Flotsam and Jetsam

Nov 14

There is light at the end of the tunnel and we are fairly sure it is not an oncoming train.

Oct 28

Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall …

Oct 21

It was the second day in the Army. The rookie missed mother and home. He
wanted loving-kindness, but the sergeant didn’t give it to him. They lined
up and he turned to another recruit and whispered, “I’ve got a good mind to
tell that sergeant off again.”

“What do you mean, again?” the other asked.

“I had a good mind to tell him off yesterday too.”
— Lew Lehr

Of course, it’s very easy to be witty tomorrow,
after you get a chance to do some research and rehearse your ad libs.
— Adams

Ernest asks Frank how long he has been working for the company.
Ever since they threatened to fire me, Frank replied.

Oct 13

A person who can’t lead and won’t follow makes a dandy roadblock.

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin —
real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way.  Something
to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be
served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin.  At last it dawned
on me that these obstacles were my life.
— Fr. Alfred D’Souza

A lawyer and a physician had a dispute over precedence. They referred
it to Diogenes, who gave it in favor of the lawyer as follows: “Let the
thief go first, and the executioner follow.”

Oct 7

The boss sent an e-mail saying that all non-essential personnel could leave early.Then he watched all those that left and noted: “This will be the easiest round of lay-offs yet!” ._. Dilbert

Oct 6

Picture a huge semi-trailer, hurtling uncontrolled down the road…
and inside the vast cab, is the steering committee,
trying to pass a motion to swerve to avoid a little old lady.
“I would like to put forward a motion to steer 10 degrees left,
to dodge the little old lady.”
“Any seconders? Objections…?”
“Well, I’m uncertain at this point
as to the potential viability of such a move.
It would almost certainly involve indicator loadings,
excess steering wheel turning, and the need for specialist mirror engineers
to check the traffic in the next lane.
I would propose cost-benefit analysis…”
“… ah well, I think the point may now be academic.
But let’s formulate a review study of the situation, in order that…”

Oct 5,

All together now, three times real fast:


Sept 29

He’s the kind of guy, that, well, if you were ever in a jam he’d be there …
with two slices of bread and some chunky peanut butter.

I’d rolled over onto my back to get a good look at the sky.
There, was Jake above me, looking down.
And that was when I asked him,
I asked him how much bluing she took to get prairie sky anyway.
“There ain’t enough to do her,” Jake said.
“All the bluing on God’s green earth won’t do her.”
.–.W.O. Mitchell, Jake and the Kid

Sept 28

A fable

A grasshopper sat on a flagstone and wept
with a sorrow that few surpass.
He had painfully mastered his letters, and leapt
to a place where he knew an inscription was kept
and of course it said:
.-. Grooks, Piet Hein

Sept 27

“Mommy, do all fairy tales begin with `Once upon a time’?”

“No, dear.  Nowadays, lots of them start with `If I am elected…’.”
— Seen in an article in the Wall Street Journal

All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
— Sean O’Casey

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.

— W. Somerset Maugham

Sept 16

Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything
that can be counted counts.
— Albert Einstein

Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves.
— Gene Fowler

Sept 12

“Now I’ll give YOU something to believe.
I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.”
“I can’t believe THAT!” said Alice.
“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone.
“Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed.   “There’s no use trying,” she said:
“one CAN’T believe in impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.
“When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes I’ve believed
as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
— Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking-Glass”

Strephon kissed me in the spring.
Robin in the fall.
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play.
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day.
.–.Sara Teasdale, The Look

Sept 5

“Any time two people always agree, one of them is doing all the thinkin’.”

House calls are for seniors.
Children can always be bundled up and taken to the hospital
.–.Dr. N.E. Streight

Sept 3

Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what *else* is on TV.

It is not good to try to lead people by hitting them over the head,
but for some few, having a bat handy is helpful, just in case.

The I.S.O. standard unit of female pulchritude is the milli-helen.
This is the amount of beauty capable of causing the launching of a single ship.

Sept 2

Temptation rarely comes in working hours. It is in their leisure time
that men are made or marred.

Do you wish people to believe good of you? Don’t speak. .-. Blaise Pascal, Pensees

The boundary between Canada and the United States
is a typically human creation,
it is physically invisible, geographically illogical,
militarily indefensible, and emotionally inescapable.
.–.Hugh Deenleys, Canadian Diplomat

Canada is horizontal. Only a comparatively narrow strip
above the American border is populated. Like a layer of cream
on a jug of milk, a strip of earth and an expanse of sky.
The sky is ever sensed above Canada, untamed nature to the pole-
green sky of summer and white of winter.
.–.Andrei Vozesensky, Russian writer.

