we all know it’s our dough they plan on using.

Somewhere back in time the makers of black and brown belts concluded they had to do something about the popularity of white belts. They decided to attack the white belt makers with a fashion lie:
‘White belts should be worn only from Memorial Day to Labor Day.?
And, it caught on. You know, just like flying saucers, spinach-is-good-for-you campaigns, cats make good pets and stimulus packages.
But, this year the buying public (women who kept the white belt makers in business) convinced the makers there was money to be made in these dire times, with what will probably be viewed as a racist trick by black and brown belt makers, by flooding the internet (I refuse to put a capital letter on that word) with: ‘I love men in white belts? twitters.
Alas, men in white belts are everywhere. Mine is a no-holes belt. It has some sort of notches and catches that can easily be set and released. Love it!
So, what happened? White belt attackers have risen. People like Marty Hackel, Golf Digest’s Mr. Fashion, attack.
In the July issue he wrote: ‘What’s with all the white belts? Hey, tour pros, the 1970s called. Please give back the white belts. Actually, this retro fashion trend isn’t tacky at all. But if you’re thinking of wearing one–such as this Sumi-G Dormy ($85)–here are a few things to remember:
? 38 is the number. If your waist size is more than 38 inches, you’re allowed to wear a white belt only if you signed up for karate.
? Match your belt with your shoes and hat.
? Slim vs. wide: The wider the waist, the slimmer the belt, and vice versa.?
A golf pro shop guy named Tim gave me this Hackel nonsense.
But, this is sort of related. I’ve been trying to write a song to the tune of ‘My Bonnie lies over the ocean, my Bonnie lies over the sea. Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.?
Mine starts, ‘My body lies over my belt line, Oh, bring back my body to me.?
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My Marine brother’s ashes are being brought from his longtime Florida home to his birth state for distribution. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1943, played football with them through two colleges, before getting his lieutenant bars. By then the war was over and he went to Japan to play golf. That’s what he told me.
Some years later when I asked him why he volunteered, he said, ‘Because our president called us.?
This was the feeling at the time of World War II. We volunteered because our country and president needed us. We’ve been at war constantly ever since. How prevalent is that ‘volunteer? feeling today? I don’t know.
Looking back at the last 11 presidents, I can wonder at how many of today’s civilians would risk their lives for a single man.
Would I do it for Ike, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama? Of course, I’m a lot older now. I volunteered at 17. I can’t put myself into being 17 in today’s world, but I will not encourage my grandchildren to volunteer for service in the current world leadership positions.
It’s insanity out there. Some country’s leaders have always wanted to eliminate us, but North Korea, Iran, Nicaragua?
According to some new reports, few countries really like us.
They oppose us in the U.N. Security Council, trade negotiations, fishing rights, flight lines, etc.
What they really like about us, while complaining, is our money.

Thanksgiving Day – The only family ‘day? we had in my growing up years. Our father didn’t observe Christmas and made it a point to book his railroad job every December 25.
But we feasted on Thanksgiving. Usually, we had goose. Dad liked goose, probably because more it had dark meat.
He made the dressing. I was too young to appreciate his efforts, but he was in the kitchen for hours, cutting and mixing. He also had a toddy handy.
Of course, there was squash, potatoes, vegetable, cranberries, bread, salad and pumpkin pie to be made. Mother did that stuff.
And, most loved, the gravy. Wow, what a difference a great gravy makes. Gravy really makes the meal.
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Weather lore: Cobwebs on the grass are a sign of frost.
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Today’s Thanksgiving morn isn’t totally different, but the characters sure are. Daughter Luan will have done most of the shopping . . . the turkey has been in my freezer for some time.
Dinner is a mid-afternoon thing, after the football game. I suppose we have to watch the inept Lions again. Luan and I will toast ourselves with a bloody Mary, then the chopping begins. I get involved in some of that.
My last use of the pre-meal is to hold the turkey’s rear end up and hold the legs apart to make Luan’s bird stuffing easier.
We expect 15 at the dinner table. With the aroma floating and appetites swelling, all await we adults urging the young twins to recite their simple prayer. ‘God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for this food,? eventually comes out of their mouths.
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Never miss an opportunity to make others happy even if you have to leave them alone to do it.
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Then the passing begins. Hey, hey, no sampling as it goes by. No one eats ’til I eat. Ready? Go! Talking ceases, silverware clangs, then someone always says, ‘Pass the salt, please.?
Every feast, home or away, that request is given. I can’t help but wonder if it’s habit, ’cause often the salt and pepper is requested prior to any tasting.
In too short a time the self-stuffing is over, but ‘Did you leave room for pumpkin pie??
‘No, but I’ll have a little piece,? says one who has found a small cavity in their tummy.
Then the picking up and putting away begins. I miss this, because I sit at the end of the dining room table and I can’t just jump up and help.
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There was an old man from Nantucket
who kept his cash in a bucket
But, his daughter named Nan,
Ran away with a man –
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.
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Ah, but the best isn’t necessarily over. For when all are gone, and I’m again alone, there’s a carcass under a sheet of aluminum wrap to pick at, there’s some marshmallow, mandrin oranges, sour cream, coconut and pineapple salad to re-taste, a small slice of pumpkin pie, a belt to let out, a sigh of satisfaction and my lounge chair to revisit.
Then too, I can recall the meal’s beginning, ‘God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for this food,? but why didn’t you, God, tell me to stop when the full point was reached?

