Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Ugly Witch

Saying for the day:If the broom fits, fly it.

It’s time to fill some blog space with another elf tale. If you missed the other elf tales you will find , on the left hand side, a square marked elf tales. Click on it and there you are. Now on to today’s.
Once upon a time in a place nearer than you think there lived a really wicked witch. In fact she was the wickedest witch that ever lived in any time or any place. She was really really mean and cruel and heartless and just plain evil. If there had been a magic mirror for her to ask who was the wickedest of them all she would have always gotten the answer “ You my dear witch. There is none more wicked than you.” But she didn’t have a mirror though she often considered creating one.
She lived deep in one of the few remaining dark forests , one that the aggressive lumber industry had not turned into houses or paper. She delighted in human misery. She caused Presidents and Kings to start wars by clouding their thinking, though to be fair to her some didn’t need much clouding. War brought great misery and made her very happy. In between wars she spent her time turning people into things. She turned men into frogs and lizards with occasional alligators and geckos thrown in. Women she turned into snakes an cute cats with an occasional mountain lion. Some of these got jobs on American television, particularly the ones with British accents. But most of them just hung around in the wilderness hoping somebody would come and kiss them. But for the most past nobody ever did. Frog kissing might be good for fairy tales but in real life it just doesn’t happen.
Despite all her power and despite the fact that she had a really miserable war going on the witch was not happy. You see she was ugly. Not your garden variety ugly but really ugly. If it weren’t for the Queen of Outer Bohemia she would have been the ugliest woman in the world. But she wanted to be beautiful. O how she wanted to be beautiful. You see this was the limit to her magic. She could do any evil act but she good not produce good. Making someone beautiful required good magic. She could of course create the illusion of beauty so people would think she was beautiful but that simply wasn’t the same. She wanted her very DNA to be beautiful.
So she contacted the Elf Council. As I’m sure you know the Elf Kingdom is ruled by a council called The Royal Order of Elves. Why it was named that nobody seemed to know it just was. In any case she told the Royal Order of Elves that if they didn’t send her an elf she would turn the entire kingdom into a mud puddle and all the elves into soggy toadstools. Now the Council felt that together they had enough magic to prevent her from doing this but they weren’t absolutely sure. So they decided to send Charlie to visit her. Now Charlie was not the brightest Elf. He was not very smart at all. No, they picked Charlie because he was the elf they could most easily get along without. He was to be a scapegoat or scapeelf if you will. It was better for Charlie to die than to have the whole country turned into a mud puddle.
Now , of course, that is not what they told Charlie. Oh ! No they didn’t tell him that at all. They told him they picked him because he was the bravest elf of all and the very best elf to represent them. And Charlie believed them. Hey! I told you he wasn’t very bright.
So Charlie entered the deep dark woods and walked to the witch’s house, a smarter elf would have gotten there by magic and thus been there much quicker. On the other hand , perhaps, Charlie wasn’t so dumb.
When Charlie entered the dark cottage the Witch was ready with her request. “ I want to be beautiful” she said.” Grant me a wish”. Now Charlie thought for a moment and then he said “ I’m sorry that just isn’t possible. It would be against the basic elf rule. All wishes are granted as a reward for an act of kindness. At no time is a wish to be granted without the necessary act.”
The Witch became very angry and lightning bolts crashed to the floor in front of Charlie. But Charlie was not moved. He may not have been very smart but he knew the rules, all twelve of them and he lived by them. She could blow a hole through him and he would not waver.
“ I have checked your entire life as recorded in the eternal data bank and never have you ever committed one act of kindness, not one.” he said. Now a smarter elf might have decided that the sheer fact that she hadn’t blown a hole in him or turned him into a frog could be considered an act of kindness. But Charlie was not smart enough for such rule bending. It was simple matter, she had never been kind so she gets no wish.
After firing more lightning bolts and threatening him with every curse she could think of she realized he was not going to change his mind. So she sat down and thought. To become beautiful she would have to do a kind act as much as she hated it and as much as it would hurt . So she said to Charlie” If I turn all the people that I have turned into animals back into people would that be considered an act of kindness?”. She kept, in the back of her mind, a spell to return them all to animals again as soon as she got her wish but of course Charlie didn’t know that.
“ I suppose it would”, Charlie said. So she waved her hand there was a flash of light and all across the forest frogs, snakes and other things became people again. They were all very happy, except for the ones that lost there TV jobs. Their happiness gave the wicked witch a headache but now she would get her wish.
“What do you want ? Charlie asked.
“Make me absolutely beautiful so that every fiber of me is beautiful right down to my DNA but she added allow me to continue to be me..”
“As you wish so shall it be” said Charlie. Then he used his own magic to transport himself back to the Royal Council of Elves.
The wicked witch looked into the mirror and there was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen and the witch was very pleased. Then she waved her hand to pronounce the curse to put everybody back as they were but she couldn’t. Her new beautiful body refused to do anything that was not beautiful. She tried to start a war, nothing. She attempted to cause just a little famine, nothing. Now the witch began to panic. She was stuck in a body that could only do good and she couldn’t stand doing good.
So if you enter a deep dark wood and find a little cottage with a very beautiful but unhappy woman. Who when she invites you in , mutters things, waves her hands, and then cries. Be nice and make her a cup of coffee. Then thank Charlie your not a frog.
News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. Eino’s friend told Eiino that a plan to bomb Pigeon Falls with an Atomic bomb was now on the desk of the President who had to make the final decision. The leading generals had all signed off on it but President Bush didn’t want to go down in history as the first and probably the only President to drop an Atomic bomb on an American town. Now if they were suggesting it be dropped on Iran that could be a different story.
Mrs. Hansen has decided to let Tommy UK talk to Charlie and to let Charlie try to open the box. Charlie was in his room watching sesame street. When Tommy UK entered he noticed the Special Olympics medal hanging on the wall. It had a place of honor. Charlie pointed it out and said with –pride “ That’s my medal. Do you have a medal? Everybody should have a medal. You can have mine if you want.” At that point Tommy UK was sure that Charlie was the “pure of heart” one.
“Charlie, we need you to open a box for us”
“ Is it one of my boxes. I’m not allowed to touch other people’s things you know.”
“ No, it’s not your box. But a very, very smart man said that you are the only one that can open it. And it is very important to Pigeon Falls that it be opened.”
“ But I’m not supposed to touch other people’s things ask my mother”
“ Your mother said you should do it for the town. You will be a hero”.
“ You mean like superman?”
“Yes , like superman.”
“ Can I fly?”
“ No, but you can save the entire town.”
“ I thought hero’s had to fly.”
Will this conversation ever end? Will he open the box ? Will he be a hero? Can he be a hero and stay pure of heart? And of course is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s kid? At least some of these questions will be answered tomorrow.

Today's Link-Death by Children-13 reasons why his son is annoying.
Another ho hum day but with good breathing. I got Betty's computer set up to talk to the new wireless printer. I visited all my links. I tried all day to get support to tell me why my website for the church wasn't coming up. That never did get solved. Apria came and checked my oxygen equipment. Found a loose piece which may account for the alarm the other morning. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Weird Start for a New Day

Saying for the Day-Life is not painful, it's my resistance to life that causes me the pain. (Jean A.)

It was five o’clock this morning and I was sleeping soundly. That’s when my Bi-pap alarm went off. At first I didn’t know what was going on. It takes a little while to break into my sleep and bring me to a level of consciousness where I can comprehend what is going on. When I finally understood what was happening then I had to fumble around in the dark trying to find the button that turned the alarm off. With the button finally pushed and that infernal beeping stopped, I checked the time. Why I did that I don‘t know. But that‘s how I know what time it was. I knew of course that Betty was now also awake and that it was Wednesday. So I asked her “ Did you put out the garbage?” ( Last week she forgot) I’m not sure what she said in response since I didn’t have my hearing aid in, but I did notice she didn’t move.
Then I ran the required check. The alarm is supposed to go off if there is some threat to my breathing. So first I checked all the tubing. It was intact and tight. The breathing mask seemed to be on properly. It looks like a false alarm. So I started the Bi-pap up again and tried to go back to sleep.
At ten to six I awoke to find my wife going to put out the garbage. She hadn’t gone earlier because we are in the midst of a winter storm and she was afraid the wind would blow the cans over.
I got up and came to the computer room where weather bug informed me it was –16 degrees outside and with the wind chill was –30 degrees.
At that point Maggie got into the computer room. I didn’t shut the door. She didn’t even bring me something to drink like the dogs in the alps. So there I was hollering “ Maggie get out” and Maggie ignoring me as usual. I am definitely not the alpha dog.
All I can say is I hope the rest of the day goes better.
But tomorrow you get to read the elf tale of the Ugly Witch.

