Once Upon A Time There Was A Father

An 80-year-old rancher from Montana goes to the Mayo clinic in Rochester for a check-up.

The doctor is amazed at what good shape the guy is in and asks, ‘How do you stay in such great physical condition?’

‘I’m from Montana and in my spare time I like to hunt and fish’ says the old guy, ‘and that’s why I’m in such good shape. I’m up well before daylight riding herd and mending fences and when I’m not doing that, I’m out hunting or fishing. In the evening, I have a beer, a shot of whiskey and all is well.’

‘Well’ says the doctor, ‘I’m sure that helps, but there’s got to be more to it. How old was your father when he died?’

‘Who said my Father’s dead?’

The doctor is amazed. ‘You mean you’re 80 years old and your father’s still alive? How old is he?’

‘He’s 100 years old,’ says the old cowboy. ‘In fact he worked and hunted with me this morning, and then we went to the topless bar for a while and had a little beer and that’s why he’s still alive. He’s a Montana rancher and he hunts and fishes too!’

‘Well,’ the doctor says, ‘that’s great, but I’m sure there’s more to it than that. How about your father’s father? How old was he when he died?’

‘Who said my Grandpa’s dead?’

Stunned, the doctor asks, ‘you mean you’re 80 years old and your grandfather’s still alive?’

‘He’s 118 years old,’ says the man.

The doctor is getting frustrated at this point, ‘So, I guess he went hunting with you this morning too?’

‘No, Grandpa couldn’t go this morning because he’s getting married today.’

At this point the doctor is close to losing it. ‘Getting Married??? Why would a 118 year-old guy want to get married?’

‘Who said he wanted to?’


A New Look

As Charlie approached middle age, mid-life, he suddenly came to the eye-awakening conclusion that physically, he was a mess. Not only was he going bald, but years of sitting at the desk quoting insurance rates, eating at Denny’s, had given him a rather large pot belly.

When asked about his love life, Charlie would sigh and then sadly lament, “If it wasn’t for pick pockets, I wouldn’t have any love life at all.” Old Charlie was not having much success, no matter which approach he tried, the life of a lover was just not working out.

He appeared at his doctor’s office for his semi-annual physical, the doctor asked him, “Well, Old Timer, I see you are still kicking.” And Charlie replied, “Yeah, but I don’t seem to be stirring up much dust anymore.” While sitting in the doctor’s office Charlie had read his horoscope and it said that he needed to institute a change in his life.

Maybe this was the key he thought.

So he flipped the paper over to the Personals section. “Burned out lady, seeks the next getting to know you hour and one-half phone call, preceding over-priced restaurant dinner in which we both trot out our desperate stories and whatever rancid history we happen to have dragged along with us, knowing from the start that it’s a complete waste of time, because the only ones we would really be interested in don’t exist.  Looking for SWM (Single White Male) 35-45, hair, eyes, wallet, etc.” No that won’t work he thought, so he browsed the ads some more. The next personal ad was almost as interesting. “Dolly Parton look alike, raving beauty in her mid thirties, seeks good man with beard or without. Family, not flings, interest me. Broke and hungry, but can cook. Bring food.” Charlie thought to himself, “Hmmmm, this could be her?”

Nowhere was the word “hefty or nice personality” and any other adjectives.

This one, he mused, sounded good. So he dutifully sat down and answered the ad. But things just did not work out for Old Charlie, even tho’ he desperately wanted them to. When he showed up at the appointed hour for the date, the lady who accepted his answer to the ad, just doubled over and laughed at him. “That does it! This is the final straw!” 

Charlie shouted, “I am going to turn over a new leaf. I am going to become a totally NEW man.”

Old Charlie decided right there, that he was going to get a new look. Setting out to radically change his life, Old Charlie sat out upon his new task, his mission in life. Charlie began a totally new daily regime. He laid off the heavy salad dressing and went for the low-cal instead. He began setting his alarm clock and each morning, he danced through the living room on the “Early Morning Workout.” 

He started carrying his briefcase with a new vigor. He began to lift weights and jog at the local gym.