‘Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic? is the motto and teaching of Dale Carnegie programs. This is most often used in reference to selling.
Change it just a bit and it becomes a teaching of life: ‘Act and talk positive and you’ll become more positive.?
That’s my thought for this column. Today, I’m totally fed up with the political campaign language, the negative presentation of news and the claims that nothing is right in the world.
Today I’m going positive, at least for a little while.
I’m not listening to the unemployment figures. I’m hearing the employment numbers. Ninety-four percent of our workforce is employed.
In other words, nearly everyone who wants to work has a job.
A way to make this more visual: try to enter north- and southbound lanes of traffic on M-24, Baldwin Road, our expressways, M-15, etc. How crowded are these roads . . . they are packed.
In other words, we’re still doing what we want.
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So the Detroit Lions and Tigers have faltered. I had no trouble dropping them and going with the winning Detroit Shock. Here’s a positive team.
Those camera close-ups of players like Katie Smith and Taj McWilliams-Franklin following their WNBA championship game were as uplifting for fans as they were for the team.
Just following their Coach Bill Laimbeer is exciting. NBA champion coaches WNBA champion. Wow, what achievements.
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Today is cool and sunny, like fall in Michigan is expected to be. Colors are again outstanding. It’s the kind of weather that calls for ridding ourselves of the way-too casual look of emblazoned t-shirts and shorts, and don the adult look of long-sleeve shirts and pressed pants.
It was a pleasure to renew acquaintances with the friendly dry cleaner.
The cooler weather also puts vigor in our veins. It puts more people into the outdoors. It livens us. Give me pressed pants and a fresh, long-sleeved shirt and I’ll show you a man with pride. There’s no pride in the dress of men in shorts and short sleeved pullovers.
There’s enthusiasm in proper dressers. It makes us more positive beings.
We can also credit the coolness of fall to our getting better, fuller nights of sleep. Ah, pull on a blanket and close the lids.
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Now for a thought or two from Norman Vincent Peale. ‘If you think in negative terms you will get negative results.?
Yes, this is from Dr. Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking. I’d forgotten I even had it. These readings helped following the death of My Hazel. His thoughts help now as I try to pull myself from the over abundance of negative news.
Things aren’t totally bad. Sure there is war, human suffering, disease, etc., but ‘there’s sun in the morning and moon at night,? as the song goes.
We have some freedoms, churches, ice cream, hills and dales, barbecued baby back ribs, roofs, birdhouses, fast food joints, holidays, vacations, a wool scarf, fields to play in, animals to pet and babies that make us all smile . . . think about it. Positive can prevail!

