Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

Oh, go ahead. You know you want to play!

Christmas Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

After dinner, why not enjoy a challenging word game?


Thanksgiving Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Butterflies are NOT Free


$89.76 – Cost of garden tools to dig up area for butterfly garden.

$14.99 – Cost of fertilizer for butterfly attracting plants.

$18.76 – Cost of variety of butterfly attracting plants.

$5.98 – Cost of ointment to relieve sunburn.

$686.00 – Cost of emergency room treatment for bee sting.

$145.00 – Cost of prescription to relieve swelling from bee sting.

$75.00 – Cost of hiring someone to dig up garden and set plants.

$178.00 – Cost of digital camera to take blurry picture of butterfly.

$957.00 – Cost of emergency room treatment from falling backward over garden tools used to dig up area for butterfly garden while trying to get better angle of butterfly when taking photo.

$29.78 – Cost of newspaper ad to sell garden tools, butterfly attracting plants, and camera.

Priceless – Loathing of stupid butterflies.


© Copyright text and photo 2008 Suzzwords

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It's been over two years since I said goodbye forever to one of my dearest friends who died from breast cancer. My sadness is compounded by knowing that even through she had a mammogram, the facility where she went did not properly read the results and recommended that "we watch" the lump. A year later, at another screening center at another facility, it was too late to halt the progress of the monster. Another friend, who is a ten year survivor, also was advised to "watch" the lump. She lost her right breast and underwent agonizing treatment, but is still here today to watch her beautiful grandchildren grow.

Please, women ... have your annual mammogram. If you are the least bit suspicious of the accuracy of the results, get a second opinion. If you discover changes in your breast, go get checked. Now. Those of us who love you, do not want to lose you.

Shortly after the passing of my friend, I went with another friend for her first mammogram in years. The visit to St. Vincent's Breast Health Center made such an impact that I began to jot down notes for what later became my first post in January 2006. As a result of early intervention my friend is still here and all clear.

I'm reprinting that original post to encourage women not to put off breast exams. And you family members ... go with your loved one and hold her purse.

Originally published Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mammogram

Men should have mammograms to understand the emotions of the community of women who sit in their little pink smocks in a cheery room waiting to have initial or follow-up X-rays or sonograms or more, or for the doctor to read the results and deliver the diagnosis.

Men would then understand the fear a woman faces whether it’s her first or tenth mammogram.

They should see the bravery of the woman struggling to hold back tears as she heads to the changing room after the devastating news that will forever change her life and perhaps end it far too early. It’s then her burden to share the news with her family and while facing her personal fears, try to soothe the emotions of her loved ones. She also sees the days stretch out before her in seemingly endless rounds of doctors, hospitals and treatments.

Men should share the elation of the woman who receives the “all clear” as the tension drains from her face to be replaced with relief and smiles. Men should witness the camaraderie as the other women offer congratulations for having “escaped” the dreaded disease for another year.

They should see the young mother of two small boys sit in the corner avoiding the eyes of the other women to not reveal her nervousness over the uncertainty of what to expect. Then the men should watch as an older woman, a grandmother, senses the fear of the younger woman and draws her into a casual conversation about wallpaper, then squeezes the younger woman’s hand as her name is called for “the test.”

Physically, mammograms are no big deal. They are uncomfortable and on occasion, a bit painful, but they can help detect the tiny beginnings of a monster.

Men should understand the importance of this annual ritual and that without the exams and early detection, many more of us would be lost. They should encourage and support their women to have the exams. Go with them and hold their purses and wait patiently in the family area for their return. Holding a purse for someone you love is much easier than saying “goodbye” forever.

**********************

(In memory of my beautiful friend Harriette.)

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Monday, October 06, 2008

Back Then and Now-A-Days


Back Then: Straw broom to clean sidewalk, street after mowing.
Now-A-Days: After filling gas tank, blow lawn clippings into street or neighbor’s yard (if they are not looking) with $124.99 Craftsman 200 mph 430 CFM Gas Blower/Vac.

Back then: Look up the word in Webster’s Dictionary (that’s a book).
Now-A-Days: Run spell checker. Who needs to learn to spaell?

Back Then: Brylcreem. (A little dabba do ya!)
Now-A-Days: After shaving face with lanolin enriched, age defying gel and shampooing hair with special root enhancer scalp stimulator and conditioning with silkening, thickening conditioner, and cleansing and moisturizing face, style hair with unscented enriching nourishing gel, finish with firm-hold hair spray.

Back Then: Clothes pin, paper clip, staple or rubber band to hold tight the potato chip bag after opening.
Now-A-Days: Plastic clip with “SNACK” printed on holding bar so the chips won’t be confused with toothpaste in case you couldn’t figure it out on your own.

