Sunday, January 29, 2006

Weather Report

Global warming, climate change - call it what you will, there is something occurring to our environment that is unsettling at best. In upstate New York, it is almost January 30th, normally the height of midwinter. At 11:21 pm, it is 50 degrees and there is absolutely no snow on the ground. The local weather news includes the fact that there are early blossoms beginning to appear, and they have facetiously issued an "earthworm alert", meaning that earthworms are indeed appearing above ground.

This "strange days" weather report has been brought to you by the good folks at -

Remember, as the legend so proudly boasts, "OUR MEATS ARE FRESHLY CUT"

Herewith the "Special Cuts" edition -

"Cut Me Up?" Hey, aren't the butchers supposed to do that? What happened to "Our Meats are..."

They can't cut up their meat but they can cut up their pasta? Huh?

Now this we can understand, but still .... they are butchers ...

Ahhhh ... it all becomes clear. Who has time to butcher meats when there are all those cold cuts to be sliced?

And then there's -

After carefully inserting, probing deeply with, and then withdrawing his digit from his nostril, Harold receives an astonishing revelation.

Bonnie, who has been watching The Food Network, remarks "Good Eats!"


Bon & Mal's Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

This puzzle is brought to you by the OAS - Orthopedic Appliance Salesmen.

Bonnie has once again whipped up one of her fine confections for your delectation - but first, the answer to last week's 'Rungs' -








As we have stated previously, there are alternate words that can be used to provide the progression, so as long as the chain of words is of the same length, you can be confident in having solved the puzzle.

Onward to today's 'Rungs' -


_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _


Bonnie wishes you to know that she could have shortened the list if she had included 'pule' as one of the words, but she preferred to avoid using a less than common word.

And, for kids who might like to try 'Rungs', she has created these three smaller versions -

HEAD                    PATH                    SAME

_ _ _ _                 _ _ _ _                _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _                 _ _ _ _                _ _ _ _

FEET                     LANE                     LIKE

Of course, if you like, you may do these also.

This is a joke especially for Celeste, because we suspect it's one she will enjoy.

A husband and his wife were accustomed to going to Church each Sunday, but as the man had a bad habit of falling asleep during the service, his wife decided to bring a knitting needle with her to prod him awake.

Sure enough, the man began to nod off, and his wife poked him just as the priest asked "Who is our Lord and Savior?" The man, startled by the sudden pain, jumped up and exclaimed "Jesus Christ!" The priest complimented him for being so enthusiastic as the man sat down, feeling sheepish. As the priest droned on, the man drifted toward sleep again, and his wife stuck him once more just as the priest asked "Who created Heaven and Earth?" Again the man leapt to his feet and yelled "Good God!" The priest again voiced his approval and the man reclaimed his seat.

Lulled anew by the soothing tone of the priest's voice, the man fell asleep for a third time. His wife, becoming irritated, gave him a swift, sharp jab as the priest asked "What did Eve say to Adam after the birth of their second child?" The man rose to his feet with alacrity and shouted "IF YOU POKE ME WITH THAT THING ONE MORE TIME, I'M GOING TO BREAK IT IN HALF!"


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Stealing a Theme From Celeste

Questions Without Answers -

     1. Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it ?

     2. Why is it that no matter what color of bubble bath you use, the bubbles are always white?

     3. Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

     4. Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

     5. On electric toasters, why do they engrave the legend "one slice"? How many pieces of bread do they think we're going to try to stuff into that slot?

     6. Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with the vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

     7. How do those dead bugs manage to get into closed light fixtures?

     8. Considering all the lint that collects in the dryer, if you kept drying your clothes, would they eventually disappear?

     9. Why is it that no plastic garbage bag will open at the end you first try?

    10. When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with their cart, then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "That's all right." ? Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt!" ?

    11. Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

    12. Is it true that the only difference between a yard sale and a trash pickup is directly proportional to the distance between the items and the curb?

    13. In winter, why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

    14. How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

    15. If at first you don't succeed, shouldn't you try doing it the way your wife suggested you should?

    16. The statistics on sanity indicate that one out of four Americans is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think about your three best friends - if they're okay, then it must be you.

Two morons meet on a dusty country road. One of them is carrying a big sack labeled 'chickens.'

"Chickens, eh?" says one guy. "Hey, if'n I guess how many chickens you got there, will you give me one?"

"Heck," says the guy with the sack, "if'n you guess right, I'll give you both of 'em."

