Archive for January, 2016

Humor is Catching so Laugh It Up

January 30, 2016

Aries –  It’s easy for me to take people where they want to go. The trouble is that today they don’t want to go to the places that are good for them to be. Your job is harder than usual, but far from impossible.

BridgeAvoidance is the technique of preventing a dangerous defender from gaining the lead.  True in chess, too.

Jump Start –  A dark movie theatre can generate horrors and not only on the screen. Two love birds find seats in the back most romantic. “Best date night we’ve had honey! I agree!  You’ve been so charming and romantic.  So smooth, it’s like you’re an entirely different man!  Suddenly from behind: “Who’s this guy you’re cuddling up with?”

Blondie –  Dagwood answers the door to find Elmo and company having finished shoveling Mr. and Mrs. B’s walk and driveway.  Wait, what’s this annual rollover surcharge, Elmo?  Oh, I copied that from our cable bill…I think it covers my online invoice costs.  Dagwood pays Elmo and retreats into the house and shows the bill to Blondie. $17.95 plus tax for Elmo’s Extreme Snow Shoveling?!? Dagwood!!  “Yeah, but I got him to knock off the $3.00 shovel depreciation charge!”

Pickles –  Remember my friend Elsie?  She’s not inviting herself again, is she?  No. It is worse.  She died last month. It is in the obit this morning.  I remembered borrowing a book from her and I never returned it.  Now, no matter what I do, I’m forever a book thief.  That’s easy to remedy, dear. Make me a toasted cheese sandwich and I won’t rat you out.

Hagar –  Hagar! I’ve been talking to you for 10 minutes and you haven’t been listening! What makes you say that?  Because you never listen to me without interrupting!

Dilbert –  Did you threaten to kill Donald?  He accused me of being a terrorist.  Are you? Gaaa!!  I just want to blow up this whole building.  Um…I need to make a call.  It better not be about me!! (to be continued?!).

Beetle BaileyIt’s a long trip, Zero, so bring along your cell phone.  I’ve looked all over for it but can’t find it.  But I got a great idea, Sargeant!  I’ll ring that number and maybe we’ll get it’s whereabouts.

Peanuts –  I’m placing an order for a new piano.  I got to write the insurance company but I am puzzled as to how to explain a tree eating up my piano.

For Better Or For Worse –  I love you Sis but you get too wrapped up in my personal affairs.  Ill get married when I’m ready.  I’ll look at houses when I’m ready.  I’ll quit smoking when I’m ready.  Just stop telling me what to do!!  OK.  From now on I’ll just make suggestions! EEEEKKKK!!!

Shoe –  Little did I know when I married Mr. Right he’d turn out never to be Mr. Wrong.

Fred Basset –  The Mr. and Mrs. went out to dine and forgot to fill Fred’s dish with his supper.  We’re home, Fred!  Oh!  I knew we forgot to leave Fred his supper.  I bet he was not happy about that!  Fred puts his two paws on top of the lazy boy chair back and just picture what he must be thinking.  (No.  I’m  a little miffed to say the least, and more–REALLY PISSED ABOUT IT!!!!

Thought of the Day –  When a man strikes a rich vein of gold, he may well earn the title of “Bullion-Aire”.

That’s All Folks!!



A Merry Christmas-To Catch a Spy Tale

January 30, 2016

The night chill bit into his hands gripping the handlebars; rain made travel on the narrow road difficult.  His peddling brought spray onto his trouser knees and dripped into already water saturated boots.  There was no feeling as to it’s invasion.  It was just the feeling of despair that fed his hurried increase of peddle movement that pushed his bike ever faster rush toward the light in the distance that promised final rest and relief.

The Haverston Inn made many a traveler welcome; this was no different on the surface. But it was special.  It was Christmas eve.  The warmth of the fire that crackled and cast a flickering light across the hearth; the magic of the Christmas tree neatly decorated made invitation of his arrival seem heavenly.  His greeting was one of familiarity.  “Brrr.  Its a bad night, Maria.”

“You got to get out of those wet clothes.  I’ll get some from your room; go sit by the fire.” Maria was efficient and soon returned with dry clothes, a pair of wool socks and slippers.  She had a huge bath towel and began the process of covering his nakedness as he began to disrobe.  His shivering soon abated.  “I have some hot coffee on the stove and I will make some eggs and ham.”

The guests were all in bed she told him.  She sat with him while he devoured the food and sipped a few cups of coffee.  “Ah, that is good!”  He dunked a sweet bread in the coffee and munched on it until it was gone. ” I was up the cove and according to reports, we were expecting a sub any night now.  Why?  Lydia doesn’t know; she had to kill the agent.  It was unavoidable.  But all hell will break loose as the home office can’t tolerate murder under any circumstances.  Still, we can’t take any chances because they would not risk using a sub unless it was top secret and of grave importance to their whole operation here.”

