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Over Hill, Over Dale . . . Over Seas April 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Lessons, People, Special Events.
Tags: , , ,
16 comments

After basic training, dad received a furlough and went to Vermont for a quick visit before taking the train to Chicago and on to California:

“There are an awful lot of soldiers trying to get on the train.  All headed for Camp Stoneman.  We had reserved coach tickets this far, but from now on we will be lucky to get a seat.”

“Arrived 3 PM yesterday.  We saw some of San Francisco Bay when we came in.  We will probably see more of it in a few days.  On the way out we came over a bridge across the Great Salt Lake.  It is quite large.  This will let you know I arrived O.K.”

Wikipedia ~ Camp Stoneman (in Public Domain)

On October 1st, 1946, he wrote:

“It’s not official, but we will probably ship out Sunday for Yokohama.  That spelling is probably wrong.  Most of the fellows I was with in Alabama are here.  It looks as though we may stay together.”

Two days later, he added:

“Today is the last of our processing.  We still expect to ship out this weekend.  This morning we were issued sunglasses, insect repellent, salt water soap, and louse powder.  I now have 12 pairs of socks.  Seems as though that should last for a while.  I think I am ready to be alerted for shipment.  The sooner the better.  Last night, Healy and I got a pass and went to Pittsburg.  It is a small town, somewhat larger than Windsor. There are quite a lot of Mexicans there.”

On October 6th, he wrote:

“I received my shipping orders.  I leave Tuesday, October 8, for Korea.  Healy is in the order with me, but Gibbons has not finished processing yet.  Last night, I bought a set of Eversharp pens and pencils at a price considerably lower than the price we saw at Claremont.  I am sending them home.  You can consider this your Christmas present from me.  Speaking of Christmas presents, I wish you would look after getting some for me for Marjorie, Margaret, Aunt Lucy, Uncle Webb and Aunt Pete, and Uncle Frank and Margaret.  You can take $10-$15 from my account for this.”

He wrote his sister Marjorie the same day:

“You will probably be surprised to get this letter because I don’t write to you very often.  Healy and I just came from the movies ~ Errol Flynn.  It was quite funny.  I noticed that Northeastern has won all three football games and Dartmouth has won two.  Today, I listened to the Red Sox-Cardinal World Series game.  Glad that York got the home run.  After tomorrow, I may not be able to keep track of the sports very well.  I wish you would see that someone sends me the scores for Northeastern and Dartmouth each week.”

“The food here is a lot better than at McClellan.  We sometimes get pie and cake twice a day.  And what is more it tastes like home cooking.  The cooks are young and try to see which are the best cooks.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Continued next Monday . . . A Slow Boat to Korea

Greetings From The Easter Bunny April 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Joke, Life Balance.
Tags: , , , , ,
32 comments

220px-TaleofPeterRabbit8

May your day be filled with:

Happiness

Harmony

Tranquility

Prosperity

And a heaping helping of laughter!

Love,

The Easter Bunny

One joy scatters a hundred griefs.
~ Chinese Proverb

get-attachment

Aah . . . that’s better!

Redneck Engineering Challenge April 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , ,
31 comments

We is sick ta death hearing ’bout dumb Southerners.  We challenge all ya’ll so-called smart Yankees to take this exam:

1. Calculate the smallest limb diameter on a persimmon tree that will support a 10 pound possum.

Donald-Duck-Driving2. Which of these cars will rust out the quickest when placed on blocks in your front yard?

(A) ’65 Ford Fairlane
(B) ’69 Chevrolet Chevelle
(C) ’66 Pontiac GTO

3. If your uncle builds a still which operates at a capacity of 20 gallons of shine produced per hour, how many car radiators are required to condense the product?

4. A woodcutter has a chainsaw which operates at 2700 RPM. The density of the pine trees in the plot to be harvested is 470 per acre. The plot is 2.3 acres in size. The average tree diameter is 14 inches. How many Budweisers will be drunk before the trees are cut down?

