Don’s Coffee & Tea House Party

October 14, 2017

Humor comes in many forms but around my table the party often starts and stops with a tasty cup of coffee or tea.  To sweeten tea. honey is my favorite and if you favor coffee, try adding a bit of brown sugar.  A little variation can brighten your morning.

Two walkers resting on a park bench: Did you see this in this morning’s paper?  Seems that a man was walking his dog out in California and discovered half-buried, an old saddlebag which contained some packets of gold coins.  His day was certainly made.  Not so with me.  During a stroll with my pooch yesterday morning, I came home with nothing but some doggie-doo I had stepped in.

A proud military Dad talking with his neighbor and associates proclaimed upon their comment that Dad must be real proud of his schooling and training.  Was he planning to follow in your footsteps as a warrior?  Actually, no.  He wants to be a dentist and attack potential life threatening cavities and pain. His field includes building a healthy mouth by giving his patients new white and shiny beautiful teeth.

Dagwood goes up to the desk at the bowling center to report that his bowling ball was stuck in the ball return on the 4th lane.  He informs the employee, “You can return my ball to me on lane 7.”

Kids do say ‘darn it’ sometimes.  “Daddy!  Why don’t some kids get along with other kids? And sometimes when you think someone’s your friend, they aren’t.  They treat you mean and they say hurtful things.  For no real reason, Daddy. Sometimes they fight over dumb things. They don’t share.  And they say things about others that are not true.  I really can’t wait until I am grown up!  Grown ups don’t do things like that to others.” Yep. Kids do say ‘darn it’ sometimes.

Marmaduke is left at home while friends join the Andersons for a restaurant dinner party. Dog lovers can never get past thinking about their pet dog left at home. “I really feel guilty if I don’t order something with a bone in it.” She tells her husband and others at the table.  “I know what says a dinner guest. Lets all choose something with a bone in it.



The Amateur Eye – Don’s Gift of Joy to All

October 12, 2017

We all experience frustration in our daily lives and comes about through the turmoil seen as a function of unrealistic expectation where one can learn the root of it as to what is realistic, practical, and what is not.  A very simple way to alter your mental attitude is to simply change the expectation and witness the disappearance of frustration.  You find that in humor so enjoy a cup of tea or coffee which is meant to warm the spirit and read on dear reader.

We find life trials start early.  Take for example the playground at about third grade level. For Better or Worse they discover that the playground is the hardest subject to negotiate through.  That is frustration!

And take Shoe where Roz’ girlfriend says she has to do something about her wrinkles. Roz says, “Have you seen a doctor about the problem?”  “No!  I am trying to think outside the Botox.”  That is frustration!

Ziggy felt nostalgic so he decides to take a stroll down memory lane but found that he could not remember how to get there. That is frustration!

Mommy in The Family Circus scolded her daughter about tattling on Jeffy about what he did.  Tattling is not nice.  She responds with little girl understanding, “How can I tell you what Jeffy did unless I tattle.”  That is frustration!

Dogs and cats do not always get along well together.  So Dog suggests to Garfield, the Cat, that they should try to get along to which Cat agrees.  So they sit together as neighbor buddies pass by.  Dog says that this idea is leading to a creepy feeling.  And Garfield, the Cat thinks: We are freaking out the neighbors.   That is frustration!

Grampa and Grandma sit on the porch steps. “Do you think you’ve already lived the best day of your life?”  “No, I am an optimist.  I always think there are better things ahead than what is behind.”  “Get up.  I believe you are right.  Yep. Your behind was sitting on my wad of gum I dropped on the porch.” That is frustration!

I heard the military recruiting standards are causing problems in the day to day work of recruits.  Beetle Bailey see soap suds flowing all over the floor.  He tells Zero that he used too much soap.  Zero said the directions said to just use a cap full of soap powder.  So he took off his cap, filled it and tossed it all in the washing machine.  That is frustration!

