How’s Your “Ology” Knowledge ?

head down_01Are you considering a career change and cruising endless job sites?

Might you be skipping over some amazing opportunities like “Speleology” (see below) because you can only guess at what it means?

Because I care about you, I’ve put together an alphabetical list of careers that may be your perfect match, along with helpful illustrations of what you’ll be doing when you land that dream job:

Word and What You Guessed It Meant

What It Actually Means

Helpful Illustration


Something to do with being sorry?

The study of bees. 01_Bees

Something to do with pitching a tent?

The art or study of bell casting and ringing. 02_Bells.jpg

Something to do with pterodactyls?

The technique of communicating by signs made with the hands and fingers. 03_sign language

Something to do with dumpster diving?

The study of a society or culture by analyzing its refuse. 05_ garbage waste-study-workers-sort-garbage-530 cropped.jpg

Something to do with my nose?

The branch of medicine that deals with the classification of diseases. 05_doctor-microscope-laptop-computer-13017204.jpg

Something to do with Yoko Ono?

The study of name formation and naming practices. 09_Names.png

Something to do with my friends?

The study of pollens and spores, especially those that are fossilized. 05_Pollen

Something to do with my cell phone?

The study of speech sounds in language. 07_hand to ear.jpg

Something else to do with pterodactyls?

The study of ferns and other seedless plants. no pterodactyls_cropped

Something to do with channel surfing?

The study of the effects of radiation on living organisms. 10_Xray

Something to do with being a couch potato?

The branch of medicine dealing with nutrition and dietetics. 11_Diet

Something to do with spelling?

The scientific study of caves. 12_cave.jpg

Something to do with getting mad…or sick…or something?

The study of flags. 13_flags.jpg



Got Time To Talk? Then…

The year is 1953.turkeys

An obscure poultry supplier in Omaha, Nebraska has a problem:  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and they have an overstock of turkeys.  A serious overstock:  Two hundred and sixty tons of turkeys.  That translates into 20,800 birds – give or take a turkey.

What to do?

finger pointing_01After much finger pointing and blame assigning, someone has an idea:  Cook the birds.  Make large quantities of dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable.  Peas, perhaps?  Then portion it all out into individual metal trays, one turkey dinner with trimmings per tray.  Put each dinner in a box that has an enticing color picture of the contents, and freeze it.

The sales department loves the idea.  They believe housewives will buy the product, take it home and put it in their freezers.  And one night when Mom can’t figure out what toBrilliant Idea 590x332 make for dinner, she’ll open her freezer and – saved!  Mom will say, “No cooking for me tonight.  I have these in my freezer, all ready to heat and serve in just 25 minutes.  My family will love them!  And I love them, too, because after dinner – no cleanup!  I just throw the trays away.”

The new product appears in grocery stores that same year.  The company was so confident that it authorized a first run of 5,000 frozen dinners, but within 10 months, they’d already sold 10 million.

tv-dinner-1954-largeBy the end of 1954, they’d sold more than 25 million frozen dinners.

The name of that obscure company in Omaha, Nebraska?  C.A. Swanson & Sons.

The product?  Swanson’s Turkey TV Dinners.

Now, you’ve heard:  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

I say:   When life gives you turkeys – make TV Dinners.

print ad_01.jpg print ad_04.jpg print ad_03.jpg

An Open Memo To All Media

This headline in my newspaper prompted me to write the following memo to all media – not just to my newspaper, but to all newspapers.  Whether the story is on the front page, the fifth page or the 50th page.

And not just all newspapers, but…

To All Media: stop-sign cropped

Whether you’re online, on the phone, on the fax, on TV, radio, iPhone, iPad, that wrist computer thingy that nobody uses, and every other way you put the news out there:

Please stop saying “City paid.”

Or “County paid.”  Or “State paid.”  Or “Federal government paid.”Stop Right Now

Because neither the city nor county nor state nor Federal governments pay for anything.

We, the taxpayers, do.

Just imagine how different a story would be if it was accurate:

Example #1: Correction:
“Just a decade later, that number has ballooned to more than $67 billion and the state is picking up the tab.” “Just a decade later, that number has ballooned to more than $67 billion and the taxpayers are picking up the tab.”
Example #2: Correction:
“The Federal government distributes around $530 billion in funding each year to states and localities.” “The Federal government distributes around $530 billion of your tax dollars each year to states and localities.”
Example #3: Correction:
“…which states and the largest U.S. cities use their own revenues to fund low income rental housing programs, separate and apart from any federal funds they receive.” “…which states and the largest U.S. cities use taxpayer dollars to fund low income rental housing programs, separate and apart from any federal funds they receive.”