Pluto-Rollerskating5. A front porch is constructed of 2 x 8 pine on 24-inch centers with a field rock foundation. The span is 8 feet and the porch length is 16 feet.

The porch floor is 1-inch rough sawn pine.

When the porch collapses, how many dogs will be displaced?

6. A man owns a Georgia house and 3.7 acres of land in a hollow with an average slope of 15%. The man has five children. Can each of his grown children place a mobile home on the man’s land and still have enough property for their electric appliances to sit out front?

7. A 2-ton truck is overloaded and proceeding 900 yards down a steep slope on a secondary road at 45 MPH. The brakes fail. Given average traffic conditions on secondary roads, what is the probability that it will strike a vehicle with a muffler?

8. With a gene pool reduction of 7.5% per generation, how long will it take a town which has been bypassed by the Interstate to breed a country-western singer?

I betcha thought this test was gonna be an easy one, didn’t ya?

It’s okay if’n y’all didn’t do all that well.  Just goes to show ya there’s a whole heap of things that big city book-learning don’t prepare ya for in this life.

Homer-MexicanJust fer taking the Redneck Challenge, here’s some friendly southerly advice that may come in handy down the road a piece . . .

Next time you is too drunk to drive, walk to the nearest pizza shop and place an order.  When they’s ready to deliver it, catch a ride home with them.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

* * *

Speaking of Southerners . . . if you’re in Charleston, SC today, swing by Andra’s booksigning for a cinnamon cupcake and a heaping helpin’ of Roy!

“We Rest Here” April 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, People.
Tags: , , ,
29 comments

Dad enlisted in the Army and reported for duty on June 27, 1946, at age 18.

His enlistment, at the end of his first year at Northeastern University, coincided with the end of World War II, just before the Korean War.

On August 17th, dad got paid for the month of August ~ $71.78 after all deductions taken out.  He sent a $50 money order home for safe keeping:

“The physical training is getting more difficult, but as we are getting used to it we don’t get any more tired than we did the first few weeks. Yesterday, the mile that we run after each physical training period was not alternated with periods of walking.  We double timed all the way.”

“You asked how my score on the rifle compared with the others.  I would say that approximately 15-20% of the company made expert, however there may not have been quite that many.”

On August 22nd, he wrote Margaret:

“The weather here has started to cool off nights.  One army blanket is hardly enough to keep you warm.  We have two if we want them.  It’s a lot nicer sleeping here than at home ~ it is the days that make it uncomfortable.

“This afternoon we hiked 3 miles with 50 pound packs, which included blanket, gas mask, rifle, bayonet, raincoat, mess gear, steel helmet, etc.  Also tents.  When we arrived, we pitched tents, dug water drain around them, took them down, and marched back.  It was just practice in preparation for next week.  We camp out overnight then.”

“Perhaps you and some of the others would like to know what “Alabama” means.  It is the Indian word for “We rest here.”  Pretty good!”

On August 25th, he reported on firing the Browning Automatic rifle:  “It is the type of weapon that most countries call a light machine gun.  I got 67 out of 80 which qualifies me as a sharpshooter.  I needed 70 to get expert. The officers told us that the majority of the company didn’t qualify, that is they got less than 50.”

In the same letter, he shared an interesting anecdote:

“We have one fellow in our company that was in Europe during the war.  He was born of American parents in France.  During the war, he was a spy in the French underground.  With forged papers, he went through Germany and Austria, collected information and sent it to American authorities in England.  He said he sneaked through the German lines 7 times.  He is pretty much of an expert with an automatic because he carried one with him all the time.  That must have been an exciting life for a fellow of only 15 or 16.  The reason he was picked for the job was that he could speak German without an accent.”