As person who sits down once a week to write a newspaper column, let me tell you it is very difficult this week to have positive thoughts.
I’m facing a blank computer screen and all I think of are those incompetents in Washington, DC. On another day, I’d include Lansing, since we’re in the fourth year of a recession here.
Damn the Democrats. Damn the GOP. Damn the President.
All three have voter approval lower than a snake’s belly. And, to a party, they’ll say they are not to blame for the financial condition brought to our country and we as individuals. This is being written the morning after the president’s recovery package was turned down by members of the House.
An hour ago, Mr. Bush told us again the passage of this measure was all that would save us from foreclosures unlimited, complete failure of financial institutions, ending education funding and breadlines from coast to coast. Is he right?
No one really knows, and the man has been wrong before. We can’t have blind confidence in his leadership. At the same time, we have to assume he knows more about the problem than we do. But on the other hand, newspaper-folk know nothing is to be assumed.
Mr. Bush said today, ‘The Congress must act!? And, ‘We are depending on decisive action!? I have watched politician after politician before microphones saying, ‘Matter of fact is…?
The thing is, there isn’t a fact to be found. It’s guesswork.
And, the guesswork involves their reelection. If any of these electeds have the country’s best interest in mind, it doesn’t show. Yesterday’s House vote was along reelection lines.
Those up for the November election voted the way their constituents have been polled to feel. We have no confidence in Washington decisions.
We know Washington’s decisions brought about the current crisis. We know lawmakers are interested in more power. We know they allowed the two major government financial institutions to fail.
We know their failure to prevent those failures gives us absolutely no confidence they will be able to correctly disperse $700 billion into our system and reduce our debts, let alone lead to prosperity. Washington has smashed the American dream for many. After working toward their reelection, smashing dreams is their second choice.
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No, I don’t feel better having written the above.
We must move on. But right now I’m going to get dressed and take ma’dog Shayna for a ride.
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Well, I’m back, and at least the trip made Shayna feel better. Before I’ll feel cured, however, I must predict some things that will happen between now and March. March is Boards of Review month. That’s when property owners appear before their fellow citizens and talk to them about the too large assessments placed on their land, as of Dec. 31.
That time, 3 months, is seething time. Along with this tax review comes budgeting difficulties for schools, townships, villages, counties, etc. which are dependent on local property values for their existence. Local tax revenues will drop.
Then will come an out-pouring of pleas for millage votes to support school programs, townships, etc. that schools, townships, etc. have continued (and increased) even though they’ve known for a couple years property values have plummeted as property sales declined.
Expect frantic cries for help, ‘or we’ll have to stop bussing and cut curriculum, lay off police and firemen, leave roads potholed, not feed the homeless and cut medical care.?
To that I say, ‘Oh, my. Cut Chinese language from third graders?? The world will end, if there is a world left after Congress? bailout.

According to Obama, McCain’s advisers are &#@*% lobbyists. According to McCain, Obama’s advisers are &%^$# lobbyists.
Lobbyists are like &%$@# politicians pushing products and ideas for the sole purpose of getting reelected. In that way the two are alike. We can bad mouth both, and we can thank both. Lobbyists are the best informed people about a subject or product. They are also best informed about the competition’s subject or product.
It is from them our electeds get their information. Come on now, you don’t really believe our representatives and senators read all those bills that are introduced each year in Washington, DC? And, understand them?
These electeds are busy reading their constituents? minds, trying to decide which decision will bring the most popular response . . . (number of reelection votes).
Besides, our electeds have aides to read proposed laws. And, they too are lobbyed toward or against a position. Without lobbyists our representatives would be uninformed.
If McCain and Obama have lobbyists running their campaigns, as each accuses the other of having, they shouldn’t be condemned. They should be congratulated for selecting people with such background and knowledge.
The (quote) BIG OIL (unquote) companies, the energy producers, chemical companies, automakers, Farm Bureau, Blue Cross, AARP, etc. aren’t going to hire dummies to represent them on the Hill or in Lansing.
They are going to hire Dale Carnegie types, those who can convince, not upset; are smooth not harsh; listen, not over talk; pick up tabs, entertain and just be nice to be around. And, intelligent.
Lobbyist are paid big bucks to do their job. Big bucks aren’t paid to the mediocre. So, hiring lobbyists to work for you, as McCain and Obama are doing, seems (to me) to be good hires.