Snoopy is resting on his dog house roof per usual.  Charlie brings his food. “What would  you do if you did not have me to bring your food every morning?”  Snoppy thinks, ” That is the sort of thing I’d rather not think about.”  That is frustration!



The Amateur Eye – Welcome Carol Meyer

October 10, 2017

US Chess welcomes CAROL MEYER as the new executive director.  US CHESS VISION: To enrich the lives of all persons and communities through increasing the play, study, and appreciation of the game of chess.  Carol won out over 100 applicants; her savvy, background, and knowledge toward US CHESS as a 501(c)(3) organization will cement a growth structure of the organization.

Outgoing Jean Hoffman successfully led the 90,000 plus membership over a four year period adding many innovations toward expanding opportunities for the joy of chess for the masses.  Thank you Jean for your years of dedicated service to USCF.

Lets dedicate ourselves to achieving ever increasing such enjoyment of its history and game play and a stimulation by membership support in growing the organization to new highs.



The Amateur Eye – October 9th Nat’l Chess Day

October 10, 2017

National Chess Day sort of went by the wayside until recently when Senator John Davison “Jay” Rockefeller IV decided to have the chessplayers’ back as an important activity for the advancement of education.  You see, as many of us in the chess world know, the value of experiencing a togetherness with this noble game called chess brings the student into real life interplays effecting healthy parent-child relationships and life decisions.

The Senator writes in a Chess Life inclusion:  “My son John, was fascinated by chess as a child, but he didn’t become involved in rated tournaments until his three children discovered chess. All played in dozens of rated tournaments–the youngest (age 10) is at 75 and learning.  John is a tournament director in USCF, certified coach and active in both state and national level.  It was through John that I became involved in sponsoring the Senate resolution that officially created National Chess Day.  In some ways I was the ideal sponsor because I am not a chess player: I understood chess intrinsic value through the impartial lens of an outsider.  I firmly believe that chess is more than just a game. It teaches self-discipline, acceptance of an outcome, and how to adapt to changing situations.  And it is diverse. Age, gender, and race don’t matter when two people are squaring off over the board.”

To read the full story contributed by Senator Rockefeller IV, see CHESS LIFE , page 72, October 2017 issue.


Don’s Poetry ?! Thoughts Live On

September 27, 2017

In my young school days I had often enjoyed English class and I guess my desire to express my feelings sprang from it. I wrote a few poems, submitting one in a national poetry contest and won a modest award of it being included in that annual book published for aspiring poets.  A poet from South Africa read it and also my poem which I included in my series on THE APPLE TREE writing to me that I should endeavor to write many more and include them in book form. A few others I have penned like the Christmas Tree included for my readers enjoyment.

My joy for writing stories originated in the school English class, my sophomore year when my teacher read my short story to the class and later confided to me that I should definitely look to writing as I had a gift for imagination and creativeness she had rarely seen from one so young.  That is one reason I elected to take typing.  My stories I have authored are on my blog.

I invite readers to enjoy hopefully my effort in this endeavor.



Don’s Bedtime Story

September 25, 2017

This is the story of a wooden doll who developed bad habits of lying.  He was made out of wood by a very nice old woodcarver.  Then one day the wooden doll got up from the little chair that the woodcarver had made for his doll and began to dance and sing. Well, all went well but the doll began to play tricks on the wood carver and his family children for whom the doll had been carved. This lying made the little doll’s nose grow more and more with each lie.

Putting the story aside, Dad kissed his children good night, tucking them in and turned out the light.  Then the youngest said, Daddy–just what is lying??

The Amateur Eye – Giuoco Piano On Fire

September 25, 2017

Even when you do not like what you are asked to do, you try to approach your duties with an attitude of optimism and good cheer reminds me of a chess battle between Oleg Skvortsov and Vishy Anand at the Zurich Triathlon 2017.

Competition will bring about your best.  It is not about winning to prove superior skill but rather the sheer joy of meeting equals so as to push yourself and see just what you are capable of when challenged.

