Drivel Over Coffee #263 6/2/2015

The keys to true happiness are: having something to do, having someone or something to love, and having something to hope for.


Happy Tuesday everyone. Before I get going who knows where, let’s all stand and give one HUGE shout-out to my current wife. Some of you know her as Sue, Suzie, Suzanne or Susan, take your pick. It is her birthday today. She is xx years old today. Yep, just xx short years ago she entered this world. Okay, Give her a big round of applause and let’s sing “Happy Birthday” to her. If you are out in public, like shopping or in the library, you can sing under your breath. Thanks everyone.

Did you know that common entertainment included playing cards way back in history? However, there was a tax! Levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the “ace of Spades.” To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.

Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t “playing with a full deck.”

One of the “theme songs” during the Vietnam War was The Animals “We’ve Got To Get Out of This Place”. It was played over and over and sang loudly by all in the clubs. Little did they know, getting out of there did not end their life of suffering. Some more so than others. What a waste.

Last week I mentioned that I spent some time contemplating my navel. What I didn’t mentioned was when that ponderation was complete, the subject of turtles entered my head. Why? I have no idea but if a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

Barney the pug update. He is still at Iowa State University Veterinary hospital recovering from spinal surgery. Progress is agonizingly slow it seems. He is still not walking on his back legs but is standing at least. He may be coming home on Wednesday. Fingers crossed.

If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him – Is he still wrong?

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what was considered important to the people. Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars who were told to “go sip some ale” and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. “You go sip here” and “You go sip there.”

The two words “go sip” were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term “gossip.”

Here are several topics you might consider pondering this week. These are sure to generate a thought or two.

  • Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
  • Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?
  • Why don’t you ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”?
  • Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?
  • Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?
  • Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?


Where do peppercorns come from? We know what they look like and what they taste like, but where do they come from?

Peppercorns are actually a tiny fruit, the drupe (a fruit with a single seed in the middle) of a flowering vine known as piper nigrum, grown in tropical regions, native to the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia. Some of the best peppercorns in the world come from the Malabar Coast in the Indian state of Kerala.

My current wife is thoroughly committed to the Silver Sneakers exercise program and never misses a day unless absolutely necessary. I, on the other hand, am not so thoroughly convinced that exercise is all that it is touted to be, especially as I grow older. Here are my reasons.

  1. It is well documented that for every minute that you exercise, you add one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.
  2. My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. Now she’s 97 years old and we don’t know where the hell she is.
  3. The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
  4. I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven’t lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up.
  5. I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.
  6. I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
  7. I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.
  8. The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.
  9. If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.
  10. And last but not least: I don’t exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.


Had my vocal cord cancer follow-up with the VA yesterday. Oh what a pleasant experience. Into each nostril they spray this stuff that slithers down your throat. Next, the doctor inserts a flexible rod with a light on the end down my nose, past my tongue, touching my gag reflex area, and down to the vocal cords. Live TV is displayed as the journey progresses. As I saw things, the vocal cords were 2 thumbs up. The doctor agreed with me. However, I still have significant swelling which may be from the radiation or my acid reflux. We agreed to increase my meds for that and I will see them every 6 weeks for the next year.

Here’s to all the people who remain unharmed because I have coffee and a sense of humor. Remember, there is no need to thank me for this valuable information: I’m doing it as a public service.

If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Now, until we meet again. -TA!