Back Then: Stop at grocery to get wholesome dinner ingredients.
Now-A-Days: Stop at McDonalds.

Back Then: Whiten sheets by air-drying in sun.
Now-A-Days: Whiten sheets with detergent containing bleach, dry in clothes dryer with scented softener sheet for fresh-air smell.

Back Then: Whiten teeth with Pepsodent. You wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.
Now-A-Days: Super-whiten teeth with porcelain veneers or dental bonding, chair side bleaching that may include a bleaching agent, special light and lasers, or Pepsodent Whitening Anti-Cavity Toothpaste.

Back Then: Carry change for pay phone.
Now-A-Days: Get extra job to pay for cell phone.

Back Then: Prune juice.
Now-A-Days: Colonic irrigation

Back Then: Prunes
Now-A-Days: Dried Plums

Back Then: Hire neighbor kid to mow lawn.
Now-A-Days: Subscribe to weekly lawn care service to mow, trim, and edge.

Back Then: Send mail by United States post office.
Now-A-Days: Send e-mail.

Back Then: Women attended college to get MRS. degree.
Now-A-Days: Women attend college to get Ph.D. in biostatistics.

Back Then: Tweeze eyebrows.
Now-A-Days: Tweeze chin.

Back Then: Saddle shoes and penny loafers.
Now-A-Days: Flip-flops and Easy Spirit.

Back Then: One piece swimsuits.
Now-A-Days: Yikes!

Back Then: Sheets and pillow cases sold separately in twin and double sizes.
Now-A-Days: Assorted sizes of sheet sets include one flat, one fitted, and pillow cases. Bedding sets include sheets, pillow cases, comforter, pillow shams and dust ruffle.

Back Then: Drive-in movies.
Now-A-Days: Video rental stores or multiple-screen movie theatres.

Back Then: Clean kitchen floor using cotton mop, bucket of water, and Spic and Span; will eventually have to buy more Spick and Span.
Now-A-Days: Swiffer WetJet starter kit, will later need batteries, cleaning solution, and cleaning pad replacements.

Back Then: Freshen stale air in house by opening windows.
Now-A-Days: Sprays, solids, liquids, and candles available scented and unscented from dozens of manufacturers.

Back Then: Have ice delivered in blocks or make ice cubes in tiny refrigerator ice tray compartment.
Now-A-Days: Pick up ten pound bags of ice at convenience store.

Back Then: TV had no sound and was called radio.
Now-A-Days: Antenna, cable, satellite on giant screen, portable, battery operated, and hand held TVs.

Back Then: Bulky upright vacuum cleaner.
Now-A-Days: Roomba.

Back Then: Gossiping over the fence.
Now-A-Days: Blogging





© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Frayed Nerves and One Bent Shingle

by Susan Burnell

(Note from Suzzwords: My friend Susan Burnell, her husband, teenage son and two cats live in northwest Houston, where they "sheltered in place" safely during Hurricane Ike.

She is now involved with a fundraising effort by the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators to help injured and displaced employees of the historic restaurant, Brennan's of Houston, which suffered a devastating fire during the storm.

Susan is a free-lance professional writer (visit her website
Imagination Ink) whose clients include Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and The Menninger Clinic. She also developed and maintains American Travel Sampler.


She is guest-blogging on Suzzwords today, sharing her experience before, during and after Hurricane Ike struck Texas on September 13, 2008.)


I survived Hurricane Ike. Our sturdy brick home weathered the storm beautifully. The worst part was eight and a half days without electricity in the Houston heat.

During the height of the storm, I dragged my yoga mat and a blanket, a 99-cent LED flashlight and a wind-up radio into the master bedroom closet and tried to sleep. The roar of the storm was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. The closet was the safest spot in the house and also the quietest. Between 2 and 3 a.m., when the wind was at its most ferocious, the power went out.

I thought I was pretty well prepared. Friends who’d been through hurricanes recommended freezing containers of water ahead of time and doing all the laundry. That was excellent advice. Those blocks of ice lasted a long time. Having clean clothes to change into helped make me feel human.

There are a few things that don’t always get mentioned in the hurricane preparedness guides. These came in especially handy for me after Ike’s strike:

Hair scrunchies – without a hair dryer, I gathered my wet hair into a style reminiscent of the “I Dream of Jeannie” look. So very fashion-forward.

Battery operated votive candles – perfect as night lights, safer than burning candles. They have an on-off switch. Keep away from small children, the batteries are tiny.

Portable power inverter – this hooks up to your car battery. Until we were able to acquire a generator on Day 6, it powered the laptop and 5-inch TV.