News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. People in Pigeon Falls are very much afraid that some not too bright general is going to drop an Atomic bomb on them to save them from the trees. They hope that some semblance of reason will prevent that from happening. But they are not confident because they are dealing with the government and the military neither known for their ability to reason.
Tommy UK has given up trying to convince Eino that Charlie is the “ pure of heart one” from the driblet. So he is taking his case to Charlie’s mother.
He explains to her that someone who is pure of heart has to have honest and simple desires, no duplicity. That fits Charlie.
Mrs. Hansen agrees that that describes Charlie.
With a person who is pure of heart there is no deception.
Mrs. Hansen agrees that that describes Charlie.
A person who is pure of heart has no hidden agenda, no ulterior motives.
Mrs. Hansen agrees that that describes Charlie.
The person who is pure of heart acts toward others with consistent kindness.
Mrs. Hansen agrees that that describes Charlie.
The person who is pure of heart always strives to do what is right.
Mrs. Hansen agrees that that describes Charlie.
“So”, Tommy UK concludes “ Charlie is the pure of heart one that can save us.”
“ I can’t let Charlie take the risk of being hurt” she said” He has suffered enough already.”
Will Mrs. Hansen change her mind? Who is this pure of heart one? Will he save Pigeon Falls? Why not just ask Charlie? Will Charlie be knocked unconscious like the others? Could Tommy UK be right? And of course Is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s kid?

Today's Link-Life in Black and White- A Squirrel story worth reading.
Well the day started down and didn't go up much from there. In the morning I printed my November blog entries to mail to my sister and use up the last of the ink in my computer. Then in the afternoon Betty and I set ourselves the task of removing on e printer and putting in a new wireless printer available to everybody in the house.First we had to sort through a jungle of cords to remove the old one. Then we added the new one following the instructions with great care. However, it seems my old computer was missing a program from Microsoft and the entire thing crashed. Then had to uninstall all that was installed go to Microsoft and download the program I( needed . Install it. Then reinstall the printer program which I just finished. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's Okay Grandpa

Saying for the Day:It is not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six. ~John W. Gardner and Francesca Gardner Reese

Being a good grandfather when my grandson Luke ( my youngest grandson) was here for Maggie’s birthday I sat him down and told him a story. Being a good blogger I told him the elf tale about the really wicked witch that I am posting on Thursday. I would like to tell you he was thrilled and thought it was the greatest story ever. But he wasn’t and he didn’t.
But he did think it was good enough to tell me one of his stories in return. His was a story about an eight legged beast. It had four large legs and four small ones ( that kid has a great imagination). God created this beast and put it down at the North pole. It went from there to the house of two brothers.
At this point I told him I was afraid of eight legged beasts.
He looked at me and said, “ It’s okay grandpa its not real . It’s just my story.”
“ You mean like the witch in my story?” I said.
“ I know grandpa, witches aren’t real either.” Then he thought for a moment and said “ But elves are cause they work for Santa”.

News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. The tanks arrived late yesterday afternoon. They set up to direct their fire at the trees that were on the old road , figuring they had the poorest root structure. The tanks were ready to fire the most powerful explosive that the army had. It can knock down buildings. In fact the general in charge was afraid it might fire right through and injure somebody on the other side. But being a good general he ordered his tanks to fire anyway.
Wood chips flew in every direction but as fast as the chips hit the ground new trees sprang up . It was even worse than that because some of the chips fell under two of the tanks and tree branches grew into the tracks and into the canon. They could no longer fire without blowing themselves up and they couldn’t move.
At the end of round one it was trees two and the tanks zero.
So the general had his men cut some pieces out of the trees. They put these into sterile plastic bags to take back with them for testing. As long as they didn’t touch the ground they didn’t grow. The trees, however, filled in the piece cut out with new growth.
It was hoped they could find something that could destroy the tree. A bug, a disease, an acid or something. A few of the more cynical felt that the army was no longer just trying to save Pigeon Falls but saw the trees as a potential weapon if they could figure out how to control them.
It was also rumored that the Atomic card was back on the table. Better to blow up one little UP town than have this menace move into all the UP and then Wisconsin.
Poor Tommy UK was still trying to convince people that Charlie was the one who was pure of heart. If anybody in town fit the description it was Charlie. But nobody was listening to him. After all he was just a kid and the adults hadn’t come up with a solution or a name. What made Tommy UK think he could.

Today's Link-Lyon Valley Northern- If you like train pictures here they are.
A very good day today. It was warm ( above zero). I went to church and am now the web master fort St. Marks. Betty went to Bible study. We went grocery shopping. I spent the afternoon starting to lay out St. Mark's web page. Then I sent BBC an e-mail and asked him either not to comment or to clean up his language. I told him he can call me stupid or take cracks at my religion but drop the sex talk and the bad language or I'll have to block him. My grandkids read this blog. I have no idea how he will respond.
Well now I need a breathing treatment.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Me Again

Saying for the day: And remember, no matter where you go, there you are. ~Confucius

It's All About Me

Nessa from the Chrysallis stage had this meme on her blog. The rules were simple
.1. Change one question for a question of your own
2.Answer all twenty questions
I can do that part.
Then there was something about tagging and I don’t do that.
Feel free to copy what I copied from Nessa who copied it from Jadzia.

1. At what age do you wish to marry?
I married at twenty five.

2. What color do you like most?
Finnish green.

3. If you have the chance, what would you probably say to your beloved one?
I have the time all of the time and I tell her I love her even more now than when we first married.

4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?
The bathroom.

5. Which part of you do you hate the most?
Not being able to breath well.

6. When you encounter a sad moment, what would you do?

7. What are you afraid to lose the most?
Any of my family members.

8. If you win $1 million, what would you do?
Pay off the mortgages on my kid‘s houses..

9. What’s your wish for the year ahead?
Stay alive.

10. How did you celebrate the New Year?
Went to bed at 8:00 and slept through the celebrations.

11. Till now, what is the moment that you regret the most?
Not going to the doctor sooner.

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?
I try not to hate anybody.

13. What is your ambition?
To make it through another day.

14. If you had one wish what would you wish for?
Good health.

15. Do you still have your own hair and is it gray?
Yep. My hair is the one part of me that doesn’t seem to have aged. I have no gray hairs.

16. Do you like it when it rains?

17. List two of your Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions.
I didn’t make any.

18. What do you need to do this year in order for you to be happier in life?
Nothing. I am pretty happy.

19. What new thing have you learned recently?
I know there is something but I can’t remember what.

20. If money were no object, what 3 (materialistic) things would you really like to have?
A new computer with all the bells and whistles.
A top of the line Lionel train set.
My mortgage paid in full.

####### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. Eino is just a little upset today. It seems that Homeland Security is finally taking him seriously and have come up with some possible solutions to the Pigeon Falls problem. They are considering sending some tanks and blasting there way in. Eino is sure it won’t work but is also afraid somebody is going to get hurt. His friend at Homeland security says they have tanks that fire explosives that make the stuff that the town used to try to blow up the trees look like firecrackers. Eino is not convinced.
Then there is the rumor going around town that somebody high up in Washington has decided that if they can’t solve the tree problem they will drop an Atomic bomb on Pigeon Falls to prevent the problem from spreading. It is better for a few people to be destroyed than an entire nation. Eino asked his friend about it and his friend said there was one general who suggested this as a backup plan but that it was turned down. But his friend didn’t sound very convincing.
In the meantime they are sending a team to cut some pieces from the trees to send to the laboratory to see if they can find some way to kill them. Now that makes some sort of sense to Eino. He suggests they land their helicopter on the outside of the forest ring since they don’t seem to be able to get helicopters out of Pigeon Falls.
Tommy TW can’t convince anybody that Charlie is the one to open the box. When he suggests it they smile and then they laugh. They are sure that Charlie is the last person to play the hero.
Will the tanks blow their way in? Will they find a way to destroy the trees ? Will they have top drop an Atomic bomb? Can even an Atomic bomb destroy these trees ? What about Charlie? Who is Charlie? And of course is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s kid?

Today's Link-The House of 9 Lives- A trip to the dentist
A rather do nothing day.I puttered on the computer for most of it. I visited all my links. I worked at a presentation of a web page for the Church. I played computer games. In other words I didn't get anything done on the layout. O! it did get up to 38 degrees today. A regular heat wave. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Child of God

Saying for the day:The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines. Charles Kuralt:

This is a beautiful story! That Ralph shared with me and now I am sharing with you.