He said she had made his acquaintance at a breakfast luncheon; her beauty let his guard down.  Maybe he figured she might be a good recruit for their operation.  In any case, he had a little too much to drink and she was able to persuade him that she was unhappy in her domestic wifely duties.  She hinted that she missed being adventurous.  As clever as he was, she managed to convince him.  Anyway, things went good until he had an associate follow her to headquarters.  She sensed something wrong on their next visit.  You know- woman’s intuition.  Maybe it comes from her chess talent.  Regardless, he apparently poured two drinks and she felt his nervousness.  She said she heard a noise at the door and he got up to check it out. She switched the glasses.  After he returned and he gave a smiling toast, they drained their glasses.  Lydia  said he started to laugh and then suddenly stopped, staring at her and died.  No regrets.  No joy either.

“Lydia gave you knowledge of the sub but what made you hurry here?”

“She was almost certain that Haverston Inn was a final meeting place.  She suspects someone to be the agent she was unable to get the name of but saw a message that was written on the Inn’s stationary she found in his desk.  It was luck that they were so careless as to use that communication source.  It may have been dumb but might be the only chance to catch a him or her.  Headquarters believes that agent is to board the sub loaded with top secret documents that would embarrass their embassy should we be able to intercept it.  We have been hoping to obtain proof of that connection.”

The morning saw fair weather. The rain had stopped but not the chill. The guests all came down for breakfast.  Maria had prepared eggs, ham, sweet breads and rolls, setting them on a serving table aside the large dining set.  The coo-coo clock worked on an hour setting and her record player provided short Christmas tunes.  All seemed normal of a daily breakfast scene.  Maria had taken their coats and placed them on her bed, it being her personal abode.  She returned to see all the guests seated and engaged in chatting and eating.  Now, all the guests were local townspeople.  But Maria smiled telling me she knew who the suspect agent was.  All the guests looked somewhat stupidly at this comment–all but one.  Maria called the local police.

“My darling, girl!  How were you sure of the spy’s identity?”

“Quite obvious, Watson! It’s a case I would call: ‘The Knife and Fork Caper.’ You see,  all the guests switched the fork to their right hand after cutting their ham.  He did not, cutting the ham with his right hand and eating it using the fork in his left hand while holding the knife in his right hand.  That is foreign to our etiquette.  A subsequent check of his clothes by the police uncovered a micro-chip.”

“Darn it. Had to blow my nose.  I think I need a doctor.”


VFW NY District 2 Commander

January 30, 2016

Attending West Point is such a physical and mental challenge that every graduate feels a great sense of pride and accomplishment.  As someone who was told by both blacks and whites, “West Point is not a place for people like you”, graduation meant even more to me.

Sakima Brown describes one reason for seeking political office and being a Republican candidate vying for the 18th District of New York that includes her hometown of Poughkeepsie and West Point, as a personal rejection of the class envy, racial division, and dependence on government that is promoted by the Democrats like President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the candidate she opposes, liberal Congressman Sean Maloney.

She attributes her success in life and military service, crediting much to her parental guidance and strong desire to succeed in her goals growing up.  Among those goals and leadership achievements was West Point graduate, combat Iraq war veteran, a Reagan republican, and School Board President.

Sakima Brown for Congress (NY- 18) is just one of a number of talented women emerging as leaders within the Republican Party of New York!

Don’s Comic Attempt

January 24, 2016

Well, it really wasn’t an attempt; I was really given a column in the bank newsletter.  It came about this way.  I always thought how small people’s size might effect their daily life.  It was accepted by the editor as a regular feature having submitted a number of cartoons in which I used a teller (Miss Jones), her cage and a customer of small size as a cartoon base.  It appeared popular.  But then it died.  Why?  Well, that is a story in itself. During a lunch break, the young lady was the editor had tears in her eyes and she told me that my cartoon feature was being scrapped.  Guess the idea  of some bigshot exec did not like the idea of my making fun of little people was how I perceived it. It always carried a message of how little people functioned to get by in their banking needs.

This whole episode in my life I sort of forgot about.  Who cares anyway?  But then I got to thinking and you don’t want this old head to start thinking, do you?