The other scratches his head and guesses "Ummm.......... five?"

(Material borrowed from a humor website)




Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bonnie's Contribution of the Day

Inspired by today's Cathy Guisewhite strip -

The revenge of the old folk:

"Just wait. You'll get yours."

Today they were showing a graphic on CNBC - "Boomer Nation: The Long Strange Trip."

From Woodstock Nation to Boomer Nation - is this a good thing?


Monday, January 23, 2006

'Tis the Second Bon & Mal's Bonus Monday Puzzle Page

The puzzle today is brought to you by the fine folks at:

Twinings(R) of London and their still-acceptable product, Black Currant (Artificially Flavoured) Black Tea. (C'mon. Has the price of currants gone up that much?)

First, a tip o' the crossword pen toward those diligent scientists of the Land Down Under, for daring to conduct a study of this apparently blindingly obvious datum:

From USA Weekend -

A recent Australian study shows that those who sit six or more hours a day at work are more likely to be overweight than those with active jobs.

Thank goodness they've cleared that up.

Here is this week's JS.

Today's puzzle is quite easy, although we may at any given time drop a devilishly difficult one upon you. The journaler's screen name, the name of her blogspot journal, and the condition with which she lives are featured in the anagram/fill-in portion.

We're giving special mention to Celeste for being the only one to send us actual proof that she completed one of the puzzles. One other person, Vicki, furnished proof that she had finished her own puzzle.

Puzzles #6, 7 and 8 were respectively Vicki, Lori, and Christina.

Lastly, for a glimpse of life in Rochester, we offer this little item from yesterday's D&C:


A woman taking out the garbage got a surprise Saturday afternoon when she opened the can and found a man inside. He turned out to be a bank robbery suspect.

A Rochester Police Officer was able to capture the suspect a few streets over from Ashwood Drive, where he had been hiding.

Citizens Bank in Waring Road Plaza (incidentally, the same plaza in which the N.Y. State Office of Unemployment is located) was robbed about 11 a.m. when two men entered and passed a note to a teller. No weapon was displayed, and the teller gave the men an undetermined amount of money.

The suspects fled on foot. One of them was quickly caught by a police officer. Police were called back about 2:45 p.m. for the garbage-can suspect. The man in the can (wish I'd written that) was charged with robbery along with the other suspect.

One hopes the woman had the presence of mind to smack the clown with her bag of garbage before he fled. Ah, the unhappy life of a practitioner of clumsy crime.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bon & Mal's Ever-Lovin' Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

Never in all the long years that we have spent traveling to this year of 2006, soon to be our 57th, did we ever even entertain the notion that we would be creating puzzles - on the internet, no less. We who, in our earliest years, did not even have televisions, but listened to tabletop radios, are not yet too old to immerse ourselves in this relatively new medium and attempt to be, if not exactly useful, at least mildly entertaining. It is still, may always be, an amazement to us.

Here is the answer to last week's 'Rungs' puzzle:








Bonnie, bless her heart, has created another 'Rungs', in a loving attempt to relieve me of the "drudgery" of working on this week's Journal Sudoku (I used to date a girl named Sue Dohkoo; she was an unsolvable enigma. I also used to date a girl named Sue Barue - she drove me crazy. OK, I'll stop now before it gets ugly and someone decides to sue me.)

We'll post the 'Rungs' now and tomorrow we'll post the JS.








May your Sunday and the week ahead be a blessed and wonderful one, and may hope never die.



Tuesday, January 17, 2006

AARGH! Tagged Again

We've been tagged by the one and only Deanna to reveal Five Guilty Pleasures - so:

     1. Take-out prime rib from the Winfield Grill

     2. Chocolate milk and cheezkurls

     3. Early retirement

     4. TV 12/7

     5. Internet 12/7

     6. (Bonus - those damn snowflakes!)

We see that Lori and Celeste have already been tagged, so we'll tag -


Christina (turnabout is fair play)




We specifically exempt Gabreael, for which she will be eternally grateful.

For those of you who enjoy reading books on finance, here is one we know you'll derive something from:

The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism, by John Bogle


Monday, January 16, 2006

Bon & Mal's Bonus Monday Puzzle Page

This puzzle brought to you by no one or nothing in particular.