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN.
One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they
noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered
to his wife, 'I hope he doesn't come over here.' But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.

'Where are you folks from?' he asked in a friendly voice.

' Oklahoma,' they answered.

'Great to have you here in Tennessee,' the stranger said. 'What do you do for a living?'

'I teach at a seminary,' he replied.

'Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you.' And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and
sat down at the table with the couple.

The professor groaned and thought to himself, 'Great . Just what I need ...another preacher story!'

The man started, 'See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, 'Hey boy, Who's your
daddy?' Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?'

He would hide at recess and lunchtime from other students. He would avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so bad. 'When he was
about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, 'Who's your daddy?'

But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast that he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.

Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, 'Son,
who's your daddy?'

The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the
question, 'Who's your daddy?'

'This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy.. 'Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.'

With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, 'Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.'

'With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever
anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, '"I'm a Child of God.''

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, 'Isn't that a great story?'

The professor responded that it really was a great story!

As the man turned to leave, he said, 'You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!' And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, 'Do you know who that man was -- the one who just left that was sitting at our table?'

The waitress grinned and said, 'Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's the former governor of Tennessee!'

Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they're one of God's children!

'The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.' ~~Isaiah


####### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. Tommy UK has decided that this statement pretty well sums up what it means to be pure in heart “A person who is pure in heart is someone whose motives are clear, whose purpose and desires are honest and simple, and who demonstrates a consistency between appearance and reality. With a person who is pure in heart, what you see is what you get. There is no deception, no ambivalence, no duplicity, no distortion, no ulterior motives. Pretty rare, isn't it?” He found it a sermon delivered at Dartmouth college in January of last year.
Now all he has to do is find somebody who meets that description.
He started by ruling him self out as much as he would have liked to have been the town hero. He has often been deceptive as he played his little jokes on people In fact one could say he was a master of deception.
Where he wonders is the person with no hidden motives whose desires are honest and simple. Even little children quickly learn to deceive. They learn to say yes when they mean no. They learn to wait till mother is out of the room before doing what they know they aren’t supposed to do.
In all of Pigeon Falls Tommy UK can’t think of anybody that could even possibly meet the criteria.
Then it hits him. Charlie does.

Today's Link-Castle Church Door- A Blog for you theologians
A good and bad day. we had a person keel over in Church during the children's sermon. 911 had to be called. The Pastor handled it very well. Coming home I spent a nice afternoon with my grandsons. A friend of Pennie's brought her dog and it and Maggie romped in the back yard. Maggies going to be so lost tom0rrow when it will just be us old people. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Maggie

Saying for the day:Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. ~Corey Ford

We are having a birthday party for Maggie today. She is one year old.
I have had a lot of dogs over the years but this is the first one with a birthday party. In fact I think this is the only one with a birthday. The others just sort of appeared. But Maggie has papers. She is registered. She has an official birth certificate. This is her real birthday.
The weather is cooperating the temperature has gone all the way up to 15 above zero. The house even feels warm again.
All my children and grandchildren will be here for the party. Maggie is very popular.
Pennie took here to he groomers yesterday and got her all prettied up. She is ready for the big day.
So, Happy Birthday Maggie.
Maybe now she will stop chewing up everything and act like an old dog.
But I doubt it.

News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. The people of Pigeon Falls have a problem. They are afraid to try to open the box that could end the siege of the trees. Two people tried and were knocked unconscious in the process, one from the Fly Inn and the Pastor of Last Lutheran Church. Both are alright today but people feel that if the Pastor wasn’t good enough who will be ? There is that nice old lady who has neber said an unkind thing in her life an d has been kind to everybody but she has a bad heart. If she isn’t the “ pure of heart one” the tree could kill her. All they have to go on is the driblet and the Monk chickened out before the end so they don’t know if there is a happy ending or not.
While they struggle with this problem Dr. Fortress has arranged for a helicopter to bring more food and essentials and to lower the food without landing ( helicopters are expensive).So there is no fear of starving at this time.
Homeland Security is sending somebody to look over the situation after Eino threatened to call CNN and tell them Homeland Security was failing again. Now if he could just find some way to blame this on an Arab he might get the US army to come and help. These could , of course, be terrorist trees sent by some fanatic.
Tommy UK has set himself to find somebody “pure of heart”. He has read the driblet so many times that he knows it by heart. But there doesn’t seem to be a clue there as the nature of the person who qualifies. So he is at the library reading philosophical and theological books. He is looking for an answer to what makes one “pure of heart”.

Today's Link-Nameless Life- You may want this watch if your a geek.
It was a great day. I spent the morning cleaning up my blog. I added a way to read the elf stories and took off one of the awards from last year I thought was already gone. I worked on my links but those changes won't show until Monday or late tomorrow. Then Pat and the boys came and Peter, Lori and the lids. WE went out to eat at Country Buffet. Then I played canasta with Betty as a partner against Lori and Pennie. We won one and lost one. Peter brought the DVD of the Forest Park Trojans winning the state championship. AS a former school board President it was a real joy to watch. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Local Warming PLEASE

Saying for the day: So cold this morning, after my dog went out for a whizz, I had to chop him off a tree trunk.

Global Warming has become a liberal versus conservative thing. The liberals are sure it is taking place while the conservatives say it is an excuse for more government intervention in our lives. My son who is a conservative of the first order thinks its so much nonsense. My sister who is a liberal if there ever was one is convinced it’s real.
As for me I don’t know.
But I do know this I would like some local warming. It has been below zero for a week now and I am tired of it. The weather guy keeps saying that warmer temperatures are coming but they don’t come. I got up this morning believing it was getting warmer only to discover it is –11 degrees outside and not really warm in here. When I was young I used to love to ski when it was this cold. I would put on a ski mask to protect my lungs and the dog and I would go off on a cross country ski trail. It was just beautiful.
But now I can do without the beauty. Now I just want to be warm. Now I want some local warming and I want it now.
This is not a conservative or a liberal thing.
It is a cold old guy thing.

News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. This morning Tommy UK got Eino and Toivo to bring their portable drill out to the tree with the big red X on it. They drilled a hole with the biggest drill they had and looked in with a flashlight. Sure enough, there in the middle of the hollow tree was a box. It looked like a very, very old box. One that had been there for a very long time.
Eino then went back to the garage and got his new cordless jig saw. He then made the hole big enough so that one could reach in and get the box or open it. All the time they were afraid the tree might simply grow itself closed but the hole stayed open.
Now it was time to find that “ pure of heart” person who could open it. Nobody really wanted to try because they all remembered the driblet and that people try and end up being dragged away.
Finally Frank who spent the day drinking at the Fly Inn decided that he was the one that could save the town. He staggered from the Fly Inn to the tree and thrust in his hand. There was a loud noise and Frank fell to the ground unconscious . His friends dragged him away. But they weren’t sure if it was the tree or the booze that caused him to pass out.
Then Pastor Joan offered to try. “By virtue of my Baptism” she said “ I am pure of heart”. So she stuck her hand into the tree there was that same loud noise and she fell to the ground. Apparently the tree wasn’t in to Lutheran theology. Or else since Lutheran believe that one is at the same time Saint and sinner Pastor Joan was in her sinner mode when she put in her hand.
Will one who is pure of heart ever be found? Is Pigeon Falls to be lost in the woods forever? Where is homeland security? Will it ever get warm? And of course is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s kid?

