The Royal Fishing Trip

The Royal Fishing TripWe hope you enjoy the story of the “Royal Fishing Trip.” The original author is unknown.

Royal Fishing Trip

Once upon a time there was a king who wanted to go fishing. He called the royal weather forecaster and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours. The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days. So the king went fishing with his wife, the queen.

On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the king the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area”.

The king was polite and considerate, he replied, “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional, and I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way.” So they did.

A short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.

Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the weatherman at once! Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster. The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.” So instead, the King hired the donkey.

And thus began the practice of hiring asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions… and this practice continues to this very day.

The Gray-Haired Geezer Movement

The Gray-Haired Geezer MovementThis was sent to me by more than one of my friends and family members who are a little bit older than me. In fact, I also received this from my mother – whose birthday is today. “Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you!!!” (Yes, I’ll admit it; my mom reads my blogs.) Apparently, there is a gray-haired, geezer movement in progress that “we”, as a nation, should be paying attention to. The original author is unknown.

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released last month.

They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are “Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and grew old together. Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to lead America into the technological age. Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience. We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes. For those of you who don’t know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators. A few even remember when cars were started with a crank. Yes, we lived those days.

We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so. We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield. We didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America; we fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” We wore different uniforms, but carried the same flag. We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, America, and America the Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. We have lived what many of you have only read in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.

Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it. It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to “defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic”, and that is an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress. You fell for the “Hope and Change” which in reality was nothing but “Hype and Lies.”

You youngsters have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don’t like it after all. You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or “Climbing the Social Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting. Many of those who fell for the “Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn’t have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the ‘Kool-Aid.’ Now you’re paying the price and complaining about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom.

This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, and in 2016 we are going to take back our nation. We may drive a little slower than you would like, but we get where we’re going, and in 2016 we’re going to the polls by the millions!

This land does not belong to the man in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Eric Holder. It belongs to “We the People” and “We the People” plan to reclaim our land and our freedom. We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren. So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, Stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the “Gray-Haired Brigade.”

Can you feel the ground shaking??? It’s not an earthquake, it is a STAMPEDE!

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Things I noticed After a Week’s Vacation

Dangerous Ambiguity on a dark night

Dangerous Ambiguity on a dark night

After a week’s vacation on Anna Maria Island I must confess that the world looks even more ambiguous than before.
J.G Ballard wrote a while back that “The marriage of reason and nightmare which has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an ever more ambiguous world. Across the communications landscape move the specters of sinister technologies and the dreams that money can buy. Thermonuclear weapons systems and soft drink commercials coexist in an overlit realm ruled by advertising and pseudo events, science and pornography. Over our lives preside the great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century—sex and paranoia.”

So when I read that New York City’s law enforcement arrests some guys operating a “drone” near the George Washington Bridge with the accusation that they interfered with a Police Helicopter, while an Air Traffic Control Report now clearly shows that it was the helicopter threatening the drone, I feel ambiguity creeping up the base of my neck; even more so when I notice on my beach walk right here on our beach some guys operating remote controlled drones with HD Digital cameras and I wonder the potentially compromising personal pictures they can take of scantily dressed sunbathers and post them online. Am I a weirdo for thinking that or should guilt be shared with Ballard’s observation above?? 