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Quick hits

? Remember the school playground chant, ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire?? Yell that in Washington, D.C. and there would be a stampede to alarm boxes.
? I think managers of professional ball teams should insist on players being clean-shaven, getting normal haircuts and behaving like their mother is the coach.
? I enjoy mowing our lawn, but hate picking up grass clippings. My three tomato plants produced plenty of tomatoes that weren’t pretty. My geraniums were more spectacular than ever. And, my pontoon boat never left the dock this summer. Bummer.
? Shayna never remembers where I left my glasses.
? My final limerick – forever.
There was a young lady from Eton,
Whose figure had plenty of meat on.
She said, ‘Marry me, dear
And you’ll find that my rear
Is a nice place to warm your feet on.
? Kyle Melinn and Angela Vasquez-Giroux have written a piece, ‘The Incredible Shrinking Lansing State Journal.? It can probably be applied to many daily newspaper and some weeklies.
They predict by the year 2014, daily newspapers will have Web editions only. One Silicon Valley guy, Paul Safo, says print newspapers will end by 2014.
He also says by then people will be happy with the change because ‘the quality will have become so diminished, especially when compared to on-line offerings.?
However, the predictions are less dire for this newspaper. Readers want community news, and we’re where that’s at (in the community).

Prior to my undergoing back surgery some years ago, a body scan was ordered by the surgeon. That meant lying down and being shoved into a tube.
As the nurses started to insert me, I panicked.
I have claustrophobia and no way was I going to allow them to engulf me in that machine. The nurse consulted the surgeon, he ordered a shot and when I awoke, I was in surgery.
Last week another doctor ordered a body scan. I talked to the people in charge before making an appointment. No, they wouldn’t knock me out. But, ‘It’s only for about three minutes and you can turn your head and look out. Or close your eyes and think of the rolling tide.?
I made the appointment, then set about programming myself. I reread previously collected anti-fear suggestions. I practiced counting to 60, three times to see how long that felt.
I asked the Lord for some help, then had a glass of wine before entering the reception chamber.
During these pre-procedure days I also asked myself to review the reasons this immersion was recommended. I’d heard leg pains should not be ignored: they may be the warning of a stroke, heart attack, asthma, hernia, bunions, hair loss and dry skin.
The headline to this column is the first of six points about curing fear in my collection. That one is no more comforting than the sixth: ‘Expect, allow and accept that fear will reappear.? Anyway, all this pre-planning seemed to work. I brainwashed myself into believing I’m male, egotistical, proud, and I can handle this.
Enter the tube, start counting to 60: one hundred one, one hundred two, etc. After getting to 60 five times I heard the attendant say, ‘Sounds like a bearing is acting up. I’ll have to go back a ways.? Oh, good!
I should have taken the bottle of wine as a takeout.
Well, I got through it fine and hopefully will get results when some Merlot or Zinfandel is handy.
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Observations: Recently the tv news showed a picture of a woman who had just escaped from jail. I noticed she put her earrings on before escaping. But her hair was disheveled. Ah, priorities!
Seldom, in fact never in recent memory, have I seen a female news reader on the tube with a straight part in her hair. Do they do that to show a flaw? To take our eyes off their ears? Is it the style?
NordicTrac is promoting an exercise machine, the Elliptical, that ‘lifts your bottom.? So does a boot.
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? Ever have a day like this: Wake up almost hoping all the flowers had died, then by mid-afternoon find yourself out buying perennials? Life is good.
? To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from our windshield.
? Some Rodney Dangerfield’s I Get No Respects:
‘When I was born, the doctor took one look at my face . . . turned me over and said, ‘Look, twins!?
‘My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.?
‘It’s been a rough day. I got up this morning, put on a shirt and a button fell off. I picked up my briefcase and the handle fell off. I’m afraid to go to the bathroom.
? Yogi Berra: ‘You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.?