Ah, the vicissitudes of construction. Sometimes the little beasts refuse to behave and we spend hours dancing little letters around to get the right placement and balance. It is much easier to construct a numbingly difficult one than to create one with few enough letters to make it seem challenging without it being a cause of wrenching hairs from one's head (the irony.)

But that's not why you stopped by. Here is the 12th Journal Sudoku.

The anagram/fill-in portion includes the journaler's first name and the title of his blogspot journal. As a bonus, if you remove the A, I, and L from the list and add an O, you will discover the name of his hometown -

_ O_ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

(You may have noticed that we have slightly redesigned the grid to present a cleaner appearance.)

Lastly, a joke -

Two men are approaching each other on a sidewalk. Each is dragging his right foot as he walks.

As they meet, one man looks at the other knowingly, points to his foot and says, "Vietnam, 1969."

The other points his thumb behind him and says, "Dog shit, 20 feet back."


Teddy Geiger (shriek! shriek!)

Okay, ladies, this is for you.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bon & Mal's (Sometimes Timely, Sometimes Not) Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

Today's puzzle is brought to you by NASA (National Association of Struggling Artists.)

The Journal Sudoku that would normally appear in this space is still under construction, so Bonnie has kindly stepped in to remedy the situation, and today one of her 'Rungs' puzzles will appear.

If you haven't done one of these before, this is how it works - simply change one letter of the first word to form a new word, continuing to form words until you arrive at the last word.








The answer will appear next week, and depending on my ability to overcome lassitude, the regularly scheduled puzzle will be along tomorrow.


I used to have a pony tail - and one very pissed-off pony.

You know that you've chosen the wrong hotel when you discover an oyster cracker on the pillow and sand in the pump-action soap dispenser.


Saturday, January 14, 2006


Here are a few random bits that I would have liked to expand upon, but, due to current health concerns, I was unable to. The first was inspired by the Rose Parade.

If anything can be said to represent the heart and spirit of America, it is the parade.

Not for us those bygone (except for North Korea) hosts of goose-stepping, jackbooted warriors, nor mile after mile of flatbeds bearing missiles armed with menacing warheads.

No, for us it is the alchemy of floats laden with and composed of colorful flowers, costumes and balloons, musicians, baton and pennant twirlers, dancers and horse riders. The Macy's Parade, Rose Parade, Mummers and Mardi Gras - these are the spectacles that capture the imagination of us ordinary Americans, the shining alternative to the dark underbelly of so much of life.

And it is a marvel to ponder how much love and devotion our fellow citizens put into their preparations for our entertainment. The hours upon hours of practice and hard, tedious work needed to play their instruments and march in unison, to design and create the costumes and balloons, to construct and cover the floats that are so magical to view, are rewarded, not with remuneration in most cases, but with the awe and the smiles of the crowds who watch their efforts come to life for an hour or two.

From the national extravaganzas to the small-town equivalents of fire trucks, antique autos and local school bands, we do love our parades. They represent the best of what we are, and what we aspire to be.

In 1996 and 1997, when serious pain began to manifest, I viewed commercials that trumpeted "Ibuprofen will relieve your pain!" "Fine," I said, "that's for me!" The trouble was, the recommended dosage was not quite enough to relieve said pain, so I took enough to achieve relief.

I don't remember the commercials sounding the warning "Exceeding the recommended dosage will eat a hole in your duodenum and allow stomach acid to leak into your abdominal cavity and dissolve your intestines!" It may have been buried in the infinitesimal print on the informational insert, but who reads those?

Had I been sufficiently warned, I could have saved us a modicum of money and anguish by not taking ibuprofen. Now we are told that acetaminophen, the alternative to which I turned, will cause liver damage if the recommended dose is exceeded.

*SIGH*   Here we go again.

This, it seems, is the tradeoff. Both acetaminophen and alcohol damage the liver if taken in sufficient quantity. Acetaminophen is non-addictive, alcohol can be. With acetaminophen, I receive short-term pain relief and no sleep. With alcohol, I attain pain relief and a good night's sleep. Can you guess what my choice is?

Here is a thought that we have not heretofore heard anyone utter, yet recent developments lead us to an inescapable conclusion - in order for American corporations to compete effectively and fairly against foreign corporations, their work forces must be in rough equivalence, which is at least partly responsible for the phenomenon of outsourcing, the moving of American jobs to where the cheap labor is. It stands to reason that for the American worker to compete effectively and fairly for jobs, the U.S. standard of living must sink to match that of more poorly paid workers in places like China or India. We can actually witness this happening as formerly well-paid workers in the airline and automotive industries are experiencing cutbacks in pay and benefits, or being downsized and forced to seek much less well-paid jobs in the services industry. This is a disturbing and troubling trend.