Old Charlie had, it seemed, definitely put some new life in his step. Charlie cleaned out the closets of his life, no shelf was left unturned. “Out with the old and in with the new!” became the war cry of this Hun. No more quick bag of chips for breakfast, forget the candy bars (with the creamy caramel centers) after lunch, it was strictly the Granola Bar for Charlie, this was after all, “serious business.” This changing his life attitude that Charlie had developed from all outward appearances was working.

Old Charlie was determined that he was going to change, to have that NEW look. Not to be detoured, he decided he would go all the way. He went about his business one hundred and ten-percent (110%) he gave it his all. Taking out a second mortgage on his house, he got a new expensive hair transplant (not the cheapie model mind you, he got the Corvette of hair transplants), a pair of new corafam wing tip shoes, patent leather no less. A bright new red PT Cruiser with a CD player and tape deck. Rings, watch, enough gold to hang around his neck it looked like a Mr. T. starter set.

In the short span of six weeks, Old Charlie was a new man, or at least, he thought so. Again he answered the ad in the paper and asked the very same woman out for a date. Pleading his case like a seasoned trial lawyer, sounding like the Ben Matlock of the dating scene, he made his case. He said, “I have changed, you owe it to yourself, to inspect the NEW me.” The Perry Mason of charm had won his case, the lady agreed to meet with him. All of his hard work, his dedication, finally had paid off.

The day for the date arrived. For the first time in a very long time, Charlie was excited as he had never been excited before (kind of like that feeling you get when you get your first bicycle or something like that, right?) almost like a schoolboy facing his first prom. All polished and shining like a Jewel of the Nile, old Charlie stood there on the threshold of the lady’s house, all dressed up for the date. Decked out to the nines, looking better than he had ever looked in his entire life!

The NEW Charlie had arrived. He stood there on the steps of romance and wondered to himself, “If perhaps tonight, he might get lucky?”

Tonight is the night Old Charlie is going to give the lady a ring. “She will be sorry for laughing at me, I am a new man, from top to bottom. Things are going to be a lot different this time around.” As he stood there on the doorstep poised to ring the woman’s doorbell, a bolt of lightning struck him and knocked him off his feet.

As he lay there dying, he turned his eyes towards the heavens and asked, “Why? Why? I have busted my tail for this day, why now? After all I have been through, how could you do this to me?” 

From up above, there came a rumbling and a deep, bold voice said ……… Oh, sorry Charlie, didn’t recognize you.” *


* Any resemblance to anyone living or dead named Charlie, is purely coincidental and should not be construed as an actual representation of fact.

Gas Shock Wipeout

 “You don’t have to give them service before or after the sale, all you have to give ‘em is the best possible price.” …  Quote from Modern Day Economic’s Professor.

Finding parts for a 30 year old bus, is often for lack of a better word, a challenge.  Today was such a day, I went to five auto parts outlets, one parts supplier, and eventually, later on in the afternoon, the Internet.  Never did find the part.  I found a lot that were “similar” in size and shape, but not THE part I was in search of. 

That is often the way it goes … First yo’ muny … And then yo’ clothes.  The owner of a second-hand bus knows how hard it is to drive a bargain.

The thing that is often so frustrating is standing around at the parts counter, while two guys work the parts and the customers stand around in the background waiting to be helped.  If things are this busy, you would think they would have more people working the counter.  

Everywhere I go these days, I either see some poor slob who is over-worked and under-appreciated working his butt off.  Or I come across small groups of people standing around waiting on the next smoke break or the non-sanctioned hackey-sack tournament in the parking lot at 10 A.M..  

 Then there is the ever present question.

You show them the part, and they say to you … “What does this go on?”  You say, “An 83 Model Eagle Bus.” and then they want to know what is an 83 Eagle Bus might be, and of course, “where do I look it up in the book?”  You in turn say to them, “it won’t be in a book” and try to explain to them the nature of the beast.  

 They reply with “everything is in the book.”