Think about it.  How often have you heard something along the lines of, “The Pentagon expects to pay $94.6 million for each F-35A fighter jet”?

AF-3, Flt 230, Major Andrew
The Pentagon paid $94.6 million for this F-35A fighter jet?  No, YOU paid for it!

This somehow lulls us into thinking, “The Pentagon sure is paying a heck of lot of money for one fighter jet!”

As if “the Pentagon” was some amorphous thing “out there” with its own checkbook.

The Pentagon has NO money except for what we, the taxpayers, give it.  Same for every government – city, county, state and federal.

So, members of the media, going forward, please tell your stories accurately.  At every level, for every expense, be clear about where the money comes from.

Maybe then we, as taxpayers – and voters – will pay more attention to where it’s going.


Generous Jeff…Not

I recently received this notice in the mail:


Did I think, “Wow!  I’ve been an Amazon customer for years, and now they’re rewarding me for it!”


Skeptic that I’ve learned to be, I knew Amazon wasn’t going to just give me a $250 gift card.  Amazon wasn’t going to give me any gift card.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos didn’t get to be the richest person in the world by giving away money.

Left to right:  Rich, RICHEST, rich, rich.

And Bezos is, according to CBS News’ Money Watch and other sources, indeed the richest person in the world:  As of February 2018, worth $116 billion, richer than Bill Gates, than Warren Buffet, than maybe anyone, anywhere, ever.

But apparently for Bezos, he wasn’t quite rich enough.

So he sold my information – and certainly I wasn’t singled out for this special attention – to a marketing company.

bored croppedHence my receipt of the above notice.

Skeptical, but admittedly curious, I called the number.

A chipper voice asked to whom she had the pleasure of speaking, and instead of answering (I’m wise to that), I said, “What’s this all about?”free_03

It turned out that if I would just agree to a “free, no-obligation, one-hour solar consultation,” that $250 gift card would be mine!!!

The chipper voice was still talking when I hung up.

Enclosed slipThe notice included a separate slip, on the back of which in fine print I learned that this gift card giveaway was “Sponsored By:  Energy Informative Company.”  A quick search on the Internet revealed that “Energy Informative’s mission is to educate and empower homeowners about solar panels and energy.”

So Bezos sold my information to Energy Informative.  Or perhaps he sold it to some huge marketing conglomerate that puts together incentives for all sorts of companies, and now I’ll get inundated with offers I don’t want.

Jeff Bezos is making money off my information, and I’m not.

And that, I guess, is how the rich get richer.

Bezos print.jpg

Will They? Won’t They? And What Will They Say?

The media are buzzing with speculation about the proposed meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Will they meet, or won’t they?  If so, when and where?  And what will they talk about?

I can’t answer any of these, but I can at least speculate on how their meeting will go…




Well, if it isn’t that old lunatic, mean trickster and human reject.

Mr. President, welcome to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.





Hey, Little Rocket Man, how ya doin’?

Supreme Leader, I’m honored to be here.





You look worse in person than you do on TV.


We sincerely hope you are finding your accommodations comfortable.




Translator (interrupts):


I saw some Korean chicks on the way here – not bad.  I’d grab them by the pu–

This is a beautiful country with beautiful people.




What is up with your hair?  Would you like the name of my hairdresser?

This is a historic day for all of us.








Do you shave your head or does a blind guy do it for you?


Historic, indeed, we will both live long as heroes in the history books.



Translator (interrupts):


My button is bigger than your button, and so it my pe–

We have many serious and far-reaching issues to discuss.







My biggest button is so ready for that fire and fury like the world has never seen!

What we do here today will affect every person on our planet.





All of the mainland U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike.  Today the U.S., tomorrow the world!

The world is watching and will remember what we do here today.







I’m going to get China to make you disappear in one form or another very quickly.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States will show the world the way!





If you think I’m going to give up my nuclear capability, you are a mentally deranged dotard.

Once I am assured we’re friends, I will dismantle everything, forever.






This is gonna be great, it’s gonna be fantastic, we’re gonna totally destroy you.

And we will live in harmony for all time.


(Trump and Kim leave the room.)





Rex Tillerson이 그리워.

 Yeah, wish he was here.


trump.kim_ smiling


Book Review: “The Last Black Unicorn”

bookPublication date:  December 2017

Review, short version:  Four skunks out of four.

Review, long version:

I first encountered Tiffany Haddish last December during a radio interview about her new book, The Last Black Unicorn.

I’m always looking for something to read, so I was interested in hearing what she had to say.  Especially since she was introduced as “the breakout star of this summer’s raucous hit movie, Girl’s Trip, and last month, Haddish became the first African-American woman stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live.”