Ambiguity can refer to a statement, an act or an attitude. Let’s see if you can find examples of this in the following list:
1. ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA…… FLOOR.
2. ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.
3. IF MAN EVOLVED FROM MONKEYS AND APES, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?
4. THE MAIN REASON THAT SANTA IS SO JOLLY IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE ALL THE BAD GIRLS LIVE.
5. I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, “WHERE’S THE SELF- HELP SECTION?” SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.
6. WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?
7. IF A DEAF CHILD SIGNS SWEAR WORDS, DOES HIS MOTHER WASH HIS HANDS WITH SOAP?
8. IF SOMEONE WITH MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES THREATENS TO KILL HIMSELF, IS IT CONSIDERED A HOSTAGE SITUATION?
9. IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?
10. WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO “GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?”
11. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?
12. IF A PARSLEY FARMER IS SUED, CAN THEY GARNISH HIS WAGES?
13. WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?
14. WHY DO THEY LOCK GAS STATION BATHROOMS? ARE THEY AFRAID SOMEONE WILL BREAK-IN AND CLEAN THEM?
15. IF A TURTLE DOESN’T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED?
16. CAN VEGETARIANS EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS?
17. IF THE POLICE ARREST A MUTE, DO THEY TELL HIM HE HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT?
18. WHY DO THEY PUT BRAILLE ON THE DRIVE-THROUGH BANK MACHINES?
19. HOW DO THEY GET DEER TO CROSS THE ROAD ONLY AT THOSE YELLOW ROAD SIGNS?
20. WHAT WAS THE BEST THING BEFORE SLICED BREAD?
21. ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.
22. DOES THE LITTLE MERMAID WEAR AN ALGEBRA?
23. DO INFANTS ENJOY INFANCY AS MUCH AS ADULTS ENJOY ADULTERY?
24. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR?
25. IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?
26. IF YOU ATE BOTH PASTA AND ANTIPASTO, WOULD YOU STILL BE HUNGRY?
27. IF YOU TRY TO FAIL, AND SUCCEED, WHICH HAVE YOU DONE?
28. WHOSE CRUEL IDEA WAS IT FOR THE WORD ‘LISP’ TO HAVE ‘S’ IN IT?
29. WHY ARE HEMORRHOIDS CALLED “HEMORRHOIDS” INSTEAD OF “ASSTEROIDS”?
30. WHY IS IT CALLED TOURIST SEASON IF WE CAN’T SHOOT AT THEM?
31. WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON SOUR CREAM?
32. IF YOU SPIN AN ORIENTAL MAN IN A CIRCLE THREE TIMES, DOES HE BECOME DISORIENTED?
33. CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD?
34. WHY DO SHOPS HAVE SIGNS, ‘GUIDE DOGS ONLY’, THE DOGS CAN’T READ AND THEIR OWNERS ARE BLIND?

And just for good measure and to show that Ballard’s observation has an eternal application, here are 5 sketches that confirm that sex and paranoia are still male leitmotivs in the 21st century. Enjoy.

Why I Still Like to Read Newspapers

Print Headlines are Forever-Searchamelia

Print Headlines Are Forever

Obviously nothing personal meant with this statement. I have always stated that there is a place for print, even when it does not take paper manufactured from trees anymore. I do not buy a newspaper anymore (but my wife does) simply because I don’t have an extra minute in the day to sit down and enjoy the read with a cup of coffee like I used to do in an earlier life.

But here are the reasons why I still love reading headlines, followed by an honest advice for newspapers and first generation webpage designers to prepare for a future without newspapers and desktop computers. Imagine that the kids born in the early 1990s are already outplayed by technological progress.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Thanks for sharing Ric. Click on Images to Enlarge!

Searchamelia publishes funny print headlines

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We may have to RETHINK the expression Social Media !!! A contribution from my friend Erik in Panama.

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Person of Interest Anyone?

This picture was taken with a 70,000 x30,000 pixel camera (2100 Mega Pixels.)

These cameras are not sold to the public and are being installed in strategic locations. It can identify a face inside a multitude of people. There were roughly one hundred fifty thousand people at this event.

Click on the picture and use the zoom slider on the upper left to get in closer. Thanks for sharing Rick.

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And this one came from my friend John in Utah even though this Cowboy’s real Tombstone was even cooler in my opinion. See Below

Sunday Funday Funnies

I took this shot of an AA plane flying into St.Maarten in 1990

Got an hour more today as Daylight Savings turns back to normal (Thanks to Ben Franklin’s folly) and while my friend Joe Bonamassa is filling my speakers with songs from his 4 DVD Set Tour de Force he did earlier this year in London, I want to share a couple of funny picture galleries, videos and stories I find in my email inbox daily.

