Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Google+ Followers

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Few are the giants of the soul who actually feel that 
the human race is their family circle. 
~ Freya Stark 
- - - - -

You know what is good about circles?  That they are round.  If circles were square we would get them confused with squares.  Again, this seems simple enough that I should not have to explain it to you.

Maddie doesn't like geometry right now.  I guess I could teach her.  I know most all of my shapes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.  
~Stacia Tauscher
- - - - -

Maddie:  That's the downside of having kids...  You have to take them outside when it's hot.

Me:  Yeah, Maddie.  THAT is the downside of having kids.

Monday, August 29, 2011


We read to know we are not alone.
~ C.S. Lewis
- - - - -

Me:  You say things I don't like to hear sometimes.

Chris:  Oh yeah?  Well, sometimes you read things that I don't like to read.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. 
~ Will Durant 

- - - - -

Latimer, Iowa is the home of Mother's Steakhouse.  When you go there, you may notice that all of the cars in town are white.  Or maybe you'll hear an owl hooting in broad daylight.

And when you walk into Mother's Steakhouse, you may get looks from the locals.  You know the looks.  The "you're not from around here, are you?"  Looks.

But it's all okay because the sign at the edge of town says, "Latimer: A Progressive Community."

Of course, you may not choose to go there at all.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


From the manner in which a woman draws her thread at every stitch of her needlework, any other woman can surmise her thoughts.  
~Honore de Balzac
- - - - -

Crass Stitcher: one who sews obscenities onto clothing or items for display.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- - - - -

Maddie:  Are grad students like job shadow day?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


(photo by Maddie Fowler)

It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much.
~ Yogi Berra 
- - - - -

Michelle:  I can talk to people about almost anything now that I talk to college students about having sex all the time.

Elizabeth:  Uh - we're EATING!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
~ George Bernard Shaw
- - - - -

Elizabeth (via Facebook): hey can i go to dairy queen with julia today

Elizabeth (via Facebook):  o i dont have my fone mom does

Michelle (via Facebook): Yes.  Wear your helmet.  And take a bike lock.  Unless you're walking.  Then - just wear your helmet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Have no friends not equal to yourself.
~ Confucius
- - - - -

Another greeting card idea.

Front: Hey! I didn't forget your birthday!

Inside: I forgot your name.

Hard to believe that Hallmark did jump all over that, isn't it?!

Monday, August 22, 2011


It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.
~ Aesop
- - - - -

Joy works in my office.  She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  She is so nice that she will argue that she isn't nice.  Which, when you think about it, isn't very nice at all.

Regardless, today she told us a story about a baby bird her neighbor found.  He brought it over for her grandsons.  They left to do something and Joy mowed the lawn.  While she was mowing the lawn, she "accidentally" mowed over the baby bird.  She said that she had to pick it up before the boys got home.

"I imagine that neighbor was watching and he probably came over and told the boys all about it today," she said.

She disposed of the bird and when the boys came home they said, "Did you see the baby bird, Grandma?"

"Nope," she lied.  "I didn't see any bird."  They ran outside and the bird was gone.  Their mom said, "Maybe the mama bird came and got it."

"No," Joy told me (this is not what she said in front of her grandsons).  "The mom did NOT come to get the baby bird.  The mom came and tried to peck me in the head when I was throwing the baby bird away."  

I told Joy I was going to post the story.  She said, "That's fine, as long as the boys never see it.  If they do, I'll be de-Grandma-ed."

I sent her a cartoon picture of a bird on crutches with a bandaged head.  I don't know if it cheered her up or not.  She didn't choose to Tweet it, I know that much.

Personally, I think she's just trying to get out of ever having to mow the lawn again.

We were talking about having a potluck at work later that day and were discussing what to have for an entree.  I said, "I know where Joy can get some poultry."  It was only a joke, though.  One baby bird isn't going to feed our entire staff.

Joy came in a day or so later and said her daughter - while taking the garbage out - claimed to hear chirping in the garbage bag.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. 
~ e. e. cummings 
- - - - -

The other day I drove into the parking ramp to go to work and "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins was on the radio.  As I have shared before, I cannot turn off Phil Collins when he is singing in the car, or else I get a flat tire.  I ended up being a few minutes late to work.  "In the Air Tonight" is a really long song.

But I didn't get a flat tire that day.