Today's link-Up the Hill Gang- A book report on an old book.
I had another good day. I visited most of my links. Our old friend Dr. Kate is back. The temperature got all the way up to 8 above today. Wow, a heat wave. I did some work on the layout. My entire family will be here tomorrow to celebrate Maggie's birthday. The dog will be one year old. And I almost forgot Worldman gave me an award. It is over on the left hand side. I cleared off all of last year's awards and started new.Now I am a blogging mentor.Now I need a breathing treatment.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Prince by any other name

Saying for the Day:Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” Hans Christian Andersen

Gather round it’s time for another fairy tale or elf tale if your prefer.
Once upon a time, not too long ago but not yesterday either, there lived a beautiful girl named Betty. From the time she was very little she dreamed of marrying a Prince and living happily ever after in a great castle. She even let her hair grow long and tried letting it hang out the window so that if her Prince came he could climb it and rescue her. The problem, of course, is she had nothing to be rescued from. She had great parents, a friendly dog, and everything anybody really needed. But she didn’t have a Prince. When she saw the wedding of Prince Benjamin and Princess Marigold on television she thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now she dreamed of being married by an archbishop and riding in a golden coach.
When she turned twenty five her mother said she should either marry somebody and move out or get a job. She couldn’t spend her life laying around the house wishing for a Prince. She went to work in the local greasy spoon which just happened to be called “ The Greasy Spoon”. All day she served coffee and meals and dreamed that her Prince would walk through the door and take her away from the afternoon chicken special. But he never came. Instead one day a funny looking man in a green suit with shoes that curled up on the end came in an ordered the breakfast special which consisted of two eggs, two pieces of toast, two sausages, two pancakes, and hash brown potatoes for $3.00. Orange juice and coffee were extra. When he had finished eating he called her to the table and said that he was a little short on cash right now and couldn’t pay for the meal. This meant there would be no tip and there would be a hassle with the manager who expects her to spot and weed out deadbeats. She just didn’t feel like fighting so she gave the guy a $5.00 bill and told him to get a cup of coffee as well. Suddenly she found herself standing in the middle of a glowing circle and the little man explained that he was an elf and because she had been nice to him she could have one wish. Now Betty had read many fairy tales and she knew that elf wishes were dangerous and never seemed to work out but she was sure that she could ask it in such a way that it could not backfire. So she said “ I want to marry a real Prince. Not somebody who calls himself a Prince. Not a prince like the musician formerly called Prince. But a real, genuine Prince like Prince Nathaniel she had seen on television in that beautiful wedding. “ As you ask so shall it be” said the elf.
While this was taking place Prince Joseph had worked his way up to managing the largest McDonald’s in the Chicago area but was not happy. It seems his brother had found out where he was and kept sending him glowing letters about the wonders of married life ( all lies as in reality he spent the day trying not to look at his wife. He suggested she have surgery but some obscure Outer Bohemian law prevented a sitting Queen from having any surgical procedure except to save her life .So the only time he got close to her was in the darkness of the bedroom.) But of course Joseph believed his brother was horribly happy and he too wanted that kind of happiness. So he blew the whistle he had taken from home. The elf appeared but told him that that wish had already been used by his brother and he should receive a penalty instead of a wish. But our elf was feeling generous and told Joseph that if he would make him a gift he might give him a wish. So Joseph took him to the McDonalds he managed and made him the greatest Big Mac ever made. The elf said it was very good but he would rather have had a Wendy’s cheese burger. Nevertheless he gave Joseph one wish. Joseph wished to marry a woman even more beautiful than his brother’s wife. He had never seen Princess Marigold. He watched the wedding on TV but when they pulled back the veil every television camera in the church imploded and no picture of the bride was ever transmitted. But his brother had described her beauty in great detail in his letters. The elf said “ As you ask so shall it be”.
At that point both Betty and Joseph found themselves on the sidewalk in Las Vegas. Seeing her Joseph said,” Excuse me miss are you single”. “Why, yes” She said. “Will you marry me”, he asked? “First”, she said, “ Are you a Prince, a real Prince?” Why yes I am “, he said. “I am a crown prince of the country of Inner Bohemia” “Well then I will marry you” she said.
With that he swept her off her feet and into the nearest wedding chapel. She was a bit disappointed because instead of being married by the Archbishop Philip Melancthon in a great Cathedral she was being married by an Elvis imitator in a crummy chapel. But after they stood through a horrible rendition of “Love Me Truly” they promised to rock and roll together forever and the Elvis look alike, holding his guitar over their heads pronounced them man and wife. Then they were back on the street with no motel and no return tickets. Elves are very poor about after the wish arrangements( not at all like the gnomes that work for Tavelocity). So they took a bus ( not a golden coach) and found a nice motel with a nice room ( not however a Palace) and spent a truly wonderful night. The next day she asked when they were going back to the palace. That’s when he told her he never intended to go back. He was manger of the biggest McDonalds in the Chicago area and was working his way up. So she had nothing to look forward to except hamburgers and more hamburgers. She should never have trusted that elf. But at the very least Joseph could have been working for Burger King.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. The trees seem to have stopped moving. It is almost as if they are satisfied just to keep all those people locked in and don’t intend to do anything else. Nobody knows what caused them to move in the first place. Are they some government experiment from the assumed hidden government research facility gone wrong? Could it be that the government was trying to develop soldier trees? Or are they just trees that got tired of being cut down and taken to the mill and are now in revolt. No one has written the definitive book on why trees attack. But there is the driblet.
Tommy UK is taking it seriously. He read it over three times this morning. He noticed the driblet doesn’t say how the hole got in the tree. Tommy UK figures that sometimes what isn’t said is as important as what is said. So after the reading he started at the trees blocking the road and began tapping on them, looking for a hollow tree. By noon he was at the other end of town and right in the middle of the road to the mine he found a huge oak that sounded hollow when he tapped it. He sprayed a big red x on the tree and continued walking and tapping. By nightfall he was half way around There were no more hollow sounding trees.
Could Tommy be right? Do they have to drill the hole themselves ? Will the hollow tree contain the box? Is anyone “ pure of heart”? Does Eino have a better idea? And of course is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s son? Some of these questions will be answered tomorrow or the day after.

Today's Link-My Beautiful Chaos- Should she call the doctor?
Just one of those days. Breathing was good. In the morning we labeled and packed the six things I sold on eBay yesterday. Then Betty took them to the Post Office. Sp[ent the afternoon not doing much. Looking at other track possiblities before we locked this one in with wood underpinnings. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Saying for the Days: The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce

I finished the other book I got for Christmas. This one was given to me by my son Peter. He knew I enjoyed the Colbert Report on television so he gave me “ I AM AMERICA ( AND SO CAN YOU) “ by Stephen Colbert.
I have to tell you that if you are only going to read one book this year or only have the money to buy one book this is definitely not the one. It reads like an eighth grader trying very hard to be funny ( even eighth graders are funny now and then). It proves that anyone can write a successful book if he has a successful TV show to plug it on. The book is so bad that I could have written it. Regular readers of this blog know how bad that is.
Unlike the show the satire in the book is badly done and far too obvious. The conservatives he makes fun of are far too easy a target. Trust me you will hate the book.
Instead get yourself a good science fiction novel by Donaldson ( he has two new ones out) or Robert Jordan ( he’s dead but his books are still good) or even the stories of dragons and Perth by the various authors. These at least read well. Or if you want good satire go back and read O’Henry or the Wizard of Oz. Satire , you know, doesn’t have to be stupid.
Good reading.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. People are now trying very hard to find the tree with the hole and the box mentioned in the driblet. If you want to read the driblet it is on Petrovich's Web Site, driblet 97. If they never find the tree then finding the one who is pure of heart will make no difference.
At least they have the food and some Miller Lite that came in on the helicopter yesterday. It also brought Nancy and Dr. Fortress. The helicopter you remember was prevented from leaving by a vine that caught in the rotors. The helicopter was disabled but nobody was hurt in the crash. This morning they dragged the helicopter off the main street. Eino things it can be repaired but he doesn’t have the parts.
In the meantime life goes on in Pigeon Falls. They contacted Jack and got permission to use his sauna so the bath problem is solved. Life just feels better after a good bath and there is no better bath that a good Finnish sauna.
As in any war families are separated. The part of the family that was in town is separated from the part that didn’t go shopping or stop in to the Fly Inn for a drink that day.
So far Homeland Security still sees this whole incident as a laughing matter. The head of Homeland Security told one of his aids that they have much more important things to worry about than angry trees. The President, of course, has not been told. He’ll have to read about it in Time or Newsweek when it finally comes to their attention. Would you trouble the President about a rumor that trees are attacking a small town in the middle of nowhere?

Today's Link-Almost Somewhat Positive- She has a fever but is she sick or pregnant or both?
It was one of those very good days that has you almost singing by the end ( of course I don't sing because it would disturb the dog). It started with a good oxygen reading. Then I blogged and visited all my links. Then Betty, Pennie and I went to lunch at Perkins. They opened a new Perkins not far from our house and Betty wanted to try it out. It was, of course like all the other Perkins. There lemon pie is still not as good as my grandmothers. In the afternoon I laid track ( yes it finally came) while Betty started taking down the Christmas tree. The track is now all laid but there is much work left to put in the incline that should take about a week. Now I need a breathing treatment. Tomorrow another elf tale.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Another Meme

Saying for the day. Know a meme. Know a man.

Visiting blogs yesterday I came across this meme on Alpha Dude 1.5’s blog. Thought I might use it today.