By the way I hope this is not what happened to you this morning when the  Alarm Clock was mistaken.

How much music you can still make with what you have left

The first one is a story I can relate to as a string musician. It describes Itzhak Perlman, the world renown Israeli born violinist, conductor and music pedagogue who reportedly had to doubly overcome his polio handicap during a concert at the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York in November of 1995. Even though this story was published by the Houston Chronicle in 2001, it turned out to be a hoax as can be found on Snopes. But beyond that as a string musician I can attest the challenge of playing leads on less than the usual number of strings on an instrument. When I push a B or G string too far in a blues bend and it breaks, the rest of the song becomes a matter of transposing and rephrasing instantly. A true challenge of the mind. But moreover the message of this story is so heart warming that I decided to share it with you:

On November 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, world renowned violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.

He walks awkwardly, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair.  He sits down, slowly puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on his leg braces, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward.  Then he bends down, picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and begins to play.
His audience is used to this ritual.  They sit quietly while he makes his way across the state to his chair.  They remain reverently silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs.  And they patiently wait until he is ready to play.

This particular time, just as Itzhak Perlman finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke.  You could hear it snap – it went of like gunfire across the room.  There was no mistaking what that sound meant.  There was no mistaking what he had to do. (What follows is actually the weak part of the story). The audience figured Itzhak Perlman would have to get up, put on the clasps, pick up the crutches and limp his way offstage to either find another violin or find another string for this one, and they would have waited patiently for him to do so.

Instead, he paused a moment, closed his eyes, and then signaled the conductor to begin again.
Of course, everyone in the audience knew that it is virtually impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings.  But that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that.

The orchestra began and Itzhak Perlman played from where he had left off.  He played with a passion, a power, and a purity they had never heard before.
You could see him modulating, changing, and re-composing the piece in his head.  At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to elicit sounds they had never made before.  When he finished, there was absolute silence in the room.  Then the audience  rose as one and cheered.  It was truly an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of Avery Fisher Hall.  The entire audience was on its feet cheering and whistling and doing everything they could to show how much they appreciated what Itzhak Perlman  had achieved that night.

He smiled, wiped the sweat from his brow, raised his bow to quiet the audience and said in a quietly distinct tone:  “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”
Here is a man who has prepared all his life to make music on a violin of four strings, who, in the middle of a concert, finds himself with only three strings; so he made music with those three strings and the music he made that night with just three strings was more beautiful, more memorable, than any he had ever made before.

Why did the police stop him?

My friend Eric retired to the Panamanian Highlands in 2005. Before his retirement he was Holland’s top law enforcement officer, which is probably why he noticed instantly the reason why this motorist with his beautiful by-rider in Paris was stopped by the gendarmes, as he send me the following picture show yesterday.

That’s right. The police stopped them because she took the helmet off!!!

A funny Dutch Commercial

Click on the link below

I have something in my garden you don’t


Sunday Funday Musings and Videos

ETV Sold for asking price of $100,000 this week

My attention this week on several occasions was caught by vehicles that are much more than just a means of transportation.

I think it started out when I saw the ETV on eBay, built by a guy in Sebastian Florida. The Extra Terrestrial Vehicle at first sight looked a bit impractical, but after some research it turned out that everything functioned in line with DOT requirements. Asking price was $100,000 and it sold to a private bidder. When I learned that “Mike”, the guy who built this beauty, has already built some 60 cars in the past 20 years, I thought how much fun that is and lucrative to boot. Here is a math assumption. 60 cars at an average sales price of $25,000 is $1.5 million or $75,000 per year. No doubt he has a well researched and profitable way of getting his materials, so he clears a nice income this way. And then I remembered a Picture powerpoint a good friend of mine sent me depicting mobiles from long forgotten times, built by individuals with the same passion as Mike, as they move the world forward with their creativity and perseverance. Here is a look back at Vehicle Ideas from the early 20th century

FIAT 500

During the Blues Festival we had a car display from FIAT in Jacksonville, exposing those wonderfully popular FIAT 500s to a growing group of admirers. When I saw it first the first time on American roads I had to laugh out loud. The FIAT 500 reminds me of the many vacations we took in Italy in the late 50s and early 60s and every time the door of a 500 opened there were 6 or 7 people falling out of the car. The FIAT 500 I remember was an Italian family car to run around town or go to the beach with. When I read American reviews that dislike the power train of 101 horse power, or the knee space in the back seats, or being sensitive to crosswinds on the highways when 18 wheelers pass them, I can only shake my head in disbelief.