Among the world’s great inventions — for which there should be a week of celebration — is the mute button. A day isn’t enough, give it a week.
I don’t bother checking the background for such recognitions, I just know an inventive person came upon the idea of silencing the room while watching either a sportscast or political gobbledygook.
The mute buttons on my television’s hand-held controls are worn thin. As soon as there is a hint from either political party that an announcement is eminent, the mute is activated.
There’s really no reason to listen to promises of giveaways, change and errors of others. We get the same diatribe every four years from Congress and President and every six years from the Senate.
Each will give us gifts that even Santa wouldn’t promise. Each will tax the other guy, never you and me. We’ll get promised roads, bridges, canals, sewers lines and mass transit, and it won’t cost ‘YOU? anything.
Hit the mute! Praise be the mute button founder.
Then comes the 40 seconds between football plays, and — Lord Almighty — we get 15 different camera angles on replays, each being analyzed by someone semi-familiar with the sport, but really gifted in adding words to a situation we just watched. Newsflash to tv producers:
We can see the action. No need for someone to give us the background, ancestry and future of each of the eleven on each side of the football.
Seems like every player in the National Football League IS an all-pro, an automatic All-League selection and will take his team to the Super Bowl. Every receiver has greater hands than Bulova put on a watch, and they are more deceptive than OJ.
Each lineman is bigger and stronger than anyone since Paul Bunyan. Tight ends are loose, quarterbacks are dimes, fullbacks more explosive than TNT and centers cannot be compared to plumbers.
Hit the mute! Praise be the mute button founder.
If you haven’t got my message . . . I don’t need the noise. Time-outs on the football field should be for rest, refills and reflection. Advertisers can gear their message toward sports bars with their 66-screen outlets.
Yes, I feel the same way about baseball, basketball and golf time-fillers. If you don’t agree with my Mute Button Week, you can turn the page of this newspaper.

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Now, back to what Jottings are ‘sposed to be about: Limerick time.

An unfortunate young lady named Piles
Had the ugliest bottom for miles;
But her surgeon took pity
And made it so pretty:
All dimples, and poutings, and smiles.

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In Uncle John’s Book for Johns is a recipe to cure baldness. We go back to 17th century Scotland for this one. ‘Wash the head with dog urine, and you shall not be bald.? Sorry, Mickey, and others. It’s too late. Same book: Americans use 250 million square yards of duct tape a year.
And, ever wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?
A George Carlin-ism: ‘The other night I ate at a nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going on.?
Closing with a ‘bat fact? you’ll love: Vampire bats drink blood through a ‘drinking straw? that the bat makes with its tongue and its lower lip. The bats? saliva contains an anticoagulant that keeps blood flowing by impeding the formation of blood clots.

Another week, and again I have no single thought. So, I’ll just try to lighten your day.
? A lady was extremely upset because her husband forgot their wedding anniversary. She warned him, ‘Tomorrow morning I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in less than 10 seconds. IT BETTER BE THERE!?
The next morning she found, in her driveway, a brand new digital bathroom scale.
? There’s a sushi bar that caters to lawyers. It’s called Sosumi.
? How does an attorney sleep? First he lies on one side, then he lies on the other.
? Epitaph in Scotland: Stranger, tread this ground with gravity: Dentist Brown is filling his last cavity.
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The it-wasn’t-me syndrome:
The mayor of Detroit said aloud in court, at least twice, ‘I lied.? Then, at separate times, he and his lawyer both blamed the media and our governor for Kwame’s troubles. Without that interference they’d have gone to trial and won because he was innocent. I believe he believes it wasn’t his fault.
The Detroit Tigers signed the world’s greatest hitters and starting pitchers before the season started. They were World Series bound. But, here in September the umpiring was especially bad, injuries mounted and too many had off-days. Not their fault.
China is blamed for this country’s economic slowdown. Michigan’s roads are lacking repairs because the Federal government hasn’t helped enough. Other states are taking Michigan jobs. There’s nothing we can do. It’s not our fault.
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Professional golfers are different from other sports pros. Golfers are paid in direct proportion to how well they play. Golfers don’t hold out for more money, or demand new contracts, because of another player’s deal. Golfers keep their clothes on while being interviewed.
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At the beginning of every school year my thoughts turn to my one-room school days.
Schools without kindergarten, when everyone walked to school (2-miles each way, uphill, in two feet of snow), when a good deed was rewarded with the privilege of wiping the blackboard. Today that’s probably a chalkboard.
Days when a teacher could rap your knuckles with a ruler, sit you in a corner with dunce hat on and we had inkwells in our desks, but no ink; desks with somebody else’s initials carved, belfry bells and seatmates.
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Recently there was a report of a 98-year-old lady named Irena, who died. During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw ‘ghetto? as a plumbing/sewer specialist.
She had an ulterior motive. Being German, she KNEW what the Nazi plans were for Jews. Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried, and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap bag for larger kids.
She also had a dog in the back, that she trained to bark when Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2,500 children. When she was caught, the Nazis broke both her legs and arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of the children she smuggled out, and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited them with the family.
Most, of course, had been gassed. Those kids she helped get placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year, Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She lost to Al Gore.