1. If you had to kiss the last person you kissed again, would you?
Of course! And again and again.

2. Do you take compliments well?

3. Do you play Sudoku?
No. B ut my daughter-in-law does.

4. If abandoned alone in the wilderness would you survive?
No. I wouldn’t make it through the day.

5. If your house were on fire, what would be the first thing you would save?
My wife.

6. Who was the last person you slept in the bed with?
My wife.

7. Who do you text the most?
I don’t even have a cell phone.

8. Favorite children’s book?
The Chronicles of Narnia

9. How tall are you?
I used to be 5’9” but now I’m shorter.

10. Favorite ex?
I have no ex.

11. Where was the furthest place you traveled?

12. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?

13. Can you do splits?
Never could.

14. What movie do you want to see right now?
The Bucket List

15. What are you going to do for New Year’s Eve?
I went to bed early. ( My life has no excitement at all)

16. Are you a cheerleader?
Only for the Packers and they lost.

17. What’s the last letter of your middle name?

18. Do you like care bears?
Of course. I like all bears.

19. What do you eat at the movies?

20. Do you know how to play poker?
Yep. That doesn’t mean I’m any good at it though.

21. Do you wear your seatbelt?
Sometimes. It cuts off my oxygen tube.

22. What do you wear to sleep?
A nightshirt.

23. Is your hair straight or curly?

24. Is your tongue pierced?
No. I hate pain. I don’t even like having my blood drawn.

25. Do you like funny or serious people better?
I like them both. You need a good mix in life.

26. Ever been to L.A.?
No! But I was to San Fransico once.

27.Any plans 4 tonight?
Taking a breathing treatment and going to bed.

28. What's your fav. song at the moment?
I was there to hear your borning cry.

29. Are you a gullible person?

30. If you could have any job what would it be?
Sit down comic. I can’t stand up for long.

30. Are you easy to get along with?
You have to ask Betty.

31. What is your favorite time of day?
Early morning, before anyone else is up.

32. Are you generally a happy person?
Most of the time.

Okay…..your turn.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. Yesterday Dr. Fortress and Nancy came in a helicopter. They landed right in the middle of main street. They brought food and supplies and people were very thankful.
Then they offered to take people out four at a time. The first one’s to go would be those that had relatives they could stay with in the surrounding towns. The four people were picked and loaded in and the helicopter started to take off but it was just a couple of feet off the ground when a vine or branch shot out over the building into the helicopter blades and it crashed back down. It seems our trees aren’t allowing anybody to leave.
Petrovich announced that the driblet that had to do with the present problem was now on his web page. It is driblet 97. Everybody should be looking for the tree with the hole and the box. When they find that they can worry about finding one who is pure of heart. First things first.
Eino is not at all sure that that is the way to go. He doesn’t trust driblets. He thinks they should contact the university and find some kind of bug that would attack the trees. The only problem there is nobody knows what kind of trees they are. For one thing they have leaves and it’s the middle of winter. They are not oak or maple or birch. There is no such thing as a general tree beetle. They have, at the moment no way to get a sample out to a laboratory.
It would seem that Petrovich and his driblet is all they have.

Today's Link-Brain Foggles- Is today's entry a blog or an advertisement ? You decide.
A good day. A little tough on breathing. I had to go to the clinic and have some lab work done. Betty had a visit with the Dr. Then she had some lab work done. Then I came home and worked in the basement. My track should come tomorrow so we got everything ready, Now I need a breathing treatment.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Saying for the Day: You haven't won until the game is over.

The Packers lost.
They Lost.

I don’t know why.

We wore our lucky Packer stuff.
It was cold enough.
We really wanted them to win.
My son went to the game.

But the Packer’s lost.
They lost.

In overtime yet.
Beaten by a kicker who wasn’t that good.

It’s over.
The Super bowl dreams are smashed.

The Packer’s lost.

Next year is so far away.
But it’s all we have now.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. The little town if Pigeon Falls is devastated. Not only are they surrounded by hostile trees, not only are they running out of food, not only are there not enough places to take a bath, not only is the outside world ignoring them but their Packers lost. That’s right the mighty Green Bay Packers lost. One can not begin to describe the feeling of despair that has come over the town. Not even the best saffron bun and greatest cup of coffee could cheer them up. They can’t have those because Nancy is stuck in Iron Mountain and can’t get in because of the trees.
They have tried burning the trees, cutting the trees, and even blowing up the trees but nothing has worked. If this is a war the trees are winning.
Nancy has talked Dr. Fortress into letting her come with him in the helicopter to see first hand what is happening in Pigeon Falls. Her husband Tommy TW is off on a book signing tour and won’t be back until Friday.
Petrovich is making up a list of possible pure of heart candidates. There is the Priest and the two Pastors , of course. There is old Mrs. Hendrickson who is the nicest person in town and has never said a mean word to anybody. That’s about the list but he is going to ask the clergy for their suggestions as well.
Now they have to find the tree with the big hole and the box.

Today's Link-Mistakes in Motherhood- Beautiful birth video ( but nothing graphic)
Well I have recovered from the shock of the Packers loss. I spent the day trying to make sure my track order would be shipped. It only took three calls. I did a little cleaning in the basement. Betty went and did some grocery shopping. Then I worked on the computer. All my links got visited and I started cleaning up things on the blog. Now I need a breathing treatment

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why Do Good?

Saying for the day: But I’ve got to say: It’s a lot easier to do good if you put your faith in a book that requires you to do good. A.J. Jacobs

As my wife took the three gallons of milk to the Community Table I began to think of the impact the Church has on our world. All across America there are food pantries run not by societies of atheists but by the Church in one form or another. Take away all religion and there would be an awful lot of hungry people.
Without religion there is no moral compass. There is no reason to love our neighbor. Without God it’s every person for themselves.
I really don’t think I want to live in such a world.
There are those like my friend BBC who think religion is the cause of all evil. He points to incidents where one religious group attacks another. Those things do happen. But he ignores the vast good that people do as they try to live by Jesus command to love their neighbor as themselves.
All across America volunteers visit people in prison and in jails. They spend afternoons at nursing homes adding a little something to the life of the residents. They open their church buildings to all kinds of community needs. They give of their time to serve others. Not because they are good people but because they are trying to do what Jesus asks of them.
I wouldn’t want to live in a world without the Church.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is just a little strange. It is Sunday and the siege of the trees continues. Last Lutheran will hold services this morning. Some of its members are stuck outside of town and can’t come in because the trees are in the way but those that are stuck in town need some word of comfort and hope. Of course it will be easy for some of them to get to church because they are sleeping in the fellowship hall.
Pastor Joan has prepared a sermon on the promises of God and God’s loving intervention. She will say that even the driblet may be part of God’s plan to save us.
The call of the town for help from the outside world has been ignored thus far. It seems that leaders don’t believe that trees can surround and threaten a town. In fact when Eino called his friend at Homeland Security the guy had a hard time stopping laughing. He said they had more important things to worry about than terrorist trees. Mrs. Trumble got the same reaction from her friend the governor. It seems that if you haven’t experienced it you can’t believe that trees could surround or threaten a town. The general feeling of those being contacted is that somebody has had too much to drink.
Dr. Fortress , however, the general manager of the Money Pit and Cash Loss Railroad (MPCLR) believes because his trains can’t get in or out of Pigeon Falls. Trees have closed off both tunnels. He is preparing to send in his personal helicopter to survey the town but he is waiting until after the Packer game( important things first)
The town still has television and at least they can watch the Packers play for the championship. It will take their minds off of their problems. An extra large screen television has been set up in the basement of Last Lutheran so the people staying there can watch the game.
Will the outside world ever believe? Will help come? How do you fight an army of trees. Is there one “pure of heart” in all Pigeon Falls? Will the Packers Win? And of course is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s kid?