Fiat 500 in the 1950s

No nostalgia can change the fact that The FIAT 500 was meant for the 1950s in Southern Europe, for start-up families of 2 parents and 2 kids pretty much like this picture here. I remember in 1965, after a month long vacation in Torre del Lago Puccini my oldest brother and I pledged to go back the next year and hang out with our summer girl friends. We would buy a FIAT 500, the cheapest car we could afford and come back down. The price of a standard FIAT was Hfl 1,500, about $800. Of course we never made it, but I still remember my two girlfriends names: Donatella Gatteschi and Elizabetta Harangoni from the city of Lucca. That is 49 years ago. That next year I played in a band and played gigs around Europe. Never got to buy or drive one. Who knows….!

Garage Doors

And of course from vehicles it is a short jump to garages. A German company called “Style your Garage” has put an end to ugly and boring garage doors. They make very realistic printed-on 3D motifs that will make your neighbours and people passing by stare of amazement. They have a variety of prints, ranging from family oriented to not so family oriented. Check out their website for many fun prints. How about an Angry Pumpkin for Halloween? Fort Knox Gold Reserves a wine cellar or a parked Jet. It’s a novelty that fits perfectly in our time of personal expression. Smart. Here are some more ideas.Garagedeuren

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An engineer dies and reports to the Pearly Gates.

Saint Peter checks his dossier and, not seeing the man’s name there, accidentally sends him to Hell.
It doesn’t take long before the engineer becomes rather dissatisfied with the level of comfort in Hell.
He soon begins to design and build improvements. Shortly thereafter, Hell has air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators. Needless to say, the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day, God calls Satan and says: “So, how are things in Hell?”

Satan replies: “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning, flush toilets, and escalators. And there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.”

“What!” God exclaims: “You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake – he should never have been sent to Hell. Send him to me.”

“Not a chance,” Satan replies: “I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him!”

God insists: “Send him back or I’ll sue.”

Satan laughs uproariously and answers: “Yeah, right. And where are you going to get a lawyer?

Golf Story

A couple of old guys were golfing when one mentioned that he was going to go to Dr. Steinberg for a new set of dentures in the morning.His elderly buddy remarked that he, too, had gone to the very same dentist two years before.

“Is that so?” asked the first guy. “Did he do a good job?”
The second oldster replied, “Well, I was on the golf course yesterday when a guy on the next fairway hooked a shot. The ball must have been going at least 180 mph when it slammed me right in the groin.”
The first old guy was confused and asked, “What the hell does that have to do with your dentures?”
“It was the first time in two years my teeth didn’t hurt.”

Misheard Song Lyrics

And with the following video I’m going to finish up for this Sunday and play some guitar for the afternoon. As a teenager growing up in Holland I played and sang in several bands. I often misheard song lyrics. Technology wasn’t like today with the Internet where you can look up song lyrics. We had to sit with the record player needle on the vinyl record (yes this was even before reel-to reel or cassette tape and 8track was still a future dream) and listen to a line, write it down and find the groove again for the next line, inevitable scratching the vinyl. One of the first songs I figured out that way was the Rolling Stones version of “It’s all over now”. The official opening line is “Well baby used to stay out all night long”. My opening line was “My baby used to stake out all night long”. It took a couple of years before I realized that it didn’t make sense.
Here is a part of brilliant British comedian Peter Kay’s’ Tour That Didn’t Tour‘ about misheard lyrics. Hilarious.