Chocolate – I attribute a large portion of my sanity to this essential supply.

Mobile broadband – this supplied the remainder of my sanity when DSL went out. About $2 a day with a two year contract, but I would have paid more, just to get online news, weather and email.

Farmland Lil’ Milk – small containers of milk that don’t need refrigeration. Great in coffee. A decent substitute when you need cream for your Kahlua.

Zip-loc bags – all sizes. Great for storing items in the cooler so they don’t get soggy. Also good for dividing ice from large store-bought ice bags to fit into coolers. And if you’ve never had a heaping helping of pasta salad and a couple of boiled eggs out of a baggie, you really can’t call yourself a camper.

Hurricane cookies – I adapted an oatmeal cookie recipe and made several big batches before the storm. Took some to each family in the cul-de-sac ahead of time, exchanged phone numbers and promised to watch one another’s roofs. That little bit of neighborliness came back to us in wonderful ways. One neighbor with a generator kept us supplied with ice. Another let us know about the bent shingle, which he could see from his second-story window.

An online community – or several, if you are lucky. When phones didn’t work, emails from friends, family, colleagues and customers were a precious connection to the outside world.

P.S. Here's the cookie recipe.

Crispy Oatmeal Cookies aka Hurricane Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup Rice Krispies
1 cup Craisins (cranberry or orange flavor)

Directions

Set oven to 350
Blend margarine and sugars with mixer on low speed.
Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
Add flour and baking soda, mix until smooth.
Stir in oats, Rice Krispies and Craisins.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet

Bake for 12 minutes or until brown.
Cool and store in an airtight container.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bugs in Light Fixtures

With all the amazing discoveries and advances in science, you would think someone would figure out why bugs crawl into light fixtures. Why don’t they just crawl back out? Do they have some sort of death wish or it is elder bug tradition to be slowly toasted to dust rather than be a burden on their families?

What is really intriguing is how they get into closed light fixtures; you know, the ones with the globes or covers that fit into holders and have to be tightened down. Do they transform into slivers of themselves, able to collapse their outer shells in order to fit between the fixture and holder. Do child bugs have to attend special classes to learn this skill?

Here in Florida we have a variety of light-seeking bugs, so you never know what you will find in a light fixture. Unfortunately, by the time you finally take the fixture down to change the bulb, what ever the bug was, it no longer is. Are bug remains flammable?

Now that the longer-lasting compact fluorescent lamps have come on the market, does that mean by that by the time we change bulbs any remnants of bug life will have long desiccated into powder? Humm, wonder if bug powder can be turned into an energy source, sort of like cow chips? I can see it now, huge factories toasting bugs to supply the fuel needs of tiny autos powered by bug powder. Then there would be bug bounty hunters on the prowl for bigger bugs to supply our never-ending quest for cheap alternative fuel.

Maybe the solution to bug-filled light fixtures would be trap doors in the fixture to dump the bugs out. You know, kind of like changing the batteries in the smoke alarms once a quarter – change batteries, dump bugs.

Whew, I’m glad we solved THAT problem.

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good Riddance, TS Fay

There are certain truths about human behavior with the approach, arrival, and departure of tropical storms and hurricanes. There are always a few, who, even after negative experience from previous storms, still follow the same pattern. If you live in coastal regions subject to hurricanes and tropical storms and exhibit any of the behaviors listed below, please move to another country.

1. Refuse to remove or trim trees dangerously close to houses or buildings with the excuses of A.) I had no idea it would fall on your car; B.) That limb in your roof is not my fault, it was and act of God; C.) Tree? What tree?

2. Think those garbage cans, toys, and lawn furniture won’t become flying missiles during fifty mile per hour winds. Besides the garage/carport/store room is too full of old stuff to bring all the yard stuff inside.

3. Wait until fifteen minutes before the storm’s arrival to stock up and get gas and then get mad because there is no bread, milk, charcoal, batteries, or brewskis left at the convenience store and the heavy rain dilutes the gas they are pumping into their pickup trucks.

4. Decide to “ride it out” despite dire warnings from government offices issuing evacuation orders.

5. Four hours after the storm’s arrival decide to evacuate.

6. Go out driving during the height of the storm just to see “how bad it is” and then explain to the rescue personnel that they didn’t see the utility pole because the sideways rain was coming down too hard and their eight-year old windshield wipers weren’t working.

7. Call a tree removal company during the storm and ask if they can come remove a tree from their roof.

8. Call the roofer during the storm and ask if they can come fix a leak.

9. Go outside during the storm for a smoke and wonder why they can’t get a wet cigarette lit.

10. Open windows during the storm to let in the fresh air and wonder by the floor and furniture gets wet. (Gee, Hon, I had no idea the wind would blow in all that rain. Oh, well, the insurance will cover the damage and we need new carpet anyway.)