Well, it reminds me of what goes on in Washington, DC and in company organizations from both past,  present and likely to continue for eternity.  You see, I don’t ridicule how people look or behave.  I see the good, the bad, and the ugly–not in people but social norms handed out like free, sweet watermelon having to spit out the pits.  The whole mess is housed in the rind.  That is what I mean by the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Like any try to achieve something worthwhile, my heading “Little People” had to be viewed by someone in the organization as taboo.  And that runs right into this whole damn political crap in Washington, DC.  Truth of what a candidate says or means, no matter how clear, is cursed by spite and hatreds.  We can no longer be truth tellers but must convey the pomp of the elite establishment, their ultra-modern political correctness phony-boloney seen and met at every level where right is never acknowledged in the purest sense because government and journalists have capitulated to the lowest denominator.  In my short above commentary, a great bank lost a competent employee who quit instead living under a phony belief that she had charge of her department. I would like to think her tears led to a clear lighted highway and bright future.

We are in danger, not of losing our freedoms, but rather the loss of what a great naval leader once said:  Damned the torpedoes!  Full speed ahead.  That sense of greatness has been blunted by folks who have no skill at leadership and will to win.

Don’s Tips for Good Health

January 24, 2016

My library constantly needs screening when it comes to good health, happy times, and general well-being.  You can take my word for it or just say: “sounds good” or “sounds nutty” but you read my blogs because you find or get something by the experience.  My joy comes from adding worthwhile humor and or critique to the whole process.

Some things I find are not new at all, such as remedies my mama taught me.  And what about all those new scientific suggestions that computer games turn on your brainpower and shove it into high gear?  To help protect and sharpen your memory, concentration and thinking ability, play board games, learn a language or musical instrument and engage in regular exercise.  Lesson: “don’t sit on your ass” has been around for a long time. Becoming proficient in a loved sport strengthens your character development.  I love to read.  I thrive on study of a host of problems where I find both board games of chess and checkers to have great benefit as do various card games.  In chess, one grandmaster at least says the use of chess books is equal or better than just using computers.  I guess this might be likened to the difference between the liberalized progressive movement of socialism I have written on and the conservative voices based upon learned principles of old that framed our Constitution taking the best idea thought writings of both philosophies.  These have led to an abundance of brain exercises in mental agreement or conflict in debate wars.  Life would be boring without discussion.

There are folks around the world who never heard of or use statin drugs.  Many are aimed at reducing blood pressure but regular diet of oatmeal, milk ( I like Almond milks) purple potatoes, baked potatoes and fish, blue berries, strawberries, beets or beet juice, bananas, orange juice, sulfide MSM will work wonders on your heart and other organs of which we are blessed with abundance in America.

One danger seen today especially is the use of computers.  I can’t say that the constant use without taking breaks from their use will cause eye problems.  But isn’t it logical? The old days saw children taught to use proper lighting and not read stuff under the quilts. Eye strain can become dangerous.

Guess I can sum it up best by saying that living life with moderation in everything is a recognition for and toward good health.

Adios, for now!



January 23, 2016

Sometimes a chess problem and solution can inspire a brilliant concept. In my square count lesson on the value of pieces, I noted that the Queen power could be offset by as little as a Bishop and Knight when movement of the opposing King is restricted or a Queen might be useless for lack of space. Lets look at a chess problem:

White Qe5/Rf1/Kh1/Ph2.  Black Bd5/Ne4/Kg8  Black to move.

The idea is to eliminate the squares the White King can move to and requires the tactic “double-attack”.  1…Ng3+ or Nf2+ are the only ways to attack the King.  But only one way works. What is necessary is the correct follow-up to the forced 2. Kg1.  The King escapes after 1…Ng3+ 2. Kg1.  So the need is to give check on f2 with the following 2. Kg1 by Nh3 checkmate. The King has no clothes! (no safe squares to move out of check.

Rich Parker and Tom McKellop are members of the Auburn chess society (the Seymour Library Chess Club) and sent me the following interesting game from the 1956 NYS Championship which Rich had played and been witness to the following game.

White: John W. Collins    Black:  August Rankis  Opening:  Nimso-Indian Defense E59

  1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  e6 3. Nc3  Bb4  4. e3  c5  5. Bd3 d5  6. Nf3  O-O  7. O-O  Nc6 8. a3  B:c3 9. b:c3  d:c4  10. B:c4  Qc7 11. Re1 e5  12. d5 Na5 13. Ba2  e4  14. d6  Qd7 15. Ne5 Qf5  16. f4 e:f3  17. N:f3  Ne4  18. c4? Rd8  19. Bb2  R:d6 20. Qa4 Nc6 21. Rad1

This deceptively strong attacking move is shattered by the following play.  Probably best would be 21. Be5 taking advantage of the back row mate to swing the Bishop to King side squares.  My thought of square count is flawed here in this Rook move because Black has the floor shattering blast with….

21. … Q:f3!!

That illustrates the effective square count of power units working together against an exposed King position.

22. g:f3 

After, 22. R:d6 Qf2+ 23. Kh1 Q:e1 mate, or; 22. Rd2 R:d2 23. g:f3 Ng5 24.Rf1 R:b2 25. h4 N:h3+ 26. Kh1  R:a2.