Tiffany had plenty to say in the interview, and I wanted to know more, so I added my name to the waiting list for her book at my library.  The book is so popular – it’s been on the New York Times best seller list for 12 weeks – that I waited nearly three months until waitingit was my turn.

During that three months it was easy to learn more about Tiffany – she’s all over the media.  According to one online source, “The 38-year-old comedian has endured poverty, the foster care system, molestation, and a throng of other traumas.  And in her pursuit to become a successful comedian and actress, she infamously once lived in her car.”

How did Tiffany go from homeless – to presenter at the March 4 Academy Awards?

Here was a story I had to read.

When I finally had Tiffany’s book in hand, I was elated.  I started to read, and my elationQuote 3 quickly turned to disappointment.

For here is someone who may have an inspiring story to tell, but lacked something – the motive, or the imagination, or the editor – to help her choose the right words.  As a result, her story is lost in passages like this, on page 90:

Then I started to get pissed.  I realized this motherfucker is giving this bitch all my fucking tricks.  Ain’t that some bullshit?  

Then he started fucking her.  And he’s fucking her without a condom.

Quote 2And I didn’t have to wait until page 90 for the profanity – the introduction, or “Invitation” as she calls it, is brief, but includes both “shit” and “fuck ups.”  Over the next 90 pages I encountered all of the following many, many times:

Sucked, shit, fuck, bullshit, motherfucking, shitty, ass, fucking, bitch, bitches, dick, titties, goddam.

Here’s one more excerpt, from page 87:

What the fuck was on that damn tape?  What the fuck was on that tape?  I need to know what the fuck was on that tape.

My hair was fucked, but I gave zero fucks at this point.

This is a twelve-week New York Times best seller?

NY Times RedoA 4.04 rating on GoodReads with 10,757 reviews?

A book people are apparently willing – eager – and happy to spend $26 on?

I’m not opposed to profanity, or offensive language, or obscenities, or whatever you care to call it.  I sometimes use it myself, and I think sometimes it can be useful and/or funny and/or meaningful.Boring

So my primary issue wasn’t the profanities, but rather the egregious use of them.  It was so repetitive, and that became…



Ninety pages were all I could handle.

Back in that radio interview, Tiffany said, “I hope a little girl or little boy reads this and be like, ‘My life is hard, but it ain’t that hard.  If she could survive that, I could survive anything.’”

Tiffany, I also hope lots of little girls and boys are inspired by your story.

I also hope they won’t quote you.

Quote 1

Girl, You Are Dumb As Dirt

Megan headline croppedThe headlines are full of stories about men behaving badly.

So it’s only fair that when a woman behaves badly, that makes headlines, too.

And the story about Megan Barry is making beaucoup headlines.

This is not only about a woman behaving badly, but stupidly.  Hence, the title of this blog.

Megan Barry, the 54-year-old Democratic mayor of Nashville, resigned on March 6.

News of Barry’s affair prompted this response.

Barry, who is married, had been involved in a two-year affair with her bodyguard, Robert Forrest, 58, also married.  As is normal nowadays, news of the affair was pretty much greeted with a big yawn from other politicians and the public.

Barry called the affair a “mistake” and vowed to continue serving as mayor.

Megan Barry mug shot cropped
Barry’s mugshot.

But then Barry was accused of – and pleaded guilty to – using city funds to cover expenses incurred during and because of the affair.  Something along the lines of $11,000, which she’ll repay, while spending three years on probation.

Barry and Forrest, according to CNN, “were often partaking in domestic and foreign travel for work, which led Forrest to rack up $33,000 in expenses and $50,000 plus in overtime in 2017 on top of his $84,500 salary.  Nine of the trips were attended only by Barry and Forrest.”

Forrest also pleaded guilty and will pay $45,000 in restitution to the city, and spend three years on probation.

Robert Forrest mug shot cropped
Forrest’s mugshot.

Apparently having an affair is OK, but asking the taxpayers to subsidize it – that’s a transgression.

Unless you’re a member of Congress.

When a member of Congress commits a transgression – like sexual harassment, for example – the Office of Compliance (OOC) pays to settle the issue.

And we taxpayers subsidize it.

To the tune of $17 million from 1997-2017.17 million dollar print screen

And not one member of Congress has been held accountable for whatever actions of theirs necessitated the settlements.

In other words, not one member of Congress got caught.

So Megan, if you’re going to behave like a guy, then learn what the guys have known forever:

Behaving badly at the taxpayers’ expense is OK…

As long as you don’t get caught.

megan and forrest cropped.jpg Gotcha

Megan and Robert in their pre-mugshot days until…Gotcha!