We got one a few days later, but it wasn't ME who turned off Phil Collins.  I'm guessing it was Maddie.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Starbucks says they are going to start putting religious quotes on cups. The very first one will say, 'Jesus! This cup is expensive!' 
~ Conan O'Brien 

- - - - -

I do believe that it is good for Jesus to get top billing over the Egg McMuffin.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, 
I am ungrateful to those teachers. 
~ Khalil Gibran 

- - - - -

It seems strange to keep baby oil in a baby food jar.  Unless maybe it's for baby robots or baby engines.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


A good farmer is nothing more nor less than a handy man with a sense of humus. 
~ E. B. White 

- - - - -

A friend recently suggested that to improve the image of soybean farming, that farmers refer to it as "edamame farming," instead.  It would impress the snooty people and make them think more of farmers.  Soy that way relations between human beans can blossom and we can get this country back on the right tractor.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A shoe that is too large is apt to trip one, and when too small, to pinch the feet. So it is with those whose fortune does not suit them. 
~ Horace 
- - - - -

This is one of the shoes that I took on my trip to the San Juan River in Utah.  I love these shoes.  Unfortunately, when shoes are sucked into mud up to your ankle, sometimes they come off.  Or, if they are securely fastened to your feet, sometimes they break.

I thought I had brilliantly repaired my shoe with duct tape (see photo above).  But you know what doesn't hold up very well in water and mud?  Duct tape.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.
~ Robert Frost
- - - - -

Elizabeth:  Maddie, come in the kitchen so I can teach you some German!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. 
~ Julia Child
- - - - -

Chris:  What is this?

Helen (Chris' Mom):  Carrot Jell-O.  It's GREAT for funerals.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. 
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe 
- - - - -

Time for a recap of songs in my head when I wake up in the morning for the past few months...  I didn't have music in my head when I woke up much in February, March and April.  But the times, they have-a changed...

February - no songs in my head.  That is sad.

March 13 - Rocket Man by Elton John
26 - When You're Next to Me by Mitch and Mickey

April 30 - Born this Way by Lady Gaga

May 1 - Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy
3 - Come Softly by The Fleetwoods
4 - Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
5 - You Can Get it If You Really Want It by Jimmy Cliff
6 - John Saw That Number by Neko Case
7 - Animal by Neon Trees
8 - Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
9 - Chasing Pavements by Adele
10 - Warm Whispers by Missy Higgins
11 - Another Day, Another Dollar by Wynn Stewart
12 - Rolling in the Deep by Adele
13 - My Life Would Suck Without You - by either Kelly Clarkson OR the Cast of Glee (it was hard to tell which)
14 - The Israelites by Desmond Decker
21 - Marry You by Bruno Mars
22 - Mama, I'm Coming Home by Ozzy Osbourne
24 - Raise Your Glass by P!nk

June 1 - Jar fo Hearts by Christina Perri
2 - Falling In by Lifehouse
3 - S&M by Rhianna
4 - Rhythm of Love by The Plain White Ts
5 - Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy
6 - Perfect by P!nk
7 - Take Care of Business (Pilooski Edit) by Nina Simone
8 - Please Don't Leave Me by P!nk
10 - Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight by Amos Lee
11 - Falling In by Lifehouse
12 - Feeling Good by Michael Buble
13 - Sesame Street theme song
14 - Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel
15 - Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
16 - Falling In by Lifehouse
18 - Judas by Lady Gaga
19 - Help Me Up by Eric Clapton
21 - Bang, Bang by Melanie Fiona
22 - Live Like We're Dyin' by Kris Allen
23 - Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
24 - Lazy Song by Bruno Mars
25 - Everywhere by Michelle Branch
26 - Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
27 - Breakeven by The Script
28 - Forget You by CeeLo Green
29 - Serenity by Godsmack
30 − 500 Miles by The Proclaimers

July 1 - Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
2 - Drive by Incubus
3 - Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga
4 - Gimme Shelter by Kathy Mattea
5 - How Do You Do? by Roxette
6 - Give Me Everything by Pitbull, Nayer, Ne-Yo and Afrojack
7 - Give Me Everything by Pitbull, Nayer, Ne-Yo and Afrojack
8 - Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copeland
9 - Wouldn't It Be Good by Dahlia Wakefield
11 - Mighty Mouse theme song
12 - Dirty Laundry by Bitter:Sweet
13 - Winter Wonderland by The Eurythmics
14 - One's on the Way by Loretta Lynn
15 - Just Can't Get Enough by The Black Eyed Peas
16 - Breakeven by The Script
17 - Heartbreak Down by P!nk
18 - Firework by Katy Perry
19 - OMG by Usher featuring
20 - The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

Then I was gone to Utah.  I wrote down the songs in my head while I was there, but I don't have that notebook here right now.

28 - Animal by Neon Trees
29 - Everyday by Buddy Holly

August 1 - Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong by Martina McBride
4 - Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada
5 - Rumor Has It by Adele
6 - Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
7 - Life After You by Daughtry
8 - It's a Beautiful Day by U2
9 - Firework by Katy Perry
10 - Take It Easy on Me by Beth Hart
11 - Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga
12 - I Run to You by Lady Antebellum
13 - Hold On, Hold On by Neko Case

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.
~ Lindley Karstens
- - - - -

Chris:  What is that smell?

Me:  Yeah - Ames smells like...  like that today.