Today's Link-Confessions of a Lutheran Husker- Tears shed for a changing comic strip.
It was a great day. It was -15 this morning and the wind chill was -30 but we went to church. The road was fine. THe sermon was great . The bell choir and the senior choir joined together in an anthem. I shut my eyes and thought this is what the heavenly choir sounds like. I swear I could almost hear the angels sing. After church there was coffee before we ventured back out into the cold. After lunch Betty and Pennie went to Pennie's office to do some cleaning and I watched the Patriots win. NOw I am going to watch the Green Bay game. Then I will need a breathing treatment.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow and Cold and Me

Saying for the day:Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough. Earl Wilson

I am beginning to think Global Warming might be a good thing. This winter we have had a lot of snow and cold. More snow and cold than I wanted ( well I wanted none so any is more). There was a brief little period when we saw the grass but then came the latest snow fall followed by more cold. Here is a picture of my son Peter cleaning off the roof of the house after the last snowfall.
Ok! It isn’t really. But it could have been. It really is a picture from a place near Crystal Falls where I used to live. I got it by visiting Lois’s Blog. She has lots of winter pictures.
I would move to Florida but I don’t want to exchange blizzards for hurricanes. So I guess I’ll just have to put up with the white stuff and the cold till Global Warming kicks in.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal . After Petrovich’s latest driblet and being trapped in town by the trees the people of Pigeon Falls are really depressed. Not even a good cup of coffee and a great saffron bun can cheer them up.It is doubtful that even a Green Bay win on Sunday will cheer them up but it would help a little.
The bartender at the Fly Inn has set up a “ Reason to Drink List” on the wall of the bar. So far the reasons are as follows.
1. You are stuck in Pigeon Falls with nothing to do.
2. They are out of Miller Lite
3. The chance of finding somebody in this town that is “ pure of heart “ is nill.
4. Nobody has found the tree with the hole and the box.
5. They are going to run out of food.
6. Nancy is stuck in Iron Mountain and can’t get back in so the saffron buns will never be really great.
7. Petrovich and his bloody driblets give you a pain.
8. Your tired of Eino trying to explain everything.
9. Its cold.
10. We are all doomed.
He will add to the list as new reasons to drink become available. The most depressing thing of all but he won’t add it to the list is that eventually they will run out of booze.
Today's Link-Dad2Twins- Come celebrate with him two years of blogging.
Not a bad day. The oxygen was up. I talked to my son Peter. Betty found a reset switch on one of the outlet boxes and that solved that problem. I cleaned up a great deal of junk in the basement. we have a non working dehumidifier left by the former owner that the garbage won't take. I don't know what we will do with it. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Prince Benjamin and the Elf part Two

Saying for the Day-Destiny has two ways of crushing us - by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.Henri Frederic Amiel

If you didn’t read yesterdays blog please scroll down and do so or else today’s blog will make even less sense. Here as Paul Harvey is want to say is the rest of the story.
The years went by and poor Benjamin remained third in line for the thrown of Inner Bohemia. Day after day he waited for the magic that would make him King of Outer Bohemia but it either wasn’t coming or was very slow. It seems that speed is not a requirement of Elfin magic. Every time he checked Reginald Grumpus the Sixth was still King of Outer Bohemia and his daughter Marigold , an only child and according to local legend the result of elfin magic, was the only heir to the thrown.
When Benjamin turned twenty one his father and mother decided that the United States, now in the grips of the Isolationist President Hilary the First, could no longer be trusted to defend them. They needed to cement their relationship to Outer Bohemia so that they could resist any external threat together. One cements relationships between Kingdoms not with cement but with marriage. They knew that King Grumpus was looking to step down and was desperately trying to find a suitable husband for his daughter. Outer Bohemia it seemed needed a King as well as a Queen.
So they proposed a marriage between Prince Benjamin and Princess Marigold. One would have thought they would have suggested Prince Fredrick but he felt that it would be too hard to be King of two countries at one time ( they don’t make Princes like they used to). The next choice would have been Prince Joseph but he had gone to America to study and never came back. They didn’t even know where he was. There was a rumor that he was managing a McDonalds somewhere near Chicago but that was just a rumor.
So the task of providing Kingdom cement fell to Benjamin who was more than happy to oblige. He saw it as the fulfillment of his elfin wish.
After all the proper paper work was completed , and cementing relationships by marriage takes a ton of paperwork, the great day arrived. CBS and NBC carried the event live for though Americans don’t want a King they really love to watch royal marriages on television. King Grumpus sold them the joint right to telecast the event and provided them the use of Outer Bohemia’s one satellite. He also agreed that the entire event would be in English rather than Outer Bohemian ( he didn’t tell them nobody speaks Outer Bohemian any more except to tourists).
True to the greatest of Royal traditions Benjamin was not permitted to see the bride before the wedding. But he didn’t care. She was not important. Love was not important. Being King was important. And he would be King.
On the day of the wedding Prince , soon to be King, Benjamin rode to the Cathedral in a silver coach and Princess Marigold rode in a golden one. Hundreds of American women and thousands of American girls would dream of those coaches. Oddly enough not a single American boy would have such dreams. Who wants to be King when you can grow up and become the manager of McDonalds?
The Archbishop Philipp Melanchthon presided over the ceremony. The combined choirs of Inner and Outer Bohemia sang the liturgical parts. It was the most beautiful royal wedding ever televised. It got as high a rating as the Super Bowl but then it came at a time just after football season ended and what else was there to do?
Then came the moment Benjamin had waited for. The Archbishop pronounced them man and wife. Now for the first time he would see his bride. The archbishop pulled back the veil and said “ you may kiss the bride”.
That’s when Benjamin learned he should have listened to his mother. O! he would be King but he would also be married to the ugliest woman in the world for the rest of his life. You can always count on Elfen magic.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal .Petrovich passed out copies of his translation of driblet 97 which reads as follows:
I saw the city of the birds and people were very happy. My heart rejoiced for them. But then I saw the trees move. Back trees I said but they did not go back. They moved and moved. Now the people are no longer happy. There is weeping and crying. People are afraid.
This is a horrible vision but it goes on. The people are starving but the whirly birds come and drop food. Never have I seen such birds.
Now one drops something. It looks like it will lift people out of the city. I rejoice for they are saved. But wait a vine shoots out and the whirly bird crashes to the ground. They are not saved. I can not stand the vision. Be gone evil forest be gone. But it does not go.
But I see a light. There is a big tree with a hole. There is a box. A voice says “ Open the box and the trees will go away”
A man comes and reaches for the box but he falls to the ground and is dragged away.
A voice says only “one who is pure of heart may open the box“.
People are crying. The preacher comes. They drag her away.
I can take no more.
Be gone O evil vision.
Be gone.
The prophet awakens.

Today's Link-FinaDrea-The adventure of putting the kid to bed.
It started out as a good day. I bloged. Betty and I got the eBay sales from yesterday mailed out. I worked in the basement. Betty drove out and did a variety of things. All was going well until I blew a fuse. Well I thought I threw a circuit breaker but none of them was thrown. But all the basement outlets are down. I can't find out why. I am not very good at that sort of thing. They will stay down until Monday when I can get some body in to look at them. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Prince Benjamin and the Elf

Saying for the day: Be careful what you wish for you might get it.

It is time for me to tell you another fairy tale or elf tale to be exact. It begins as such tales should:
Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a country not too far away , there lived a Prince. He was the youngest of three Princes in the royal Bohemke line. His great, great, great grandfather was Mad Dog Bohemke the greatest King and general that Inner Bohemia ever had. Mad Dog , you remember, almost single handedly, freed Inner Bohemia from the Evil Soviet Empire but that’s a different story.
When Prince Benjamin ( a name his mother choose from the Bible) turned fourteen he became very depressed. As the youngest Prince he knew that the chance of his ever becoming King was not very high , about as high as the Packers beating the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. His oldest brother Prince Fredrick was disgustingly healthy, strong as a bull, and quite possibly would live for ever. And even if by some odd chance Fredrick was run over by the palace hippopotamus ( not likely since Fredrick was the world’s greatest expert on Hippopotami) there was still Prince Joseph.
So faced with the terrible prospect of being always a Prince and never a King, Prince Benjamin did a terrible desperate thing. He took down the whistle his mother told him and his brothers never to blow and blew it. Immediately an elf appeared. “It’s about time “ said the elf “ I’ve been waiting for years to clear this wish from the books. People don’t understand the book keeping required for unwished wishes.”
Now the other thing his mother had stressed was if an elf offers you a wish run don’t walk to the nearest exit. Benjamin ignored that as well because he knew exactly what he was going to wish for. He wished to become King of Outer Bohemia that way the two brothers could both be Kings. The elf looked at him and said” As you have wished so shall it be “ which is elf talk for ok you’ll get it.
But nothing changed. Prince Benjamin was still third in line for the thrown of Inner Bohemia and King Reginald Grumpus the Sixth sat on the thrown of Outer Bohemia. Sometimes it takes time to get your wish. But Benjamin held on to the promise “ As you have wished so shall it be”.
To be continued tomorrow

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal . The trees have closed off Pigeon Falls. You can’t get in or out. They tried cutting them down with a chain saw but for every tree they cut two more sprang up to take its place. The trees are so close together that you can’t slide between them to leave.
People are afraid they will starve. The only food in town is at Bob’ IGA and Last Lutheran’s food pantry.
Since many of the people who are trapped don’t live in town they have set up cots in the fellowship hall of Last Lutheran for them. Meals are also being prepared there.
In desperation they tried to set the trees on fire to burn their way out but the trees didn’t burn. So they have called for help from the world outside Pigeon Falls. That world, however, is treating the whole thing as some kind of joke. They got the message “ Help we are surrounded by attacking trees” and assumed somebody had too much to drink. So, for the moment, the town is on its own. This right at the time of the championship Packer game . What lousy timing.
Petrovich is still putting the finishing touches on his translation of the driblet that he says applies to this event. He intends to share it with the town this evening. Even Eino is waiting for that presentation.
Is Pigeon Falls trapped for ever? Will the outside world ever listen? Will Petrovich’s translation of an old driblet help? Will the trees keep coming until everyone is crushed? Will they starve. Will Green Bay win? And of course is Tommy UK really the Undertaker’s Kid? These and other questions yet unasked may never get answered ( except of course for the Packer one).