At one place, I stood there for a full 12 minutes while this guy talked on the telephone, in the mean time, people who work there, zombies with little name tags on their shirts, are walking around and acting like I am invisible or something.  Back in the old days, they would inquire of you, “I am sorry, have you been helped?” but that dog doesn’t seem to hunt any more. 

No such animal I am afraid.

I did find the part on the Internet but I could not figure out by looking at the photo’s, if it was the right part, and at $41 and some change each (I need two) I enquired by email on the items.  No soap.  They answered the email alright, within the hour, as they had promised.  But confusion ensued, which is often the case with emails, and I found myself reluctant to commit without specific information.  

They in turn steered me via email to the home page “where information on all of our products” can be found.  This is the part that rubs me wrong.  If “all the information on the product can be found there” on the Home Page, then why am I sending them an email to inquire about the product?

The person on the other end, who said his name was “Joe” just blew me off, for lack of a better description.  It was apparent that he just did not feel like dealing with me, email or not.  He just shunted me off to the Home Page and that was it.  

All of this is akin to being snake bit, it is taking me a long, long time to die.

When this company is forced to lay someone off later on in the year, in a valiant effort to cut back because of lousy business and poor customer service, I sincerely hope Joe is the first one shown the door.  

Because all this has been so difficult and has turned into one frustrating dead-end after another, I have decided to give up on new gas shocks and just find me a suitable stick at Home Depot or Lowe’s to prop the door open with that.  Regrettably, it is not very professional by any means, but it is like Dr. Phil says …. “What ever works?”

This is the new revised plan or fix for the problem.  

You see I KNOW where to find a stick, I can run it thru “self service checkout” and be outta there in a snap.  For all of you who have stuck around this long, here is the finish.

I am home now, safe in my own little world of my own making.  I sit in my comfortable easy chair and sip on my coffee and my mind wanders to All In The Family and the episode where Archie is stuck on the elevator with all the people.  

 Where the lady says:

“Oh I hope I didn’t hold you people up?  This is the slowest elevator in New York City.  Oh has this been a day, nothing has gone right, this elevator that I caught, is the first thing for me that has gone right all day.  When I left the house this morning, I stubbed my toe, and I couldn’t run, so I missed the bus.  When I got to work, I locked myself in the ladies room, and my boss left, and I missed getting paid.  Could you please punch #4 for me?”  

Archie responds, ”Lady we just passed five.  Today is a complete wipeout for you aint it?”  

After the day I just had, I can really relate to that, I surely can.


Friday Markup

Lee Judge

Does history repeat itself:  Guns … Guns … Guns.  How quickly we forget.  It is not always guns … guns are not the problem.  Andrew Kehoe blew up a school bus in Beth Township, Michigan.  Kehoe also killed his wife and firebombed his own farm, all of this happening just as the charges he had placed under a local school went off.  

Which ended up killing 37 elementary school children and two teachers.  Then he drove to the school, in a car loaded up with shrapnel and detonated that, killing three adults, a schoolboy and himself.

 All of this happened in 1922.  

Three days later, Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris and completed his trans-Atlantic flight, the nation and the world quickly forgot about the worst diabolical act of home grown terrorism and worst massacres in U.S. History. 

Barn Burner:  Yesterday’s post, Stumped In Oklahoma went over 1,700 views in one day period, that is kind of amazing.  You keep on chopping, day after day, and the chips keep flying, and then every now and then, you hit one out of the park.  Who would have thunk thet?

“Handpicked highlights brought to you from the wordpress editors”  …  Our friends over at Fresh Pressed have put up a real head-banger, 3,700 words on a Gay porn star who has committed suicide and the possible reasons for this.  Uh huh … sure.  Fully believing that people will believe the truth when they hear it, here is the bottom line.  People who commit suicide are selfish, and they are only thinking of themselves, not the people they left behind to mourn. 


Gasoline The New Gold Standard: The price of gasoline has increased .50 cents this month, today is the 36th day it has increased in price, and I fully expect it to continue to spiral out of sight (Who is going to stop the carnage?).  At the current rate, if it is to continue at this accelerated pace, a gallon of gas should be somewhere around $8.40 a gallon by Christmas.  