I once asked the question of my students: Is chess a war game, an art and/or a science? I got a lot of good comments in answers or questions that kids showed a joy in vocal reflection than just in chess play. Boys and girls both enriched my own thoughts where we found it being more than just a fun game.

So lets look at what World Champion Emmanuel Lasker once said was a game for all seasons.

l. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bc4  Bc5 4. c3  Nf6 5. d4 e:d4  6. b4  Bb6  7. e5 d5  Black must play energetically in attacking the center complex.

8. e:f6  d:c4  9. Qe2+ Be6  10. b5  Nb4  11. f:g7 Rg8 12. c:b4 Qf6 13. O-O Q:g7 14. g3  O-O-O 15. a4 d3  16. Qb2 A number of different ideas were looked at by spectators and even the loser which would have likely led to equal positions.  But look at the square count for both sides. Here is a pretty Queen sac. The shock of shocks!!

16. … Q:g3+!  17. h:g3  R:g3+ 18. Kh2  R:f3 19. Bg5?  This loses.  Whenever a sharp and unexpected idea occurs, it causes panic or just shock to the brain. After, 19. Kg2 or 19. Qg7 both which appears to hold equal chances following strenuous examination presented by the loser.

19. … Bd4  20. Qd2  Rg8  21. Ra3  h6  22. Rg1  Rh3+ 23. Kg2  R:g5+resigns as  24. Kf1 R:g1+ 25. K:g1  Bd5 mates.

This again is a call by patriots: NEVER SURRENDER OR  GIVE UP THE SHIP!

Don’s Chessic Humorous Life

September 23, 2017

One comedian, Eric Sykes, found out what his dinner companion did in his spare time.  I knew that, because only someone who took so much time to pass the salt, had to be a chess player.

My wife once confided to me that she could notice three people on a corner waiting for the light to change and tell which one was a fellow chess player who we had gone to meet for lunch.  She was right!

I never drink coffee or beer.  But put a tea bag in my cup and a packet of honey on my saucer and for me that is bliss when the hot water is poured.

Politicians remind me of a cartoon PICKLES which starts panel one with a covered box which lists the name LOUDER.  What are you doing, grandpa? I’m trying to scrub out the name on this box lid which I found at an auction. It is a keen cooler and thought we could use it on picnics at the park. I got it for $5.00.  But someone had marked it with  permanent ink this name LOUDER.  I’ve tried cleanser, bleach, WD40 and nail polish to no avail.  Nothing works!  Out of the mouth junior:  Maybe you should just change your name to LOUDER.

Mr. Wilson’s tormenter Dennis and buddy Joey notice the sky getting darker and surmise that a rain storm is likely soon. Maybe lightning and thunder. Let’s build ourselves a raft in case there is a flood. Yeah, and I know Mr. Wilson’s garage has everything we need. Well, Mr. Wilson hears the banging of hammers on nails and rushes to his garage to find Dennis the menace at work just as Dennis says the job is done.  I’ll say you’re done!! Look at this mess!!  Mr. Wilson chases after them out of the garage and Dennis is heard to yell that it never did rain, Joey but there sure is a lot of thunder and lightning behind us!!

It is enough to make the boss sick when he holds a meeting run by Dilbert.  Dilbert would you weigh in on this plan?  Sorry. I wasn’t listening. I was playing with my phone under the table.  TERRIFIC!  Alice, how about you?  Um…Sorry.  I was using my phone under the table.  Well, has anyone listened to me?  No response.  FORGET IT…I’M OUT OF HERE. YOU ALL ARE ON YOUR OWN.  Worse meeting ever!  Have you seen the viral video of you going nuts?