Today's Link-The Bell Pages- Not quite a Pod Cast
It was one of those days. I got up that was good. I posted my blog that was good. I visited all my links. That was good. My oxygen was down that was bad. Baxk on the little bottle. I called Neenah's water department and discovered that our leaky toilet is going to cost us about $200. That was bad. I got two O scale passenger cars via UPS that was good. I discovered my supplier had canceled my track order because they got the cancellation date on my credit card wrong. That was bad. It snowed all day that was bad. Betty got a friend to take her to Bible study . That was good. I worked in the basement cleaning. That was good. It was just one of those days. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Year of Living Biblically

Saying for the day: Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

I just finished reading a most interesting book. It’s called “The Year of Living Biblically”. It was written by A.J. Jacobs. My son Patrick gave it to me for Christmas. At first I thought it was one of those Bible verse a day books. You know where every day there is a verse for you to read and with it a mini sermon. But it isn’t that at all. It is far from it. This book is unlike any other Bible related book your going to find.
This is a book written by an agnostic who sets out to immerse himself in the Bible for a year. He decides to do that by keeping all the laws and rules in the Bible. The first thing he discovers is there are an awful lot of them. This book is about his adventure and his effort to make sense of it all.
As I read the book I got to see Bible verses I had never noticed before. I had read them but never paid any attention to them. Jacobs lifts them out and hits me in the head with them. That alone made the book a good read.
But Jacob can be funny, insightful, and has a way of breaking stereotypes. After this book I will never look at the Amish, snake handlers, Orthodox Jews, or dozens of others from liberal to conservative in the same way. The book is filled with his encounters not just with the Bible but with the people who love the Bible.
I would recommend the book as a very good read.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal . Well Tommy TW made it onto the Letterman show last night. It was almost a let down. Oh, he got to hold up his book three times but Dave went off on a Sauna tangent. He wanted to know if men and women sauna together without clothes. Poor Tommy TW tried to explain that Jack’s sauna had one side for women and one side for men. But Dave pushed and pushed. Tommy TW had to admit that married couples sometimes took saunas together. Dave asked if there was a lot of pre-marital sauna taking. But he did get to hold up the book.
Getting in to town has gotten harder as the trees are now onto the road and there is just enough room for a car to get through . The engineer had to stop and cut down two trees to get through this morning. He says that he has never seen anything like it. When he looked back there were now four trees where the two had been. He is not sure he can get out of town.
Eino is stumped. He keeps saying that trees don’t act like that. Now he thinks it might be some kind of government research.
Petrovich says that he is working on a full translation of a driblet that seems to fit but they aren’t going to like it.

Today's Link-Proud's Thoughts- Funny useless questions. My kind of blog.
I spent the day getting seven items ready to see and then posting them to eBay. Along the way I had computer trouble which slowed everything down. I wanted to visit some links as well but that just didn't happen. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Saying for the day: It ain't funny Charlie. It just ain't funny.

As I was reading the funnies in the Sunday paper I cam across an old groaner disguised as a cartoon. The old groaner went like this:

There was a town with far too many prostitutes and the police were unable to find the man behind the entire ring. So one of the lady judges decided to go undercover and try to find the guy herself. Of course she couldn’t tell the police because there was an informant somewhere in the department. The second day that the judge was on the street she was picked up in a raid and booked as a prostitute. Thus the police violated a basic rule.

Never book a judge by its cover.

This reminded me of my old friend Rev. Ingamar Levin who always came to church conventions with more groaners than you ever wanted to hear. I offer a few of them below.

# Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire. Thus we'll never know

for whom the Tells bowled.

# A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day his supply of the birds ran out, so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with

transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

# A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the brujo looked him in the eye and said,

"Let me tell you, with fronds like these, who needs enemas?"

# Back in the 1800s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for pocket watches, decided to market compasses for the pioneers traveling west. It turned out that although their watches were of finest quality, their compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression,

"He who has a Tates is lost!

I have more but I’ll save them for another time.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal .People are busy planning their Packer parties for next weekend and their Tommy TW parties for tonight. Tonight is the night that Tommy TW finally makes it unto the Letterman Show. The is the first writer to be married to a girl from Pigeon Falls and the very first writer to use Pigeon Falls as the setting for his book. People want to see what he says about the town.
Nancy’s café has been busy all morning. It has, you know, good saffron buns now made by the Lutherans. People get two things at one time. They get the joy of eating a great saffron bun, almost as good as Nancy’s and the joy of knowing the money is going to feed the hungry of the world. You can hardly beat that.
People coming into town are now saying the trees have moved. They are right up next to the road. The engineer on the morning train said they were so close to the track that he wasn’t sure the engine would get through. Something weird is going on.
Petrovich says there might be a driblet that fits the moving trees.
Eino, of course, says there is some kind of rational explanation . It could be there was a little earthquake and the earth heaved and moved. The trees just went with it.
For the most part people are trying to ignore the moving trees as they have had their fill of weird.

Today's Link-Mommyness is Happiness-A Mommy with a Nanny.
A hard breathing day. I worked most of the day moving November and December blogs over to a form where I can print them out to send to my sister. Betty went to Bible study. Then we got the packages off to my eBay people and to Dawn ( the October blogs). Now I need a breathing treatment.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Global Weirding

Saying for the day: Everything an expert tells you isn't necessarily true.

Last week all the snow in my backyard had melted and most of the snow in my front yard. The grass even looked green. The dog was digging up old bones so the ground was no longer frozen. Today you can’t see the back yards or the back steps because of the snow. Yesterday we had to have Curtis blow out our driveway there was so much snow.
This isn’t global warming this is global weirding.
While scientist and politicians fight over global warming the weather is just plain weird.
Some years back there was a theory that since weather patterns were determined by upper air flow if something disturbed those patterns you changed the weather. What scientists saw then as changing the pattern wasn’t CO2 but cities, big cities. They were talking about New York, Chicago, Denver, Dallas etc. These cities replaced trees and ground with concrete and tar. They heated the air above them. They changed the upper air patterns.
Why aren’t we hearing about that theory any more?
I think there are two reasons.
1. We can’t change it. We can’t get rid of London or Detroit or New York.
2. Politicians would have to come up with ways to live with it. That would cost money. Better to cry CO2 and make other people pay even if the cures don’t work.
Day by day I am more and more convinced that we live in a time of global weirding. Why day after tomorrow I may be able to go swimming.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal . Pigeon Falls is one happy town today. The Packers won and Dallas lost and all is right with the world. The Lutherans are extra happy because they got real saffron buns at church yesterday along with really great coffee. Petrovich’s driblet, talk of moving trees have all been pushed aside. The town is now looking forward to next Sunday’s game in the Holy City, Green Bay.
The Lutherans also made a deal with Nancy. They would provide fresh saffron buns every day until Nancy returns and all the money from the sale will go to world hunger. This way everybody wins.
There are, of course, a couple of unhappy people in all this. The Bellingers moved to Pigeon Falls from Texas and they were cheering for Dallas. Of course they didn’t tell anybody and they didn’t attend any parties. At the end of the game they thought they had a chance . After that last missed pass Mrs. Bellinger sat down and cried. It’s hard to watch your team lose that way.
Roger Stir, the insurance guy, is extra happy. He has managed to wrangle two tickets to next Sunday’s game. He and his son Oscar will drive down the day before and stay at one of those way overpriced motels. What more can one ask in life than to be able to sit in Lambeau field , the cathedral of Packer worship , and watch a championship game.
People are even praying that it will snow that day because the Packers play better in snow.