22. … Rg6+ 23. Kf1 B:h3+ 24. Ke2  Rg2+ 25. Kd3 Rd8+ 26. Bd4 c:d4  27. Qb5 N:f2+ 28. Kc2 N:d1 29. K:d1  R:a2 30. Qb1 d:e3+ 31. Kc1  Rad2  32. Qe4  Bf5 33. Q:f5 e2 34. R:e2  R:e2 (0-1).

Rich recalls the players all stopping their games to view the shocking Queen sac.  He says this game was also popular in Soviet Union chess reports.



Nothing But Confusion

January 19, 2016

Wonder why I haven’t commented on politics?  I said what I said already.  While some of you think I write too much on a topic, I must confess that I find current events too confusing for this simple mind to digest.  I find myself throwing up my hands like a bowler who throws a wide-open split 7-10 in the tenth frame.  Only a bowler can feel the frustration and that is how I feel these days watching the news on TV or reading the newspaper.

Last night we started to see snow.  I don’t relish the prospect of a hard winter.  I ordered and consumed pizza and a young lass came out to help me wipe the snow from my car, telling me to get inside out of the weather.  Such nice folks exist in this world of turmoil.



Bill O’Reilly the Legendary Masked Man

January 19, 2016

My early readings as a child included in my library Peter Rabbit and numerous Fran Striker books on The Lone Ranger, how a posse of Texas Rangers were ambushed and all killed but for one who miraculously was saved by an Indian we came to know as Tonto.

We know this to be the imagination of the author, to create a legend of a heroic fighter of injustice on the western frontier.  The many tales spun by the author became the  tale of four comrades–The Ranger, his horse Silver, Tonto and his horse Scout.  A major component of the pair was his creating a silver bullet which became his hallmark in the rendering of justice.  He wore a mask to cover his true identity where no one other than Tonto would know his identity.  It was a mark of the valor of the author that simply said he was a brother of his lost comrades and revenge would be dealt with as a body of friends and warriors.  That was, to me, the symbol of revenge and the ultimate commitment to justice wherever they rode in the imagined adventures in books, on radio, TV and in the movies.  These were accompanied by many public visits with the youth of America.

Bill O’Reilly does disservice by infusing a real life lawman as being the real Lone Ranger.  I guess I just don’t understand the connection.  Bill’s lone ranger was good at running down outlaws and capturing or shooting them.  Packaging it for commercial value is not worthy of comparison.

Double Meanings in Humor

January 14, 2016

Born Today –  Lucky numbers to choose are 2-4-19-33-38-5 but as Aires, I would pick  3-6-18-19-29-38.

PicklesAren’t you going to eat your oatmeal, Nelson?  You said it was what you wanted for breakfast. Yeah.  I didn’t want to eat it but feel it.  Feel it?  Grampa always talks about “feeling his oats” and I see they feel warm and squishy.

Hagar –  We heard you gave yourself a pay raise!  What about us?  Well, if you want to give me a pay raise, that would be okay, too.

Dilbert – Manager:  Make sure you charge 100 per cent of your time to project codes. Are asking my staff to fraudulently apply our miscellaneous hours to specific projects so we can overbill the clients?  It is not a crime if you pretend it was an accident.  I learned that as a government employee.

Beetle Bailey –  Pulling KP again, Beetle responds to the mess officer telling him that he should try to stay on his sergeant’s softer side.  I can’t, Sir.  He is sitting on it at his desk. Come to think of it, I wonder if that is why I’ve never been able to do that!

Don’t Mess With Me!

January 5, 2016

Maybe that is what James Vernon, chess instructor and coach hailing from Morton, Illinois  should wear on his sport shirt. Now you probably never heard of James Vernon but he saved the day during a class he was conducting on chess for students.  Also, Morton, Illinois probably is not in your daily address book.  It is a village outside of Peoria known best as the home of Caterpillar Corporation.  That is where James worked.

Heroism comes in many ways.  James is a 75-year-old Army veteran and 40 years devoted to volunteering in school chess programs and just then hosting a pumpkin festival.

Suddenly a young man burst on the scene threatening with two long bladed knives.  We all hear about heroics and thankfully James Vernon remembered his military training. He managed to get between the teacher, kids and attacker rushing them out of the library. Then he addressed the attacker, grabbing him and subdued him using collarbone chops while receiving blade cuts.  By then he received help and both were sent by ambulance to the nearby hospital for overnight.  He returned home, left arm in a sling, recovering from two severed arteries and a sliced tendon.  His next weekly schedule for chess went on without postponement, saying: “You have to make all your moves with one hand anyway.”