As basic training wound to a close, he continued to tease his younger sister Marjorie about being a poor correspondent:

“By the way, isn’t it about time you wrote.  I don’t think that I like your postscripts to Daddy’s letters.  They aren’t very complimentary.  Now you know that I wouldn’t write anything like that to you.  You had better write a good letter back if you know what’s good for you.  Can’t you think of a better signature than Stinky.”

In a letter dated September 2nd, he filled his dad in on the next leg of his journey:

“We have only 32 hours of training left now.  all the hard work is over. Everyone is beginning to spend a lot of time thinking about going home.  The first of us are supposed to leave in about a week.  Don’t be too surprised if after I am home I have to report out west and get shipped to the Pacific.  I think a lot of us are going in that direction.”

“Yesterday when I got off K.P. I found a package waiting for me.  The cookies arrived in good condition.  Tell whoever cooked them that they did an excellent job.  Was it Margaret or Marjorie?  If Marjorie cooked them maybe you had better say that they were just fair.”

Two days later, he sent a follow up letter:

“Today we had a little information given to us in regard to our “delay in route.”  Most of the company, including myself, is going to the west coast probably to be shipped overseas.  They give us a ticket to Cincinnati and a ticket from Cincinnati to our [ordered] destination. When we reach Cincinnati, each of us will buy a round trip ticket home. From this you will probably see why it is called a “delay in route.”

“There are only 2 1/2 more days of basic left.  Tomorrow we fire the 30 caliber machine guns and the 60 millimeter mortars.  This morning we practiced throwing hand grenades.  Saturday it is all over.  We have graduation, parade, and are given our diplomas or whatever you want to call them.”

“The other day we had 4 hours of classes in how to stop riots and house to house fighting.  They even had a platoon cause a riot while our platoon moved in on them in wedge formation, with fixed bayonets and gas masks.  We even threw some mild gas grenades at them.  A lot of fun for us, not them.”

On September 9th, he wrote his last letters home:

“We are really getting ready to leave here now.  We are handing in all the equipment that they gave to us.  Our rifles were just taken.  The only things that we have left are our bayonets and foot lockers. Yesterday, we turned in our packs, tents, rifle slings, entrenching tools, etc.  Did Aunt Pete tell you about my writing to her and saying that I am earning $82.50 a week plus room and board.  This is mostly on account of the G. I. Bill ~ the amount they will pay toward college.”

“This Friday I leave here for home.  I expect to get home Sunday.  I will have to leave in time to get to Camp Stoneham California on September 30th.  Camp Stoneham is an overseas replacement depot.  I am pretty sure to be sent to the Pacific.”

After basic training ended, dad received a furlough and headed north to Vermont for a short visit.  

_0001 (2b)

Aah . . . that’s better!

Dry Fire in the Pouring Rain April 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, Life Lessons.
Tags: , , ,
20 comments

Dad enlisted in the Army and reported for duty on June 27, 1946, at age 18.

His enlistment, at the end of his first year at Northeastern University, coincided with the end of World War II, just before the Korean War.

At first, mile-long hikes alternated walking and running.  With improved stamina, the recruits ran with guns and packs on their backs.  Officers kept the company company:

“Lieutenant Knoll and the other officers run with us every day.  That is one thing about the infantry, the officers ask the men to do nothing that they won’t do themselves.”

Everyone in the barracks rose early.  When asked about his schedule, he shared the following:

“We have to get up at 5:30, wash, make our beds, and fall out at 6:00 for reveille.  We police up the company and have breakfast at 6:30.  7:30-8:30 First Aid class.  8:30-9:30 Military Courtesy.  9:30 – 11:30 Rifle mechanism and cleaning.  12:00 Dinner.  12:45 Fall in.  1:00-2:30 2 shots and 1 vaccination.  Also examination of eyes and teeth.  Mine were OK.  3:00-4:00 Physical Training (slap boxing and mile run ~ they still let us walk and run alternately).  4:00-5:00 Drill.  5:30 Supper.  6:30-7:00 Rifle inspection by platoon sgt.  7:00-9:00 “G.I. Party” (remove all beds and equipment from barracks to mop and clean it).   9:00 Lights out.  Perhaps this will give you a little idea of our schedule.”