Today's Link-A Not So Desperate Housewife-If you have an interest in scrap booking this is for you.
A good day. Breathing was good. We addressed and packed the items that sold on eBay on Saturday. They will go to the Post office in the morning with the items that sold today. I spent most of the day in the basement putting together the next set of items for eBay. Betty worked on the upper part of her town and put in street lights. It is starting to really look sharp.Now I need a breathing treatment.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thanks for family

Saying for the day: This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it" the Bible

I am a bit late again this morning as I had to wait for my grandchildren to get up. Our computer room is also our guest room.
Now I have just a short time to get ready for Church so I need to keep this short.
I am thankful this morning that God has given me two families. The family that I am related to by genetics and the family of brothers and sisters in Christ. Both bring great joy to me but in different ways.
This morning I will sing Jesus loves me with the Church family. We will share and feel the love of God pouring over us. I look forward to that.
Then this afternoon the other family will gather and we will watch a football game that we hope Dallas will lose. There will be laughter and story telling and everything that goes with family.
God has indeed been good to me.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal . There is a joyful mood in Pigeon Falls today. The big win of the Packers has everybody excited. They have put aside for the moment the prophecy of Petrovich and his driblet. They are ignoring the fact that you can’t get a decent saffron bun or a good cup of coffee. The Packers won and that’s all that counts. All around the town are green and gold signs that say things like “Go Pack Go” or” We love our quarterback” or “ Onward to the Super Bowl”.
There will be gatherings all over town to watch the Dallas game.
Pastor Joan has a surprise of her own for the congregation. She called Nancy and got the recipe for saffron buns. Then she and some ladies from the church made a huge batch for today’s church coffee. They tested a couple and they are as good as Nancy’s or almost as good. You can’t beat the church coffee. It’s really special coming from Latin American cooperatives.
This looks likes its going to be a great day in Pigeon Falls. The only odd thing is that several people coming in to church felt that the trees were closer to the road. The engineer on the morning train felt the trees were closer to the track. Eino says its just winter and snow making things look different.

Today's link-Orthodoxy Hunter- A Woman looking for right belief.
Well the day didn't go as planned. Pennie got back from Green Bay where she stayed the night because the road was so bad. She said our road was like glass so we didn't get the church. Otherwise we had a great day. I played with my grand kids. Dallas lost. The next playoff game will be in Green Bay. Life is pretty good. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Suprise

Saying for the day:Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes. It's unbridled, its unplanned, it's full of suprises. -- Erma Bombeck

I had a great blog entry all planned out in my head for today. I was going to get up early and put it all together. Then came the surprise. My son and his boys showed up for the weekend. That changes everything.
First I stayed up later than usual so I over slept this morning.
Second when I got up the boys were still sleeping. They sleep in the computer/guest room. So I couldn’t get to the computer.
When they finally did get up I had to take a little time to give them some advice, “ If an elf offers you a wish . Don’t take it!. It will backfire” . I thought they ought to know that . They gave me that ok grandpa, if you say so look and went over to Pennie’s side of the house where people are sane and breakfast is on the table.
So now I can use the computer but I can’t remember what I was going to write.
This is, of course, a big day. Pennie and Peter have wrangled tickets to the Packer playoff game and the rest of us will watch it on television. The family that screams together can’t be all bad.
Well I have to go and have breakfast at Pennie’s . I just thought of something else about elves that I should tell my grandsons. What else are grandparents for?

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal .Poor Tommy TW didn’t make it on to Letterman again last night. Again he was in that waiting room and again the show ran late and again he got cut. They were very, very apologetic and promised him they would get him on next Tuesday. They would even feature him. So he and Nancy are in New York for four more days.
Poor Pigeon Falls will have to do without a decent saffron bun for at least four days more. As far as that goes the quality of both the coffee and the cinnamon roles has also gone down hill. They really need Nancy.
Despite the fear of the coming plague today is a big day in Pigeon Falls. Almost everybody you see on the street is wearing the Green and Gold of the Packers. There are Packer parties all over town. The town’s cable system has added the game to its usual six channels .Well they think they have made the changes that will add the game. So people don’t have to go to the Fly Inn or know somebody with a dish.
If Green Bay loses that on top of the plague and lousy saffron buns is likely to bring on a community wide depression.

Today's Link-Sleeping Mommy- She reviews a book that sounds like good reading.
It was a great day. For the second day in a row breathing was good. I got to play with grandkids. We watched the Packers win. It was just a great day. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another elf tale

Sayng for the day:“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.” Eugene O'Neill

I have for you today another fairy tale or to be more exact an elf tale. It begins as do all such good stories:
Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a place not too far away ( just three blocks down and one block over to be exact). There lived a beautiful young lady who spent the first thirty years of her life getting a PHD from Harvard ( she was no dummy). In fact she did her dissertation on the impact of Gawpo on the twentieth century . Which I’m sure you know was the basis for the great PBS film special on the same which is now available on an enhanced HDTV DVD. None of that is really important except that when she finished her degree and turned thirty she decided to fly to Las Vegas and celebrate. This of course did not make her parents who were FANATIC Lutherans happy . For a short time it even affected her mother’s health turning her into a raving insomniac and cough medicine junkie. But that , of course, is a different story.
So off she flew to Las Vegas and got totally smashed, falling down drunk, or if you prefer really, really happy. That would have been ok but when she awoke in the morning our Princess ( I know she is not the daughter of a King and Queen but every tale needs a Princess) found herself in one of those big heart shaped beds that are so popular in Vegas. In one hand she clutched a marriage license and next to her she found her brand new hubby and next to him was this little guy in a green suit with funny curly pointed shoes. My regular readers, jumping ahead, know that’s an elf.
Getting dressed our Princess called room service and had a huge pot of coffee delivered to her room. Then she took three Tylenol for her hangover ( poor therapy at best) and tried to think things out. She was a woman of action and not one to sit and fretter. First of all she was sure she had not tossed and turned sleeplessly all night but she was almost afraid to discover what she had done. Waking up with a man you never met before, naked as a J bird , alongside an elf can really set one to thinking.
At this point our elf awoke and offered the required one wish because of what she had done for him. It came with the usual restrictions. She could not wish that China would cease to be communist or that George Bush would turn into an Arab and be non-tortured by the CIA or any big thing like that. Our Princess , however, at this point was more concerned about what she had done for him than getting one wish. Besides something inside her said “ Woah!” for she knew that elf wishes were like bombs that eventually explode in the wish makers face.
So she drank her coffee and thought and thought. Finally she told the elf she needed time to think about the wish. So the elf gave her a magic whistle and all she had to do was blow it and he would return.
To this day she hasn’t blown the whistle. Her new hubby turned out to be a real Prince which made her a real Princess and one day a Queen. Her parents forgave her. Her mother joined cough medicine anonymous and everybody lived happily ever after. Till one day her third child blew the whistle but that too is another story.( Child blows whistle on Mother)
I want to thank Cindra for the eighteen words that drove this story and Petrovich's Driblet yesterday although I assume I could have found them in any good dictionary.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal There are a lot of people who are upset in Pigeon Falls today. First of all with Nancy gone you can’t get a decent saffron bun. Everybody knows that a cinnamon roll does not have the same calming effect as a saffron bun and people really need something to calm them. It wasn’t bad enough that they lived through the community dream, the early winter, the night without day, the coming of the dragon band all that other stuff but now they have to look forward to a plague with suffering and crying and all that bad stuff. Petrovich says its coming. They can’t stop it. They are doomed.
People are begging Petrovich to be more exact and tell them when it will come. So they can visit their relatives in Green Bay or Des Moines or anywhere until the little girl with the light shows up.
But Petrovich says the best he can do is to tell you it will be this year. The prophet has seen it and it will come. But there is no clue in the driblet as to when during the year.
Good old Eino ,who doesn’t believe in the driblet stuff to begin with, is telling people to relax. Why? Because it’s all nonsense. The only plague to hit Pigeon Falls is the plague of anxiety caused by Petrovich.

Today's Link-Supernatural Fairy Tales-Your chance to win a poison apple candle.
A very good breathing day. It is so odd a bad day followed by a good day. There doesn't seem to be any reason. I worked in the basement most of the day> I emptied some more boxes. I got another set ready to sell on eBay. Then we worked in the wiring for the first module of the layout. At one point I pressed the bottom to run the street car and the ceiling light went out. But after much work the right button controls what we want. In the upper town only the street lights and a couple of building lights are left. Then I visited all my links and left messages where there were new entries. Now I need a breathing treatment.