11. After the storm, asks the neighbors for bread, milk, and brewskis. (Don’t need charcoal, forgot to get it, unless you can spare some of them hotdogs. Oh, and got any buns, too? And some of that mustard? How’s about we just come on over to eat?)

12. Drive into water of unknown depth and complain when the car engine stalls out, they have to be rescued, and the car floats away just after they are plucked to safety by exhausted and overworked police, fire and rescue personnel.

13. Expect the “government” to be responsible for the damage or destruction to their homes and provide food, shelter, clothing, and an allowance for the rest of their lives.

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Friday, August 01, 2008

Clouds

Before television, video games, and computers, kids went outside to play. We didn’t need fancy electronic toys or expensive outdoor “equipment.” We had imagination. Imagination could turn a stick into a magic wand, a large cardboard box into a space ship, and clouds into anything. On lazy, hot summer days, we would spread our blankets or old quilts under the trees, lie on our backs and describe to each other what we saw floating overhead.

When I stepped outside today, I was struck by what a good “cloud day” this is and snapped a few photos to share with you. What do you see?





© Copyright text and photos 2008 Suzzwords

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Revenge of the Small Cars



Do you drive a small car? You know, the kind tall people have to fold into and short people love for the head room? Have you felt intimidated by the big, really big, luxury sedans, monster pickups, SUVs, and vans that come stalking up behind you on the expressway? Have you seen the smirky looks on the driver’s faces as they loom over you when passing?

Hahahahahaha, you big car drivers!

Who's laughing now? Instead of bragging about flip-down DVD players, fifteen cup holders, and fold-down seats to make an area large enough to transport a small elephant (not that anyone would want to), we small car drivers are filling up with regular gas and laughing all the way down the highway on our twenty-five plus M.P.G.

You probably bought your small car because it was what you could afford, lusting instead for a nice big roomy Ford Expedition or Cadillac Escalade. As of this writing, Motor Trend says the 2009 Escalade 2WD is priced at $55,640 to $60,610.

The Department of Energy’s report on that model Escalade, says it costs about $7.75 to go twenty-five miles! With a twenty-six gallon fuel tank, that’s over a hundred bucks to fill up with Premium (that’s P-R-E-M-I-U-M).

Lust not, small car drivers!

Can’t you just see us now toodling down the highway in our "economy cars?" We approach a big, fat, expensive monster going below the speed limit to conserve gas, we zip ahead in the passing lane, smirking and feeling superior for a change.

At the count of three us Honda, Toyota, Scion, Mazda, Hyundai, VW, and the other small car drivers, all together now, One, Two, Three: Hahahahahaha!!!!

P.S. If you are driving an alternate-fuel vehicle, laugh twice.

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don’t Read This

You have probably seen at least one confidentially notice at the bottom of a forwarded email. If the contents of the email is especially funny or political (is there a difference?), the email may have been forwarded so many times that it picked up several notices.

Notices are apparently added automatically so the sender never sees what their company, organization or government has tagged to the bottom of the joke or cartoon they are sending to friends.

Few recipients go all the way to the bottom of their emails and read the notices; they either hit “delete” or “forward,” then go back to the real world. So for all those confidentially notices you missed, here’s a selection I’ve gathered over the past few months.

Names, places and other identifying information has been deleted to protect the innocent. These are real. Really.

“The information contained in this message may be privileged and confidential and protected from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the message, and please delete it from your computer.”
Comment: Apparently the message lost its disclosure protection.

“This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. This e-mail, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender by reply e-mail, then delete it from your system without copying it. Thank you.”
Comment: Delete the sender or the email? You are welcome.

“(Name of Company) Circular 230 Notice: To ensure compliance with IRS requirements, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Any legal advice expressed in this message is being delivered to you solely for your use in connection with the matters addressed herein and may not be relied upon by any other person or entity or used for any other purpose without our prior written consent.”
Comment: What the hell does this mean?

“Confidentiality Notice from (Name of Company):The information contained in this e-mail and any attachments may be legally privileged and confidential. If you are not an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail and any attachments is strictly prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender and permanently delete the e-mail and any attachments immediately. You should not retain, copy or use this e-mail or any attachment for any purpose, nor disclose all or any part of the contents to any other person. Thank you.”
Comment Sounds like the author copied four other notices.

“(Name of Company) and its related entities reserve the right to monitor all e-mail communications through their networks.”
Comment: Guess the company let this one slip through all those network monitors.