Wednesday, January 11, 2006


We wish to sincerely apologize for the rash act that we committed yesterday, a mass mailing that turned out to be a well-known hoax. We did it for two reasons - the first being that it was calculated to appeal to our better natures, the second that it was sent to us by someone whom we trusted, someone who was, as were we, unknowledgable about this particular con. This episode has soured us on the forwarding experience, and we promise that it will not happen again. Please forgive us.

Having said that, we wish to deplore the despicable phenomenon of gulling susceptible people (such as us) in such a cynical fashion. While it ultimately did no real damage to our computer, it did impel us to question the email we receive even from those with whom we have communicated, people whom we have come to trust, because despite our suspicion of unknown and random emails, items such as this sneak in below the radar.

Those who concoct these items, particularly such atrocities as false "Amber Alerts", are shameless, disgraceful and reprehensible. We are incapable of expressing our utter disgust at those who prey upon the good natures of well-meaning people in such a misleading fashion. Needless to say, in future we will curtail our tendency to forward anything at all.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pages From an Unkept Journal





One of the most poignant occurrences we experienced in the course of feeding the woodland birds and animals was the time that I (Mal) found a young purple finch lying near the base of the pine tree that used to grow near the front of our side yard (sadly, the tree did not survive the ice storm of 1991, and had to be removed.) At first I thought it was dead; we frequently discovered smaller birds that had been attacked by vicious starlings and grackles lying dead about the yard. We recycled the poor little creatures by placing them on a small plastic tray which we placed near the woods for our friendly raccoon to discover - more about this unique creature in future.

The small bird with the vermilion head and throat lay unmoving until I touched it - at which point it began to flap ineffectually and hop about. Inspecting the bird, I noticed that there was blood on one of its wings, and some of the feathers appeared to be missing. I gently picked it up and carried it into the house. Taking it into the bathroom, I gingerly cleansed the bleeding area and applied a moistened styptic pencil to the wound. The bird struggled quite vigorously in the beginning, but gradually subsided and shortly allowed itself to be handled with no protest.

After blotting the wing with a tissue, I carried the bird to the couch and sat down to watch tv. I must have been up quite late the night before, because I lay down and fell asleep with the bird nestled comfortably in my outstretched hand.

I slept for about an hour and, upon awakening, discovered that the finch had shuffled up onto my wrist, leaving a small present in my hand. I waited until the little creature stirred and woke, at which point I coaxed it onto my other hand, pressing gently against its lower breast with the flat of my hand as I was accustomed to do with our parakeet, and, though wild, it readily shifted to the other hand.

After cleaning my hand, I brought the young bird into the bedroom where we kept our parakeet and set it down on the bed, explaining to Frosty what had happened (no, he probably didn’t understand a word of it.) The two birds inspected each other, and Frosty became excited enough to begin peeping, the finch uttering a quiet cheep in return. Frosty flew around the room a couple of times, which caused the finch to flop frenziedly around on the comforter. It occurred to me that I really ought to contain it somehow before it hurt itself, so I got a shoe box from the closet and placed the creature within the box until I could transfer it to an old aquarium. Lining the bottom of the aquarium with an old, soft rag and placing seeds and a small bowl of water within, I transferred the finch to its new temporary home. It was reluctant to leave my hand at first, but the attractions of food and drink grew too much for it, and it hopped over to the dish and began to eat.

When Bonnie arrived home from work, and after cooing over and spending some time holding the finch, we talked over our options. As much as we would have loved to have kept the bird, we decided that the best course of action was to take it to a local vet, inasmuch as we believed the bird’s wing to be broken. We thought that it wouldn’t be detrimental to the bird if we waited until the weekend, as long as the finch was healthy, which it appeared to be. We called it Baby, and spent the next three days caring for the ecstatic little creature that enjoyed spending time, cuddled in the palms of our hands, watching tv along with us.

On the Friday, we called a couple of nearby vets, explained the situation, and asked if they would care for the bird. One said yes, and we placed Baby in the shoe box and drove to the vet’s. All during the drive, the little bird stayed nested in my hand, even when my wrist began to ache from the unnatural position, and by the time we reached the vet’s I was bawling like a baby myself, bitterly regretting the decision. It was, of course, the right thing to do, and the vet had promised to turn the young bird over to a rehabilitator, but it was a very difficult action, relinquishing that lovable little finch. Even the nurse remarked how docile and friendly Baby was. We bade it goodbye, paid the bill, and went home again. We received a call from the vet a few days later telling us that Baby’s wing had been fine, that it had had some flight feathers pulled out, and that when they grew back in, Baby would be able to fly normally. We were informed that Baby had been taken to a rehabilitator, and we hoped that it was so, but we always entertained a nagging doubt ...

To this day, we miss our little finch, and if we had known that its wing wasn’t broken, we would have released it ourselves when the time was right. We regret not having had the opportunity to see it fly off, once more a free bird.


Sunday, January 8, 2006

Bon & Mal's Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

Welcome back, puzzle fans, to the world of Journal Sudokus. It's gratifying to receive feedback from those of you who find these puzzles delightful. We thank you.

Today's puzzle features someone who recently received the gift of a new grandson. The anagram/fill-in features her first name and the name of her Blogspot journal.

Here are a few items that should have made it into the journal earlier, but for various reasons, did not.

First, we wish to thank one of our special and generous J-land friends for her Christmas gift, and proudly show it off.

Second, a small domestic cavil. We received from Wegmans a free coupon for what we assume to be a new product, Hot Pocket Subs. Bonnie brought home a package of the "Pepperoni Pizza"-flavored subs. Here is an actual, unretouched picture from the end panel of the box:

Doesn't that look yummy? Look at all those pieces of pepperoni escaping from the open end of the sub! Wow! A chunk of meat-, cheese-, and sauce-stuffed goodness!


Well ... we nuked the two subs and cut into them, barely able to contain our excitement. And then ...

To quote Bonnie, "I feel ripped off and we didn't even pay for it!"

For, you see, there was a plenitude of sauce and cheese. The quantity of pepperoni, though, that we were led to believe was massive, was somehow diminished. If there were two complete pieces in that sub, we would be surprised. If you don't mind the lack of meat, go ahead and purchase this expensive ($1.50 per 6" sub) product. Otherwise, you might want to fulfill your snacking needs with something else.

Lastly, from that hotbed of hooliganism called Kohl's, comes another little cautionary tale. To quote from the D&C's police blotter:

A shoplifter left the Kohl's store at 925 Holt Road at 10:26 a.m. Dec. 18 with a shopping cart containing 11 video games worth a total of $161.89 and 12 pairs of jeans worth a total of $354.88. When the suspect was confronted by a store employee, the man ran away.

Apparently the perp thought that Kohl's was holding a one-day "Free for Me" Christmas special. This little item also proves that doing nothing but sitting on your ass playing video games will wear out a lot of jeans seats.

That's it for now.


Sunday, January 1, 2006

Bon & Mal's 2006 Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

Happy 2006, fellow journalers. A whole year of puzzles stretches ahead of us. We should really find a way to market these things, but they seem to keep popping up like hideous mushrooms everywhere we look (yes, okay, so we took advantage of the trend too, but is there no limit?) At this rate, no one will pay us for our measly contributions. Ah well, labor of love and all that.

The theme journaler of the 5th puzzle was Deanna. (Did you have your hubby do the puzzle? No? See what you missed?)

Without further ado, this week's contribution -


This week's entry features the journaler's first name and the name of her journal. Reliable sources inform us that this is one of the easiest so far, rated at most a 2. It doesn't quite solve itself, but it comes close.

A couple of entries from the Webster police blotter -

At 4:40 a.m. Dec. 10, a car pulled into the driveway of a Klem Road home and the driver got out and dragged a fruit stand from the front of the home into the middle of the road. The driver also smashed a kitchen window with a garbage can.

Someone evidently had issues. Perhaps a purchase of some spoiled fruit?

A 34-year-old Rochester man is accused of taking a bed comforter off a shelf at the Kohl's store at 925 Holt Road and trying to return it as purchased merchandise. An employee gave him a store credit card worth $172.79, the value of the comforter. Another employee said he saw the man take the comforter from the shelf, and the card was canceled.

Here's where it gets good -

The man returned a short time later to complain that the card had been canceled, and he was arrested and charged with petit larceny.

No one can claim that there's a shortage of dumb criminals.