 If you want to read more on it, here is a link.

Sitting on the dock of the bay:  I keep thinking about these two old boys, sitting on a boat dock in Alabama, and hurtling thru space is a chunk of rock, big as a bus, moving at 33,000 miles per hour.  What do you think the expression is going to be on their face when that monster rock plows into the pond they are fishing in?  I am sorry …. but it just makes me smile.  Here is something else I found amusing this week.

Sweet Dreams:  You ever lie in your bed, that special early time in the morning, where you are not exactly asleep, but you still have your eyes closed?  I have just had another nice dream, one of those sweet dreams, where you just don’t want to open your eyes, and lose the image in your brain that has brought you release from the trials of life.  

In my younger days, my mom would call them Happy Dreams, and we will leave it that.  Anyway, she was there, Penny from the Big Bang Theory and she shared some time with me last night and I just don’t want to get up, I don’t want to open my eyes.


 Which is a lot, lot better than those other dreams.  

Y’know, the one’s where you are naked and walking backwards in the dark, and you brush up against a warm buttered doorknob, don’tcha just hate those kind of dreams?

Have a great weekend.  We are headed into round three of winter weather and most likely will be shut in, napping our day away and of course ….. dreaming.  (heh-heh)


Cartoon courtesy of American Progress Online

Most read this week on Creative Endeavors:

Home page / Archives  
Bikinis (The reason men are pigs)  
Negative Ruminations  
Wow … Wow … Oh Wow!  
Take Your Pick  
Wood Ice Chest  
Lover’s Day  
Truck Month – Stumped In Oklahoma  
House Battery Workover  
50 Plates For My Brother (audio)

Negative Ruminations

imgresFor the first time in something like 200 years, a Pope is resigning and throwing in the towel.  Two books on the subject say that “the internal politic’s of the church” are the main culprit and that the stress and strain of dealing with it on a daily basis is why the Head Man In Charge is stepping down. 

Too many cooks will often spoil the soup, is what my Mama used to say, and it appears that all this negative influence has pulled the man down.  Details can be found here.

This is something to think about when negative people are doing their best to rain on your parade. So remember this the next time someone who knows nothing and cares less tries to make your life miserable.

There was a woman who was at her hairdresser’s getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband.  She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:  “Rome?  Why would anyone want to go there? It’s crowded and dirty. You’re crazy to go to Rome.  So, how are you getting there?” 

“We’re taking Continental,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!” 

“Continental?” exclaimed the hairdresser. “That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they’re always late.  So, where are you staying in Rome?”

“We’ll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome ‘s Tiber River called Teste.”  The hairdresser responded: “Don’t go any further. I know that place.  Everybody thinks its gonna be something special and exclusive, but it’s really a dump.”

Not to be deterred the woman getting her hair done responded:  “We’re going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope.”

“That’s rich,” laughed the hairdresser. “You and a million other people trying to see him.  He’ll look the size of an ant.  Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You’re going to need it.” 

A month later, the woman again came in for a touchup on her hairdo.

The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome.  “It was wonderful,” explained the woman, “not only were we on time in one of Continental’s brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.  And the hotel was great! They’d just finished a $5 million remodeling job, and now it’s a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner’s suite at no extra charge!” 

“Well,” muttered the hairdresser, “that’s all well and good, but I know you didn’t get to see the Pope.”   

“Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I’d be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.  Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me..”   

“Oh, really!  What’d he say?” the hairdresser asked.  The woman getting her hair done replied … He said: “Who ****** up your hair?”

Uh, no good huh?  Well whadya expect for free?


Try this one on for size.

A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.  (B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.  (C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171  Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Now please consider this: (A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is estimated to be 80,000,000.  (Yes, that’s 80 million)  (B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.  (C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .0000188  Statistics courtesy of FBI


So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.  Remember that …  “Guns don’t kill people, doctors do.”

So here is the bottom line, where the rubber meets the road:

Not everyone has a gun … But … Almost everyone has at least one doctor.