Time is running out on our Detroit Tigers, and not just in the race for the American League pennant. The Tigers have had a night for the Latinos and a night recognizing Negro league teams. There are many nationalities among the nines who deserve a night. So, let’s salute the Italians, Irish and even the French. Well, maybe not the French.
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This garden harvest time should get recognition in all our calendars. I’m partial to tomatoes and sweet corn, but I’m told the string beans, squash and other aboveground growing things are great, too. I’ve got to the hunger point that I’ll nuke an ear of corn for a couple minutes ’cause I don’t want to wait for the water to boil.
The method of eating corn off the cob has been a no-brainer since time began. Hold the cob between your hands and gnaw east and west, or vice versa, through the rows.
God and Mother Nature put the kernels in a row to be eaten in a row.
I only found out recently some less educated, who lack respect and social graces, eat the kernel ‘around? the cob. I watched son-in-law Bob do this recently.
I didn’t watch for long. It’s gross. He makes it even grosser by lathering the ear, salting and peppering it profusely and making noises like the hog he is.
He must have got this habit from some of his boyhood friends in urban Detroit. While I was born and reared in central lower Michigan, where all our locals ate their ears of corn the American way. You know, civilized, left to right, quietly.
But, this son-in-law is always doing something to upset me (besides marrying our daughter), so maybe that was his recent trick. By the way, sweet corn is sweet. There’s no need to add stuff to the surface. Go by the palate test, not habit.
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Recently, (I use that word often because I can’t remember specific dates) I know I heard a grocery chain spokesman say, ‘If it wasn’t for getting paid for shelving space, we wouldn’t make money.? That put a couple recall cells in motion. I remember a local grocer telling me years ago a cereal maker paid for space on the rack.
I brought this topic up at an after-golf soup. A retired grocer and a former vending machine operator involved themselves. Some of the first producers to offer payment of some kind were baby food makers.
An ice cream (dairy) company bought the store’s first freezer, some vendors bought the actual shelving section and bug spray pushers were early space buyers.
My cigarette vending machine friend said tobacco makers would give him slotting fees. Like, he said, Marlboro might make it worth his while to give them three slots. I guess it proves all is fair in love and war and in attacking competition any way you can.
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I haven’t given you a limerick lately, so:
I once thought a lot of a friend
Who turned out to be in the end
The southernmost part
(As I’d feared at the start)
Of a horse with a northerly trend.
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Besides this being a great year for veggies, it’s been an outstanding late summer of clouds. Maybe because of my aging I’m looking up more, but others have mentioned the formation, the billowing, fluff and peacefulness they bring.
Another bright spot in nature’s realm this year, are the geraniums, pansies, lilies, sunflowers, marigold, black eyed Susans, Asters and all the rest bringing joy to all who view and grow them.
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Opportunity knocks just once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.

Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room recently, I scanned Crittenton Hospital Medical Center’s ‘Wellspring? magazine.
The headline read, ?10 biggest threats to men’s health.? Since I’m one of them, I paused to read, ‘Maintain your health through smart choices. Simple changes like becoming more active and eating more fruits and vegetables increases your chances of staying happy and healthy for years to come.?
Too late!
The reasoning of an aging man is: Activity is tiring. And, at this age there are other ways to stay happy than eating an apple and carrot.
The article reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports says nearly 80 percent of men die from one of 10 conditions. I have chosen to be in the other 20 percent.
So, I analyzed their 10.
? Heart disease (28 percent of deaths). Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days and quit smoking. That’s easy. Extend my scratching time.
? Cancer (24 percent). Drink alcohol in moderation. Love that one. What’s moderate to me is whenever I quit for the day.
? Unintentional injuries (5.9 percent). Most injuries result from car accidents. Park your car and go bowling.
? Stroke (5.1 percent). Manage your level of stress. Quit bowling.
? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (5.1 percent). The main cause is smoking. Quit breathing.
? Diabetes (2.9 percent). Most people with diabetes are medically overweight. Reduce your weight by selling your heavy organs to U of M, take the money and buy golf clubs.
? Influenza and pneumonia (2.4 percent). Reduce risks by getting flu and pneumonia shots. Replace with hourly shots of vodka.
? Suicide (2.1 percent). Reduce stress, quit golf.
? Kidney disease (1.7 percent). Major cause is overuse of aspirin and ibuprofen. See, Mother, I told you it wasn’t the booze.
? Alzheimer’s disease (1.5 percent). Try mental exercises like sudoku or crossword puzzles. Commit your bowling and golf scores to memory. That will also shift your stress from you to your opponents, who also can’t remember.
The reasoning of a person whose years are fleeting is . . . Why? Why, at my age, should I switch from delicious desserts to a bite of rutabaga?
Why should I walk a golf course when they have these comfortable carts for two?
Which brings me to a final, for now, point about exercising. ‘Be more active,? they preach. Running is for escaping police, not injuring your knees and ankles.
Exercise is promoted by doctors as a money-maker. Show me an exerciser and I’ll show you a patient.
Why are so many outpatient facilities being built by so many hospitals? Because so many more people are exercising and more doctors? offices are needed closer to the predictable patients.
The move to increase exercising is being promoted by followers of the likes of Al Gore. You know who I mean. The earth warmers. The Greenies. Those whose lives are lost.
Exercise promoters are cult leaders. They can’t stand to see people being healthy without wearing sweat bands on their heads, elastic knee supports and smiling.
The exercise we all need it that of exercising our right to speak freely, not speak at all and respect the rights of others.

‘For what seems like a couple lifetimes, we’ve been exposed to thoughts of two men seeking the highest office in our land. Both seem unqualified for the title they seek. Each gives conflicting, even opposite statements on numerous topics, such as an energy plan, economic goals, illegal immigration, Social Security, offshore drilling, etc., etc. We really don’t know where either stands, except in front of a microphone with their hand out.?
My name is Sick N. Tired,
and I approve this message.
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? If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place it in the freezer for and hour or two. It will unseal easily.
? Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.
? Pretty much all the truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.
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Don’t you love the disclaimers (warnings) given by product pushers. First, we’re told a pill will solve all your problems including hair loss, fat, runny everything, then we get, ‘Don’t take this pill if . . .
. . .You inhale or exhale
. . .Drink
. . .Stand
. . .Marry or divorce
‘If you have the urge to do any of these things consult your physician, pawnbroker and pastor. If the urge continues, call your mortician.?
After hearing these warnings, I can think of only four reasons to take the medication.
1. I want to hurry dying.
2. My sign is right.
3. I believe in my invincibility.
4. They don’t mean me.
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Our choice of candidates put up by the two political parties has really gotten to me.
Months ago, when we were going into the primaries, did the G.O.P. leaders (because of Mr. Bush’s poor ratings) conclude they couldn’t win?
And, months ago, when we were going into the primaries, did leaders of the Democrats conclude (knowing anybody could beat any Republican) it was time to put African Americans forever in their camp by backing Obama?
Did the GOP pick (allow) McCain, knowing it was a sacrificial act to enter the fray because he was a good guy, war hero, honorable and needed remembrance?
Were the Dems enthralled by Obama’s delivery, his charisma, appearance and energy?
How were the two presidential candidates picked?
Did either political party look for the most important quality . . . can you trust him?
In the voting booth, that’s what will determine which lever is pulled. Can you trust him? Can you believe him? Can he lead us to greater good?
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? In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.
? You’re not yourself today. I noticed the improvement right away.
? The Professional Golfers Association raises more money for charity in one year than the National Football League does in two.
? And, at a golf tournament, (unlike a taxpayer-funded sports stadiums and arenas) you won’t hear a steady stream of four letter words and nasty name calling while you’re hoping that no one spills beer on you.