Chris:  Is it all the Republicans in town for the straw poll?

Friday, August 12, 2011


I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five. 
~ Steven Wright

- - - - -

I always wanted to be on the Supreme Court.  I tried to make good choices throughout my life so if the opportunity presented itself I would be cleared by any background check.

I tried to avoid "undesirables," so I never went to law school.  That fact makes it unlikely that I will ever be on the Supreme Court.

Stupid Catch-22.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.  
~Doug Larson
- - - - -

You know what food I think they ought to sell at the fair?  

Karma Apples.  

You get what you deserve.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn't climb over it. 
~ Arthur Baer 
- - - - -

Overheard at "Mother's Steakhouse" in Latimer, IA.

Woman 1:  Hello, neighbor!

Woman 2:  Hello.  I have to run, but I'll see you in church tomorrow.

Woman 1:  Oh, you're coming to church?

Woman 2:  Yes, I'll be there.

Woman 1:  Oh, good.  There'll be room for you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


[Abstract art is] a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.
~ Al Capp
- - - - -

For the record, I do not necessarily agree with Al Capp.

And now, for your daily blog entry...

Yesterday I was in our basement and I saw two pieces of art.  The first was purple and unfinished and looked very interesting.  I asked Elizabeth if it was hers.

Elizabeth:  Yes.  Do you like it?

Maddie:  It is NOT yours, Elizabeth!  I made that.

Michelle:  Whose is it?

Chris:  Maddie's
Elizabeth:  Mine
Maddie:  Mine

Maddie:  It's mine.  It was supposed to be a flower, but I got frustrated and I quit.

Elizabeth then brought out her canvas.  It was spotted with paint of lots of different colors.

Michelle:  Jackson Pollock!

Elizabeth:  Yeah.  In art we had to do an artist and a bunch of kids wanted to do Jackson Pollock and then they flung paint all over and used up all the paint, so the teacher said no one else could do Jackson Pollock.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on the tides. 
~Rita Mae Brown 
- - - - -

You know what else exerts hidden power?  An outlet under a rug.  And a genie in a lamp.  And static electricity.  And pheromones.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011


What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.
~ C. S. Lewis
- - - - -

First of all, the quote, I believe, is "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  I am pretty sure that is correct because it is one of my favorite quotes.

You know what else begins with a single step?  A curb.  A curb is pretty much just one very wide, single step.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


(photo by Chris Fowler)
If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.
~ George F. Burns
- - - - -

What if instead of looking for "stress relievers" we looked for "stress believers?"  I think that would give us support and would help us cultivate more stress because we'd have some validation.  And more stress means more energy and more productivity and a shorter life span.  So then we have population control.

But there should be a few of us (and by "us" I mean most certainly ME and maybe a few others) who will need to just sit back and observe.

Friday, August 5, 2011


We don't need no education.
We don't need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher leave the kids alone.
Hey, teacher leave the kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall
~ Pink Floyd

- - - - -

I sent a friend of mine the song "Brick in the Wall" to help motivate her to get a faculty job.  I hope it helps.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


No great marketing decisions have ever been made on quantitative data.
~ John Scully
- - - - -

I really do think that I should have gone into marketing.  I have great ideas all the time for different companies.  For example, a while back I had the following ideas for the Dodge Caravan.

The first is a commercial with a woman putting on her makeup.  She is safely pulled over on the side of the road or maybe she's in her driveway.  It could be about the flexibility or accessories of the vehicle, how quiet it is, or the way you can escape the rest of the world for just a few moments when the rest of life is in chaos.  The tagline is, "Mascaravan."

The other one I had for the same product and the same series of ads has a family going on vacation.  To the van are attached things like bikes, canoes, skis, camping equipment, whatever.  The family is singing some song and driving down the road.  The tagline for that is "Dontcaravan" or "we don't have a care-avan."  

I haven't figured out the technical parts of it, but I work in creative.  I leave those details to the others.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


(photo by Maddie Fowler)

I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn't have one. So I got a cake. 
~ Mitch Hedberg 
- - - - -

Elizabeth:  I'm not having any babies because of "Cake Boss."

Now, I know this quotation had something to do with a specific episode of "Cake Boss" involving childbirth, however, I am not sure if population control is the primary goal Buddy Valastro has for either his bakery or the television series.

Regardless, I have written to every middle and high school in Iowa to suggest that they incorporate that specific episode of Cake Boss into their sexual education curriculum.  Or home economics.  Either really works.

Monday, August 1, 2011


As the Republican platforms says, the welfare of the farmer is vital to that of the whole country. 
~ William Howard Taft 

- - - - -

I think they should make a video game about how an agrarian culture faces the end of the world.  I think that it could be pretty fun to see video characters fight with tractors and pitchforks and hay balers.  Mainly, I think they should make it because the name of the game would be "Farmageddon."  It's worth it just for that.