“CAUTION: electronic mail sent through the Internet is not secure and could be intercepted by a third party. For your protection, avoid sending identifying information such as account, Social Security, or card numbers to us or others. Further, do not send time-sensitive, action-oriented messages such as transaction orders, fund transfer instructions or check stop payments, as it is our policy not to accept such items electronically.”
Comment: Caution noted. But it’s okay to send jokes?

“This message w/attachments (message) may be privileged, confidential or proprietary, and if you are not an intended recipient, please notify the sender, do not use or share it and delete it. Unless specifically indicated, this message is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of any investment products or other financial product or service, an official confirmation of any transaction, or an official statement of (Name of Company). Subject to applicable law, (Name of Company) may monitor, review and retain e-communications (EC) traveling through its networks/systems. The laws of the country of each sender/recipient may impact the handling of EC, and EC may be archived, supervised and produced in countries other than the country in which you are located. This message cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free. This message is subject to terms available at the following link: (link removed). By messaging with (Name of Company) you consent to the foregoing.”
Comment: Why bother sending an EC? Who writes this stuff?

“This electronic mail may contain information that is privileged, proprietary and confidential and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. This transmission is intended solely for the individual or entity designated above. If you are not the intended recipient, you should understand that any distribution, copying, or use of the information contained in this transmission by anyone other than the intended recipient is unauthorized and strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic mail in error, please immediately notify the sender and destroy all copies which you may have of this communication.”
Comment: Oops, wonder if the 120 individuals or entities above who got the cartoon were “designated.”

“STATEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may include privileged or otherwise confidential information. Any unauthorized review, forwarding, printing, copying, use, disclosure or distribution is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you received this message in error, or have reason to believe you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message.”
Comment: I believe, I believe. After five forwards to dozens of people, this had to have undergone unauthorized review.

“DISCLAIMER:
This electronic transmission (and any attachments thereto) is intended solely for the use of the addressee(s). It may contain confidential or legally privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you must delete it immediately and notify the sender. Any unauthorized use or disclosure of this message is strictly prohibited. (Name of Company) does not guarantee the integrity of this transmission and shall therefore never be liable if the message is altered or falsified nor for any virus, interception or damage to your system.”
Comment: Hold on here, if you delete the message immediately, then notify the sender, how do you know who to notify? And don’t blame them for any virus, either because they said they will never be liable. Ever. So there.

“This message and any attachments are intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If the reader of the message is not the intended recipient or an authorized representative of the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, notify the sender immediately by return email and delete the message and any attachments from your system.”
Comment: Oh, okay, this one explains it better. Glad I was hereby notified.

“***** CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE *****
This email may contain (Name of Company) trade secrets and/or proprietary information. This email is intended to be reviewed only by the individual or organization named above. If you are not the intended recipient or an authorized representative of the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination or copying of this email and its attachments, if any, or the information contained herein is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately notify the sender by return email and delete this email and attachments, if any, from your system.
***** CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE *****”

Comment: Oooh. These people are serious … wonder what the trade secrets are.

“Under (State name deleted) law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.”
Comment: Just call, that entity will give you all the email addresses.

“CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This message is intended for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by email reply.”
Comment: Bet a lawyer wrote this one.

“This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by MIMEsweeper for the presence of computer viruses. This message is for the designated recipient only and may contain privileged, proprietary or otherwise private information. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the original. Any other use of the email by you is prohibited.

Dansk - Deutsch - Espanol - Francais - Italiano - Japanese - Nederlands - Norsk - Portuguese - Svenska: (Email address deleted.)"

Comment: Wow … eleven languages and virus free, too. But wait, how do you know who has the original … the sender or the 240 people who received the joke?

“Unless notified to the contrary by the sender, the recipient should consider the contents of this message including any attachments to be confidential. If you are not the intended recipient and have received this message in error, please contact (Company name deleted) immediately by sending an email to (Email address deleted) and then delete this message from your system. Saving, copying or disseminating an inadvertently received email could violate state and Federal privacy laws. All emails received by or sent from (Company name deleted) may be provided to regulators or law enforcement agencies, or used for other purposes consistent with (Company name deleted) business interests. Thank you for your cooperation.” Comment: Too late, this thing was disseminated to hundreds of people. Hope it didn’t affect your business interests. You are welcome.

“Public Records Law Disclosure
This e-mail is a public record of the City of (Name of City Deleted) and is subject to public disclosure unless exempt from disclosure under (State name deleted) Public Records Law. This email is subject to the State Retention Schedule.”

Comment: Why government employees should not send jokes by government email. Thank goodness it’s the email and not the employee who could be retained forever.