It takes a clever man to turn cynic,
and a wise man to be clever enough not to.
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton

When we wish to correct with advantage and to show another that he errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken and that he only failed to see all sides. Blaise Pascal, Pensees

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others. Blaise Pascal, Pensees

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds,–and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of–Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.  Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew–
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (1922-1941)
“High Flight” (1941)

Silence is not always golden; sometimes it is yellow.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead

Once, during a trial in which she was accused of indecency on stage,
the judge  asked,
“Miss West, are you trying to show contempt for this court?”
She answered, “On the contrary, your Honor,
I was doin’ my best to conceal it.”

If you learn something by watching the mistakes of others,
it just seems fair to make some effort to return the favor.

It saddens Norwegians that America still honors the Italian Columbus,
who arrived late in the New World and by accident, who wasn’t even
interested in New Worlds but only in spices.  Out on a spin in search
of curry powder and hot peppers – a man on a voyage to the grocery –
he stumbled onto the land of heroic Vikings and proceeded to get the
credit for it.   And then to name it ‘America’ after Amerigo Vespucci,
an Italian who never saw the New World but only sat in Italy and drew
incredibly inaccurate maps of it.  By rights, it should be called
Erica, after Eric the Red, who did the work five hundred years earlier.
The United States of Erica.  Erica the Beautiful.  The Erican League.
— Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days

If you’re short of everything but the enemy, you’re in a combat zone.
— Murphy’s Military Laws, #18

Keep a man waiting, and he’ll tally all your vices.
— Confucius Says

Instead of using a loom, we’ve going to wind all the
yarn into balls and adopt an infinite number of kittens.

Vila: “I think I have just made the biggest mistake of my life.”
Orac: “It is unlikely.  I would predict there are far greater mistakes
waiting to be made by someone with your obvious talent for it.”

There is a certain inevitability to a couple of things.
Death and taxes come to mind.
However, death doesn’t get worse every time the legislators
come together.

There are two ways to kill a good idea.
Take it to a meeting for one,
and turn it over to a committee, for the second.

No one so thoroughly appreciates the value of constructive
criticism as the one who’s giving it.
— Hal Chadwick

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
— Henry Kissinger

In the cafeteria just after lunch, (well, not *just* after, more like
*during* lunch, about 12:28; say 12:30, give or take a few minutes),
I leaned back in my chair (it was one of those aluminum chairs, good
strength-to-weight, like titanium but not quite; but then of course
titanium would be a bit of an overkill).   Anyway, I heard one of the
girls talking about how boring she thought engineers could be.
— Alan Denney (aland@informix.com)

The warranty explicitly states that
under NO circumstances
shall a rocket be returned to the manufacturer
under its own power.

They aren’t broken, they’re…uh…modular.

Orthodox medicine has not found an answer to your complaint.
However, luckily for you, I happen to be a quack.
— Richter cartoon caption

It has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.
The children are back to school
after a riotous week of Easter break.
The weather was so lovely
when the children were released from confinement,
the fresh air went to their heads.
Air has a different effect on children;
what we merely breathe, children are ignited and launched by.
.–.Garrison Keillor

“Hallo, Pooh,” said Rabbit.
“Hallo, Rabbit. Fourteen, wasn’t it?”
“What was?”
“My pots of honey what I was counting.”
“Fourteen, that’s right.”
“Are you sure?”
“No,” said Rabbit. “Does it matter?”
“I just like to know,” said Pooh humbly.
“So as I can say to myself: I’ve got fourteen pots of honey left.
Or fifteen, as the case may be. It’s sort of comforting.
“Well, let’s call it sixteen,” said Rabbit.
“What I came to say was. . .
.–.A.A. Milne, House at Pooh Corner

No one is ever caught in places that person did not visit.

There are two types of people — those who come into a room and say, ‘Well,
here I am!’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.’
— Frederick L. Collins

I have sometimes wondered if language learning
Isn’t turning me into a hypocrite.
To admit you don’t understand everything brings
the conversation to a complete stop,
so instead you smile and look as intelligent
as your facial features will allow,
and hope you get enough of the gist of it
to make a suitable reply.
.–.Verda Peet, Sometimes I prefer to fuss

That’s like fluffing the pillows on the Titanic

He who is not impatient is not in love.
— Italian Proverb

He paid me a compliment. He said I looked like a breath of spring. Well, he
didn’t use them words. He said I looked like the end of a hard winter.
— Minnie Pearl

Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for
that rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.
— Erwin Knoll

What evolved was that I was going to stay in Rimbey for August and help
Derek build his house.
Now that’s not a bad thing, it was just, well, a little democratically done.
I don’t like other people organizing a democracy
which results in me as a minority group.
.–.Scott Peacock

My guess would be that the endemic laziness has been sparked into a crisis
by the introduction of Daylight Savings time.
One less hour from the day, hippidie hip, hip hooray.
All the fun of jet lag without the trouble of leaving your own home.
.–.Tim Peacock

MATH problem time, kiddylumps.
Oh, and this one isn’t just for felines,
so all you kittycats can join in too.
.–.Tim Peacock


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