This means you are over 9,000 times more likely to be killed by a doctor as by a gun owner.  Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.  We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand! *


*Out of concern for the public at large, we withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention … (sorry Larry)

Hosing You Down and Down

big-oilThis morning, over a cup of Columbian Coffee I come on here and read refineries and the EPA are our problem?  Man-Man, I must have it all wrong.  I had it the other way, “restriction of product, scarcity in supply (on purpose) to drive up prices.”

When it comes to understanding the volatile pricing of gasoline and upper distillates  who can we trust?  Some people say the free market.  But then again, look at the past history of oil in this country.  Gas/Diesel prices kept climbing even as oil prices dropped, all the while as supplies increased.

Oil prices are supposed to fall back when U.S. inventories of crude and petroleum products grow.  So why is it when U.S. crude supply exceeds demand, prices still rise? There must be something else that is choking the system.

Surely, we should be able to trust the insight of our elected representatives.

Some are quick to point a finger towards Washington D.C.  Lawmakers claim we need new comprehensive energy legislation that would open more public lands for oil and gas drilling and make it easier for new refineries to be built.  Oil companies while idly sitting on thousands of leases, call for more “tax incentives” to the tune of yearly amounts of billions of dollars to alleviate the problems in our country.

Run that one up the flagpole again, and again, and again.  No one is gonna salute it.  

Ah yes, and don’t forget to include those whacky environmentalists preventing oil companies from building new refineries. I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. still has the same number today as we had 25 years ago.  Perhaps the oil companies just neglected to notice that American Drivers (and drivers around the world) increased during this period of time?  

EPA adds to the mix, but that can be solved, get rid of the the EPA.  I personally see them doing nothing but restricting instead of encouraging business in this country.  Pardon my French but it aint all them tree huggers causing the problem, that dawg won’t hunt either.

Over the last quarter-century, the number of refineries in the United States dropped to 149, less than half the number in 1981.  Oh, well all those refinieries closing is probably from pressure by liberal lawmakers.  Uh huh, sure.  We used to have ten of them here in Oklahoma now we are down to two, possibly three.  Why were they shut down, to support artificial price controls would be the first guess.  

Then there are those who would blame it on the EPA.  

 From 1975 to 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received only one permit request for a new refinery. Those bad guys at EPA approved Arizona Clean Fuels’ application for an air permit for a proposed refinery in Arizona. Arizona in turn “speeded up the permit application process to accomodate the builders and speed up the process.”  In addition, oil companies are regularly applying for – and receiving – permits to modify and expand their existing refineries every week in this country.  I have heard that the Arizona deal fell thru the cracks and was shut down.  So we are back to square one.

Why would oil companies want to close refineries?

  • 1981 – 329 refineries operating at 68.6% capacity
  • 2006 – 149 refineries operating at 89.7%

And those figures are clearly years out of date by now.  Oh well, at least that makes good business sense. A refinery operating at 90% capacity should be much more profitable than running at 70%. So I guess we know where all the profits from high gasoline prices are going; to the stockholders of the nation’s biggest refinery companies.

Over and over, case after case, and no one seems to notice.  Refiners in response to falling gasoline demand and rising costs, have cut their production rates.

Then we come to speculators and the price gougers who walk and live amongst us.  “They are mostly described as sitting in a boardroom and colluding, but they can see easily enough where their benefit lies, and it doesn’t lie in a price war.”  In a truly competitive market, you might see some of these providers try to improve their market share by reducing prices. But this is not happening.

They are all better off by restricting production to keep prices up.  

We let them accumulate market power through the wave of mergers, and we’ve been paying the price in the last five years. Here is the bottom line.  “If there is a small number of players in the market, they learn from each other’s behavior.”

So as you can clearly see, there are no easy answers and simple solutions on the horizon.

We are catering to our nation’s oil cartel by blaming the problem on lack of supply and refining capacity, or our governent clearly knows something everybody else doesn’t and it is just keeping the secret to themselves.

In either case … You lose.  Have a good weekend, might forgo the trip to Grandma’s, that is up around $75 one-way in my case, and it just aint gonna happen.


Cartoon courtesy of American Progress Online