The end.

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Bye, Sweet Olive


Olive Riley, the world’s oldest blogger, passed away Saturday, July 12, at the age of 108.

Her blog – or blob – as she called it, was read by thousands around the world. From her first post in February 2007, Olive documented life events and sang happy songs that gave many of her readers historical insights into what it was like to grow up in Broken Hill, Australia.

Olive Riley was an amazing woman who made a profound impact on the elder blogging community as well as her non-blogging readers.

We will miss you and remember you, Olive, and pray your inspirational spirit will sing happy songs in Heaven.

http://www.allaboutolive.com.au/

http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/international-1/1216040942169430.xml&storylist=international


http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/07/14/2303077.htm?section=justin

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/2300357/World

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Birthday America



Mother Nature put on her own spectacular display in celebration of our Nation's birthday.

History of Independence Day from the History Channel

© Copyright text and photo 2008 Suzzwords

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Variations on a Parental Admonition

Close the door.

CLOSE THAT DOOR!

Do I have to tell you again to CLOSE THE DOOR!

Were you born in a barn? CLOSE THE DOOR!

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times to SHUT THE DOOR!

Inside or outside, make up your mind, but either way, CLOSE THE DOOR!

I’m not paying to air condition all of the outdoors, now CLOSE THAT DOOR!

You left the front door open AGAIN, now go CLOSE THE DOOR!

If you forget to SHUT THAT DOOR one more time, you are grounded for a week, Mister!

Where are these flies coming from? Don’t tell me you left the back door open again!

You just wait until your father comes home. He’ll show you how to CLOSE THE DOOR!

SHUT IT! SHUT IT! How many times do I have to tell you?

Not slam it, dammit, just CLOSE THE DOOR!

This house does not have automatic door closers! SHUT THE DOOR!

One more time, just one more time, and that’s it!

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Friday, June 20, 2008

Memories of Summer

It was a great time to be a kid in the late 1940s and early 1950s – a slower way of life with cheap gas, little crime, few drugs other than the evil alcohol and tobacco, and most important, no wars. There were more than a few comforts lacking then that we have now like air-conditioning, television, ice makers, automatic washers and clothes dryers, and automatic transmissions, but somehow we survived.

Funny how every now and then today a sound, a smell, a familiar food or a glimpse of an old black and white movie stirs up a bit of summers past. Here are some of my favorites. What are your memories?

Sounds
Swoosh, swoosh of rotating sprinklers
Katydids, cicadas, crickets and other night creatures singing
Fans whirling at night
Static from distant thunderstorms when tuning the Philco console to the Grand Ole Opry
Snick-snick of the reel lawn mower

Smells
Sun-dried sheets
Honeysuckle in bloom
Hot pavement
Clean air after a welcome summer shower
The neighbor’s evening pipe

Tastes
Warm watermelon fresh from the field
Sugarcane
Lemonade and Kool-Aid
Sandwiches and Jello for supper because it’s too hot to cook
Sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden
Home-made peach ice cream

Sights
Sweat rings around kids’ necks and underarms
Women in shorts, halter tops and sandals
Green tree frogs peeking through the window screens
Heat lightening
Business men in white open-collar short-sleeve shirts
Red-checked oilcloth tablecloths
Cardboard "advertising" fans with flat wooden handles

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Stupid Enough?

Humm. Just how stupid is enough to qualify for being stupid enough? To determine the level of stupidity that is just enough to appear intelligent but do stupid things, I came up with this purely ridiculous and unscientific test. Not that I, personally, would ever do any of these stupid things, but I heard that my friend’s cousin’s neighbor’s girlfriend’s father actually was stupid enough to rank a perfect 10. How do you rank on the “Stupid Enough” scale?

1. Have you ever been stupid enough to lock your keys in the car?

2. Have you ever been stupid enough to stand in front of the fridge trying to remember what you were looking for?

3. Have you ever been stupid enough to jump out of bed, panic because the alarm didn’t go off, scramble to get ready for work, then realize it’s your day off?

4. Have you ever been stupid enough to “tattoo” yourself with marker pens thinking the design would wash right off?

5. Have you ever been stupid enough to turn on a garden hose full force, let a four-year-old hold the “business” end and really think you were not going to get wet?

6. Have you ever been stupid enough to let your best friend convince you to let him/her pierce your ears with a needle and cork after being told it wouldn't really hurt that bad?

7. Have you ever been stupid enough to think when your car fuel gage shows “Empty” it just means you have plenty of gas to reach the service station?

8. Have you ever been stupid enough to think it’s not me, it’s them?

9. Have you ever been stupid enough to add a cup more rice to the cooking pot because what’s in there just doesn’t look like enough to feed two people?