Chatty, What Part of “6:30pm” Don’t You Understand?

dearabby_splash_1_Dear Abby:

I usually think your advice is right on, but I have to disagree with your recent response to “Fed Up” in Napa, CA.

Fed Up’s husband is outgoing and very talkative.  He loves conversing on the phone for hours, and visiting with all the neighbors, so let’s call him “Chatty.”

Here’s “Chatty” (left), displaying his personality disorder.

Chatty’s conversing and visiting means he’s  consistently late for dinner.  Fed Up has a set time for dinner – 6:30pm – and Chatty knows this, but he shows up 6:45 and even 7pm.  When he’s late – which seems to be chronic – Fed Up gets, well, fed up, and goes ahead and eats without him.  She would rather, she says, have Chatty with her when she sits down to eat at 6:30.

Your advice started out well, when you said Fed Up can’t force Chatty to the dinner table at 6:30.

Then your advice went south when you said, “Try this:  Tell him dinner time is 6:30, but prepare the food as if it’s for 6:45 or 7.”wait what

Wait.  What?

When wife Fed Up fixes husband Chatty dinner every night, does he show up on time, and thank her for doing this night after night, like men do in real life?

death_01No.  He shows up late.

There’s only one excuse for tardiness:  Death.

If Chatty dies on his way home from talking to the neighbors, then I’m OK with his failure to appear for dinner on time.

Otherwise, Chatty is late because

  1. He’s an ungrateful, unappreciative jerk.

    Here’s poor “Fed Up,” waiting for “Chatty” to come home for dinner.
  2. He’s disrespectful of Fed Up’s time and effort.
  3. He chooses to be late, which is passive-aggressive behavior.

You should have suggested serious, long-term counseling for Chatty to address this personality disorder, but…no.

Instead you tell Fed Up to accommodate Chatty’s bad behavior first, by lying, and second, by preparing dinner for a time adjusted to Chatty’s lateness.

good-advice_01 croppedAre you crazy?

Here’s my advice to Fed Up:  Divorce Chatty, sell your house, take a nice long vacation to a five-star hotel where someone else does the cooking, hook up with a younger guy who appreciates you, and live happily ever after.

Just like women do in real life.


They Put the “Duh” In “Dummies”

The media abounds with stories about dumb criminals:Print Screen correction

“Eight Dumb Criminals Caught Through Facebook!”

“These Seven Dumb Criminals Basically Arrested Themselves!”

“Criminals Caught By Bragging About Their Crimes Online!”

But after hearing a recent local crime story, I can’t help but wonder – who are the dummies?  The suspects, or their victims?

Here’s what happened:

bank-robbery-suspects-768x404In a bank parking lot, these two women are dressed in medical scrubs.  The first woman is sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, and the second approaches a person – hereafter referred to as “the victim” – in the parking lot.

The second woman asks “the victim to cash a check usually for the amount of $4,900,” and promises the victim $40 for their assistance.  This happens to a series of victims.

The checks turn out to be fake, and the suspects net around $44,000 – so far.

Let’s put ourselves in the victims’ shoes.

Scenario #1:  A woman walks up to you in a bank parking lot and says, “Excuse me, I have this check and I’m wondering if you can help me cash it?  I’m blond and wearingduh hospital scrubs, so obviously I’m trustworthy.”

Would you think, “Blond, hospital scrubs.  No problem!”

Of course not.

Scenario #2:  A woman walks up to you in a bank parking lot and says, “Excuse me, I have this check and I’m wondering if you can help me cash it?  I’ll meet you by my getawayduh car – it’s right over there.”

Would you think, “A getaway car?  They must be filming one of those reality TV shows.  No problem!”

Of course not.

Scenario #3:  A woman walks up to you in a bank parking lot and says, “Excuse me, I have this check and I’m wondering if you can help me cash it?  I’d cash it myself but Iduh forgot my fake ID.”

Would you think, “What a hassle, forgetting your fake ID.  No problem!”

Of course not.

You would think, “We’re in a bank parking lot.  Why doesn’t she go into the bank and cash it herself?”

Wouldn’t this raise a teensy-weensy bit of suspicion?

handing.out_.money_03For the victims, apparently not.

I’m assuming the suspect’s checks were made out to “Cash.”  The victim takes the check into the bank and cashes it, the victim hands over $4,900 to the suspect, the suspect gives the victim $40, the suspects drive away.

Who would take a check from a stranger, walk into a bank and cash it for them?

Who are the real dummies here?