Some days were better than others.  In a letter to Margaret, his step-mother, he wrote:

“Monday it rained hard here.  We were out on the range having what they call dry fire (without live ammunition).  It seemed [other than] dry to me.  The showers here are regular cloudbursts.  We were all soaked to the skin.  We had to walk back to the barracks about 1 1/2 miles through 3 inches of mud.  While on the firing range, we had to lie down in it.  We were really a mess.  They let us change our clothes.”

“A lot of the fellows have been sick here on account of the heat, etc.  A few have had pneumonia.  Some of the others were taken to the hospital after having their shots.  So far I have felt perfectly O.K.  I don’t expect to be sick much while I am in the army either.  That is one thing that I am very lucky in.  I have only been sick once in the last five years and that was chicken pox.”

Dad teased his younger sister Marjorie for taking advantage of his absence:

“Do I have any clothes left and is my radio still working?  I haven’t heard from you much so you must be spending half your evenings at Marshal’s and the other half taking things from my room, namely clothes.”

“The fellows drink a lot of coke here.  We sweat so much that we are thirsty all of the time except at night when it cools off.  It cools off enough at night so that we can sleep comfortably with one army blanket over us and one under.  They don’t issue sheets here.  We have pillow cases though.”

“I suppose that you are rich now that you are working.  If I were you I would try to save all I could.  You will never be sorry.  The money that I saved got me started in college.  Without it, I probably wouldn’t have started.  Now that I am started I can see my way clear to finish as long as the government is going to pay part, or should I say all except for clothing perhaps.”

“This letter is too long for me to write.  I might collapse from shock so I will stop.  Daddy mentioned in his letter that you were going to write so I had better hear from you or else.”

“P.S. Tell Daddy that in an emergency, I could get a furlough if the local Red Cross notified the Red Cross here at the Fort.  I think a doctor has to say that you are needed at home.  I don’t want you to think that I am trying to get home because if I did I would have to take basic training over again from the start.  One fellow got a furlough already because he broke both his wrists the first day on the obstacle course.  Enough said.”

_0001d

Aah . . . that’s better!

Continued tomorrow . . . Can’t Stand the Heat?  Get IN the Kitchen!

Flight 293 April 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , ,
35 comments

AirplaneShortly after a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the captain announced:

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain. Welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from London Heathrow to New York.  The weather ahead looks good, so we should have a smooth uneventful flight.

So sit back, relax, and . . . OH . . .  MY GOD!

Silence followed.

Some moments later, the captain came back on the intercom:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sorry if I scared you. While I was talking, a flight attendant dropped a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants.

From the back of the plane, an Irish passenger yelled, “For the luvva Jaysus . . . you should see the back of mine!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source: e-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

“You’re Out Of Line!” April 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, People.
Tags: , , ,
40 comments

SwimmingAt Water Aerobics last week, I listened to my body instead of following the leader’s orchestration.

As I did my own thing, I heard a resounding chorus of “Nancy! Nancy! Nancy!”

Alarmed that someone was drowning, I turned and heard, “You’re not doing it right.”  “We’re not doing that any more.”

I nodded and kept doing my own thing.

A few days later, as we rode our bikes around the neighborhood to check out the Annual Yard Sale offerings (more focused on socializing than shopping), we ran into some folks from Water Aerobics.

It was great chatting with them . . . with clothes on!

Donald-DuckaUntil one guy (who has hardly spoken to me before) asked, “Why don’t you do what everyone else is doing in Water Aerobics?”

Taken aback by the challenge in his voice, I said, “Well, if my shoulder is bothering me, I do other stretches.”

Dissatisfied with my answer, he rephrased his question, “Are you just not a good listener?”