10. Have you ever been stupid enough to participate in other stupid tests like this one?


Ranking

If you answered 7 to 10 questions with a “yes,” you are stupid enough to associate with all the rest of us.

If you answered 4 to 6 questions with a “yes,” you are borderline stupid enough, you just haven’t lived long enough to become stupid enough like the rest of us. Keep trying.

If you answered 2 to 3 questions with a “yes,” you are almost perfect or you are kidding yourself.

If you only answered none or one question with a “yes,” you have a really poor memory, live in a dream world, or actually believe you are absolutely perfect. Seek immediate help!

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day 2008


"Memorial Day is a United States Federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (in 2008 on May 26). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include casualties of any war or military action ." Wikipedia

America The Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

In memory of
the men and women
who gave us
America the Beautiful.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Is Grits Plural or Singular?

Most of us know what grits is – are. What I can’t figure out what is a grit and how many grit does it takes to make grits.

It’s pretty obvious that a bowl of grits is singular, but what about that small grit and a zillion of his buddies in the bowl? Grits, right? But since they are all mooshed and cooked together in a delicious goopy glob, I’m thinking that the glob must be singular, hence, “Grit is good.”

Oops, wait, is they good or are it they good? I’m so confused.

You can’t eat just a single grit. Well, before it is cooked you can, but what’s the point? So that makes the single grit good. Eat two single grit and they are good. Aha! If two single grits are good, then grit are good.

No, no, that’s not right. What if you plop a spoonful of grits on a single Kleenex? See where this going?

This is just too hard to think about. I’m going to go make breakfast now. While I’m stirring my pot of grits, tell me how you make grits. Since a grit just might be gender specific and I don’t want to offend, tell me is they good?

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tenacity


Oh, please. You think YOU have a tough life?


© Copyright text and photo 2008 Suzzwords


Monday, April 21, 2008

Fat Bubble

Men won’t understand this. Women who have been as much as six ounces overweight will understand the meaning of “fat bubble.” I think fat bubbles have been around a long time, but really began to be recognized with the wide-spread use of pantyhose.

Any woman who has ever worn a pair of pantyhose and snagged them, knows what that blob of flesh is peeking out of the hole. Yup, it’s a fat bubble and depending on your scale-tipping measurements in relation to the hole, it could be just a simple little bulge or a whopping protuberance.

The most annoying kind of fat bubble is when your pantyhose tear over a toe and soon one little pinkie begins to swell up like a fine handmade sausage in a hot skillet. Then, when you rip off the hose three hours later, you scream in pain as the blood returns to the pale and shrieking toe.

About the time pantyhose became popular, colored ink markers made their appearance. When black pantyhose were all the rage to match slinky little black dresses, many women were known to repair runs and fat bubbles by swabbing the glaring mishap (A.K.A. skin) with a handy marking pen. They also got a quick high from the marker ink. Too bad marker manufacturers caught on to the alluring scent of the ink; we fat bubble victims had a good thing going.

One of my friends once repaired her white pantyhose (all the rage during the “cute little print dresses” period) with a good old office standby. Oh, come on, you all know about White Out. Unfortunately, the White Out kind of glued the hose to her leg and she reported the next day that she had to cut the fabric away and scrub her leg to remove the last vestiges of the correction fluid.

So there you have it, the scandalous repair deception behind unsightly fat bubbles. See, I told you men would not understand this. Uh, well, at least the men who do not wear pantyhose, but let’s leave that subject for another day.


© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Remember This?


If you can remember this and actually used Air Mail, you are sooooooo "mature."


Moral: Clean out closets more often.


© Copyright text and photo 2008 Suzzwords

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Going “Green” My Way

I’ve come up with a wonderful way that I can contribute to health and safety of the environment this spring and summer growing season. I’m going to let my small yard “go back to nature.” I’m going “green.”

The neighbors might not be too keen on this idea, so I will just have to remind them of my quest for cleaner air, soil, and water.

Here’s the plan.

I’ll prevent toxic emissions from my gas-powered lawn mower from polluting the air, as well as extend the non-sustainable fuel supply. (I’ll quit mowing the grass.)

By eliminating the use of electric hedge clippers and electric grass edger, I’ll lower my consumption of electricity supplied by a coal-powered electric generating station. ( No clipee, no trimee.)

As the native plants (weeds) and trees (big weeds) take over, choking out all the flora and fauna I’ve planted over the years (no weeding), the rain water will be better filtered into the already diminishing FloridaAquifer. (Sounds like a darn good plan to me!)