The Amateur Eye – On Borders

September 18, 2017

Dr. Michael Savage’s radio show has long advocated securing our borders.  He has kept it in the light of day.  Conservatives rallied for insistence that any immigration planning must protect American laws and borders.  The blueprint for a Wall being constructed on our Southern Border with Mexico and popular from its inception coming from Ted Kennedy’s immigration bill; it failed because the American people said, “no way, Jose” and even Jose opposed it.

Washington bureaucrats and liberal politicians’ opposition fiercely worked to undercut the passed package financing the Wall’s approval.  Such bureaucrats belief structure holds no limit to their divisive game.  And liberal mayors in control of many cities across the country now advocate or have adopted the idea for Sanctuary Cities where illegal immigrants cannot be prosecuted or banished from the Country.  This battle of ideas has caused severe problems for government representatives acting on behalf of citizens.  It has led to a confrontation of differing ideas between the Democrats and Republicans.  But the crux of the whole battle waged rests around the law.  Can our nation survive for long with the leadership members of Congress unable or just unwilling to bring law and order before this debate?  Such flaunting of our laws weakens our republican democracy.

We are a nation founded in the Judeo-Christian faith.  Europeans emigrated from foreign lands to settle this wild and woody-river land of many lakes.  Hardships were overcome. The new unknown west became tamed with and by much historical drama.  Ambitious inventors and businessmen created a network of railroads with the help of new arrivals from China and  European backgrounds.

Conservatives and liberals have emerged with both free market capitalists, socialist and communist ideologies that have clashed within a growing turmoil.  The ACLU has come to be born of atheism.  This breeds a wholly socialistic belief in absolute power in the hands of the State.  It acts purposely to undermine the religious fabric of America, its founders based upon freedoms in it’s many forms, and our rich heritage.

American citizens must forever, I fear, be alert to destructive forces which come with our national beliefs and worldly goodness as a member of all peoples everywhere.

God Bless our President Trump, his wife and family,  and all our leaders and peoples who love and fight for freedom of the individual citizenry.

Don’s Comic Foul-Ups

September 18, 2017

Don’t be so quick to fall in line with others no matter how well the intentions. What is seen on the surface may or may not be your cup of tea received as an answer.  Such is the nature of today’s humor.

JUMP START:  HA!  HA! Klondike Ike is hilarious!  How old is he, Pop?  Who knows? He is a cartoon character.  Comic characters never age. Are my babes in the buggy always going to be babies? How silly!

GARFIELD:  (A fishing bowl joke).  What would you fish say if you could ask the waitress given the menu for your favorite course?  Water!

DAGWOOD! Bumstead, this report you handed me is a mess! Whoa, Boss!  If you’re expecting perfection, just say so!!  I expect perfection!  Okay. Then as long as we’re on the same page, you know Dithers how perfect my report is.

PICKLES:  The doctor’s office called and wants to FAX us something.  FAX??  We don’t have a fax machine.  I know.  Who even uses faxing anymore?  Tell them to send us a mimeograph.

HAGAR:  You apparently forgot to pay your crew for those raids last month.  No! I told them no pay until they show me they can REALLY FIGHT!  Well, they’re here outside well armed to show you.

FOR BETTER OR WORSE:  Hi, girls!  You look great, Martha! Uh, I just wanted to say, hi! I um, well …uh…I’ll see you ..’round, ok? Giggles galore.  Whisper, whisper. Gosh. Is my fly undone?

SHOE:  I think you have forgotten this newspaper’s mission statement. “Let no puppy go on papers untrained.”

THE FAMILY CIRCUS:  I’m giving PJ a new hairstyle, mom.  Any requests?

DILBERT:  This is Randy, our new employee who lacks soul. Wow! What’s it like to have no soul?  I feel only emptiness and pain.  I hope you did not take this job to get away from emptiness and pain. No, I just wanted to get paid for it.

PEANUTS:  Snoppy’s at the vet?  Yes, he had to stay overnight for ex-rays,  But they will keep him in a cage. How will he ever stand it?…  Here is the world war I pilot and flying ace sitting in an enemy prison cell.