“I listen.  But I listen to my body first and foremost.”

Ignoring my attempt to deflect the discussion, he continued with his cross examination, “Do you just not like to have people tell you what to do?”

Tigger-Looking-At-His-Tail“Well, I admit I don’t worry much about staying in line.  It’s not synchronized swimming after all.”

He kept at it, determined to discover why I am not doing what I’m supposed to be doing when I’m supposed to be doing it.

Why?

I’m not sure and I didn’t ask.  That’s HIS business.

Perhaps . . .

* I stepped outside the lines of what he views as acceptable conduct.
* He believes I am stepping on his toes by coloring outside the lines.
* He blames me for upsetting him . . . when he’s upsetting himself.

People like him are exhausting.  They require too much tending, insisting that we spend time mending broken fences that splintered under the weight of their expectations.

Mickey-SurferLife is short.  Feel free to ignore the Border Collies yapping at your heels to get you “back in line.”  Do what you want to do.  Let them think what they will.

They’re not the boss of you.

Unless, of course, they are the boss of you . . . in which case Listen Up!

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Mad Hatter April 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Nature, People, Poetry.
Tags: , , , ,
20 comments
220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27

Wikipedia ~ Alice in Wonderland (in Public Domain)

Trained to restrain
Our joys and triumphs
We share instead
Our sorrow and pain

Wings clipped, lights low
We diffuse our truth
To broadcast tales
Of worry and woe

Who created these social norms and mores we blithely follow?

The Mad Hatter?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Our Deepest Fear

 

Redneck Lent April 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , , ,
47 comments

Wikipedia ~ Holy Orders (in Public Domain)

Every Friday night, Bubba fired up his grill and cooked a venison steak.

But, all of Bubba’s neighbors were Catholic.  And, since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday.  The aroma from the grilled venison was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they talked to their priest.

The Priest came to visit Bubba, and suggested that he become a Catholic.

After several classes and much study, Bubba attended Mass.  The Priest sprinkled holy water over Bubba, “You were born a Baptist, and raised a Baptist, but now you are a Catholic.”

Bubba’s neighbors were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood.

The Priest was called.  He rushed over clutching a rosary, prepared to scold Bubba.  Instead, he stopped and watched in amazement.

There stood Bubba, clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat as he chanted:

“You wuz born a deer, you wuz raised a deer, but now you is a catfish.”

Wikipedia ~ Catfish (in Public Domain)

Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Bait For The Beast April 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Humor, Nature, People.
Tags: , , , ,
44 comments

Wikipedia ~ Trophy Wife (in Public Domain)

A few days ago, I saw a bizarre commercial for a dating service.

Which one, I couldn’t say.

The ad featured 10 “hopefuls,” all skewed in the same direction.

All women.

With long flowing tresses.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long blond hair.

Long brunette hair.

Long brunette hair.

Long blond hair.

Long black hair.

 Long blond hair.

Wikipedia ~ Beauty and the Beast (in Public Domain)

None of them looked like they needed a dating service to help them troll for men.

Each had “Trophy Wife” stamped across her forehead.

I’m certain the site isn’t looking for dates for these prom queens . . .

No, I expect it’s looking for men “of a certain age” eager to hop aboard the dating express.

These beauties are bait for the beast.

Let’s hope the beast doesn’t have a heart attack while taking the bait out for a test drive.

Vroom . . . vroom . . .

Wikipedia ~ Beauty and the Beast (in Public Domain)

Perhaps, just to be on the safe side, the beast should start slow, by sitting down to a “getting to know you” dinner.

Whatever will they talk about?

Watching the ad made me wonder whether the marketing moguls are correct in their assumptions:

* Do 7 out of 10 beasts prefer blondes?

* Are beasts partial to long locks?

* Is Goldilocks more apt to get the gold?

* Is everyone in the target audience searching for Rapunzel?

Aah . . . that’s better!

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