To further preserve our precious water supply, I won’t water during the hot, dry summer months, further doing my part to conserve water. (This act alone should ease my guilt pangs over letting the faucet trickle while teeth brushing.)

I will forego all use of herbicides and pesticides in the yard, thus preventing toxic runoff into the storm drains. (But if those icky little critters crawl inside, they are goners, especially those big cockroaches that fly at you when sprayed with bug killer. They will be drowned in spray, then smashed with the bug spray can.)

I will post a sign in the front yard extolling my environmental awareness to all passersby that my yard is now an environmental paradise. However, if the cat next door thinks he’s going to leave a natural deposit, Kitty may disappear forever.

If you want to designate your yard an environmental paradise, I will be happy to make you a sign. Just send $499.99 for the sign and $29.95 for shipping and handling.

Hey, what’s with that face? I told you I was going “green.”

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Life is Like the Itsy Bitsy Spider




The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy, bitsy spider, climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
So the itsy, bitsy spider went up the spout again.


© Photo Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is Packaging Shrinking?

Most of us have heard of shrink wrap.

That’s not the question. What I want to know is when did manufacturers start reducing the contents of their packages so we get less product, but pay the same price or more.

I first noticed it with stuffing mix. I thought the box was the same, but the world – and I – had gotten bigger. A nearby grocery clerk confirmed my sanity and that the package was, indeed, smaller. Packaging for other products has also shrunk. Remember when you could get two good blows out of a Kleenex? Not now.

Makeup is shrinking, too. Lipstick may make you all glossy and smooth, but there are fewer applications. Guess the trade off is that it is supposed to last longer.

What products have you found to be in smaller packages?

I think there is more behind this trend than corporate profit and executive bonuses. I think it’s either in anticipation of smaller people or we’re in some kind of galaxy volume warp that is melting the polar ice and reducing land mass starting with stuff we don’t really need. Well, here’s a thought: If all the polar ice melts, will Earth drip all over Mars and cool it down enough for humans to colonize?

Or maybe it’s those tiny little Martians behind all this shrinking product phenomena. Oh, just had another thought: If we’re invaded by Martians, does that mean yet another national holiday complete with a day off from work, cards, gifts, and special foods, in celebration?

And just so no one is offended, Happy (insert holiday here) to one and all.

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Sunday, January 27, 2008

And How Old Are You Now, Honey?

Bumper Sticker:
We are born naked, wet and hungry.
Then things get worse.

After attending a lunch gathering of old grads from my old high school, I realized how many times the subject of age came up and how often was heard, “Well, just how old are YOU now?”

I felt like I had just experienced déjà vu – a flashback to childhood. Think about it. Remember when you were a tot and Uncle Ernest would bend down, give your cheek a pinch and say, “Sweetums, just how old are you now?” You would hold up three fingers, smile and hope shiny round metal things (nickels, dimes and quarters) would be forthcoming to trade for candy.

Do we eventually get to the age of again holding up fingers, but having to close and open both hands several times to rack up the right age? Or is it okay to quip, Maxine style, “Nunya! Now go find something else to do!”?

Are we spiraling backwards and going out the same way we came in: naked, bald, toothless and trying to focus on the train-spoon headed to the tunnel-mouth? I just hope whoever is driving my spoon also makes the appropriate noises, “Whooo, whooo, chug, chug.”

Okay, okay, I know there is no way to stop the progression (regression?) into old age. Well, maybe cosmetically some of us can have nips and tucks and look a youthful forty-eight when we’re actually eighty-four, but how many eighty-four-year olds do you know who are still in bowling leagues?

When we reach the stage where we are fed, powdered and diapered, I think there should be warning signs to prevent our children and other younger people from even thinking about hovering over our cribs, cooing, and then inflicting the ultimate torture – pursed lips blowing “ppppffffffhhhhhtttttt” against bare belly skin (as we once did to them).

Youngin’s beware – we could just reach out and bop you with our change purses filled with shiny round metal things (nickels, dimes and quarters). Now where’s that candy machine?

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords

Saturday, January 05, 2008

10 Resolutions that are Easy to Keep

10. I resolve to email stupid jokes to friends as often as possible.

9. I resolve to give up the idea of bungee jumping and sky diving.

8. I resolve to let Mother Nature wash my car.

7. I resolve to move before having to clean the oven.

6. I resolve to consider ice cream a health food.

5. I resolve to eat more health foods.

4. I resolve to go outside and play as often as possible.

3. I resolve to wear clothes with elastic waists or made with stretch fabric.

2. I resolve to eat chocolate at least five times a week.

1. I resolve to be grateful everyday for dear friends and blogging buddies.

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords