Category Archives: Informative

NOSE PUTTY

 

     Sounds rather disgusting, doesn’t it? Nose putty! Call it ‘nasal glue’, ‘nostril paste’ or ‘whatsnot’, it’s still, well, still disgusting but let me try to explain why I would pick such a deep, dark, secretive subject to talk about.

     Several years back, while listening to a Sunday morning sermon in our Church, I happened to glance over at the little boy who was sitting in our row.  I had learned earlier that the boy was nine years old and it was his father who was delivering the message that day. Though his father was an interesting Preacher, as the service proceeded, it was his son who held my attention all the way through.

     I noticed that the boy had what appeared to be a dark blood blister on the tip of his forefinger and I was only slightly curious as to how he got it.  It didn’t matter.  I had come to Church to worship God, not pay attention to anyone in my pew.  Before my mind had a chance to wonder back to the speaker, I soon realized that what I had been looking at was a well-worn, flattened out booger ball! The boy had only been storing it temporarily on his fingertip for future use, all of which I soon was able to witness, whether I liked it or not!

     You may have heard the old saying that goes, “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can’t pick your friend’s nose”!  Right?  Judging from the size of the wad he was maneuvering, this boy must have had several gracious friends who had allowed him to freely pick, generously giving him what he had needed!  That which he kneaded was more than I cared to cast my eyes upon.  It was obvious to me that the boy had maybe just heard his father’s message the Sunday prior.  To keep from being bored out of his skull, he had bored something out of his skull to concentrate on!

     Several times throughout the service, I tried to take my focus off of him and refocus my thoughts back on his dad’s preaching.  I was doing just fine untill I made the mistake of looking over at the boy a few minutes later and noticed that the booger was missing from the his finger. It was no longer between his finger and thumb.  Instead, it had been moved to the tip of his nose, close to the source of it’s original origin!

     Again, I put my mind back on the message and again, was successful for only a short time. Unfortunately, my curiosity got the best of me and my eyes strayed to my little boogery pew neighbor. That time when I looked, I noticed that the boy had folded up a dollar bill he had pulled from who knows where and firmly secured it to the end of his nose by the same black lump he had been working earlier. Thus, the fitting terms, ‘nose putty’, ‘nasal glue’, ‘nostril paste’ or ‘whatsnot’!

     Once more, I steered my mind back to the message his father was continuing to deliver as his son continued to wear the dollar bill on the end of his nose. Ignorantly, I thought the situation could not get worse, but when I looked over at the boy, I promptly proved myself wrong. The situation had gotten worse. The booger ball was then being employed to hold the dollar bill to his chin, looking a little like a cheap dollar goatee.

     By that time, I had completely lost any inkling of actually concentrating on the message of his father, though I still tried to pretend that I was listening to him.  I asked myself, “How could his dad not see what was going on with his son”?  Perhaps he had noticed all of my squirming and thought I was getting convicted by his sermon, causing him to preach even harder.  What he didn’t realize was that my uncomfortableness was not coming from his message but from his snotty little kid who was occupying a space in my pew!

     A few minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that the dollar bill and the nose putty were both missing from his face. What a relief! They were not on his nose and they were not on his chin.  At that point though, I only hoped for two things. One, that the dollar bill was not  going to end up in our tithe box after the service was over. We just didn’t need any donations which came with (snot) strings attached!  And two, I hoped that he had not eaten the booger, or the dollar as far as that was concerned!

     As the morning had already shown me, I didn’t have long to wait before my next answer came concerning what had happened to the missing booger. The dollar bill never did reappear but the booger continued to live on at the touch of the little boy. Booger Boy had smeared his home-grown ‘play dough’ across the inner side of the arm rest of the wooden pew we were sitting in! That seemed to be his last desperate attempt to lose any connection he had ever had with the booger toy he had so fondly embraced throughout a 45 minute sermon.

     When at long last the message was over, I found myself urgently wanting to get out of our pew, even though i was fully aware that the only route of escape was to squeeze past the same area in which the boogery scene had taken place all morning. Early on, I had made up my mind that whether the young boy was a visitor or not, I would restrain my usual practice of shaking hands with him as I normally would have.  No way did I want to shake the hand that had played in Booger Land!

    Throughout the rest of the day, I tried my best to remember what the message had been about.   What really worried me was that I was not going to take home any part of the message his father had so diligently preached. My true fear was that the only thing I was going to take with me that day was the remnant of the little boy’s nose.

     My CONCLUSION concerning the content of the message that morning, was that for some reason, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Nothing seemed to stick. Even now, I try to recall it, but nope, it’s just snot happening!

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Aside

     I drive a city bus in the Portland, Oregon area. I have seen, heard and even been a part of various situations which involve the driving of a bus. What you read is not meant to come across as … Continue reading

MY IDEA OF ROMANCE

     When I first met my (future) wife around 1977, I drove a 1976 Monte Carlo, much like the one below only different!  Mine was white with the black vinyl top.  And maybe not quite as shiny.  It also had magnesium wheels.

1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo picture, exterior

     After we were married for a while, we sold the Monte Carlo and our major source of transportation was a 1946 Chevy pickup, much like the one below, only different!

     Mine 1946 Chevy was not shiny but was rust and white colored.  The white color had been painted over the original  dark green color as was evident by the paint still on the engine’s firewall.  The rust was not actually a paint color but was the color of oxidized metal or car cancer. 

     Anyhow, a friend of mine had installed a 1969 Chevy Impala, automatic engine in place of the old engine which had ‘died’.  It died when a piston went through the wall of the engine which has the same effect as a bullet through the heart!  The friend did a ‘transplant’ for me with much metallic surgery. 

     After work one afternoon, I drove my potential wife to the place of my chosing where I was going to have a serious talk with her.  Living in western Nebraska, my choice location just happened to be an old abandoned sugar beet pulp pit.  This pit was an eight sided ‘pit’ which looked much like a football stadium in shape.  Though it was large, it was nowhere near as large as a true stadium.  Its sloping cement walls looked as if they could have once held bleachers for fans to sit in.  Over the years, one of the walls of the pit had crumbled which made it easier for us to climb up and over.  Once we were  inside, we would be completely out of sight of everyone which meant that we would have the whole place to ourselves.  Though we were alone, it was clear that in previous years, we had not been the only ones to have visited the place.  Others ‘visitors’ had used the pit as a dump site but I, in my romantic quest, played all of it into my plan. 
     Ideally, I would have taken my sweetheart into the mountains or at least used them as a backdrop, with a stream gently cascading at our feet.  But, having no mountains closer than 100 miles away and the Platte River about three miles away, I adapted things in my own way.  We walked, arm in arm over to an old, rusting wash machine which was resting on its side.  I asked my Love to have a seat because I had something to ‘talk’ about.  She cautiously obliged and I began my un-rehearsed speel.
     “Pretend this washing machine is a huge rock.  See the dry, dirt-clogged gutter where juice from the beet pulp used to drain into?  Pretend it is actually a beautiful stream flowing down from the mountains all around us”.
     Not quite seeing the same picture I was giving, “What mountains”? she asked.
    I pointed to the edges of the pit which were maybe twenty feet high and said, “Those mountains”. 
     Eventually, she humored me although I’m sure she still didn’t see the same romantic setting I was laying out for her.
     I continued.  “Those weeds over there are rose bushes, for pretends and the sounds of the (nearby, still functioning) sugar factory are little birdies singing at the top of their little birdie lungs.  Okay?”
     Before she had a chance to question my wild imaginations any further, I decided I better get down to the business I had brought her to the pit for in the first place.  I got down on one knee in the dirt, took her hand and asked her if she would marry me.  How she could she resist my plea amongst such a romantic atmosphere was beyond me!  At that point, it didn’t matter whether she saw the same scene I was seeing.  The important thing was that she did not resist or refuse but accepted my offer and we sealed it with one of many thousands of kisses before and since then.  I don’t mean one of thousands of pulp pit kisses!  From there on out, we still haven’t lost the feeling of true love, going on 33 years now.  I have come to the CONCLUSION that perhaps there are more romantic places than where I took my gal.  If some guy ever wants to take one of my daughters down to the pit, I better be going along.  You know, as part of the pretty scenery!

Aside

Sometimes, life comes at us fast. Suddenly, we find ourselves in the middle of a situation where we can not control the outcome. It’s times like those that we thank God He was there for us! Continue reading

INTO THE DARK OF THE WOODS

   

     It all started out one September morning when I decided to go for a walk in some nearby woods.  My usual form of exercise mainly consisted of 5 miles on a stationary bicycle in a small weight room at work.  Since I am fairly new to exercise, if I accomplished riding a four-minute mile, it meant I would be done in 20 minutes.  That particular day, I figured I would get in an hours worth of walking in because, when I walk,  I have a tendency to get distracted with the taking of pictures. 

     I drove (should have walked) about a mile from where I worked and parked my car at the edge of the woods I had decided to hike through. Before I left my car, I scribbled a note of what time I began my hike and a phone number in case of, of…..never mind.  I can only imagine my wife’s fear if she would have received a phone call informing her I was missing!  

     Upon entering the woods, I was equipped with my camera and my collapsible aluminum walking pole which I had received as a gift but had not had a chance to break it in.  Looking back on it now, taking the walking stick into the woods may not have been my best choice because of the thick undergrowth I would be traversing over.   Too late to turn back.  I had already gone 50 feet!  The deeper I got into the woods, the more evident it became to me that it had rained recently.   I knew I would be getting my shoes wet in the grass and leaves that covered the floor of the woods but I didn’t know just how wet I would be getting.  

     In the particular forested area I was in, there were no marked-out trails. One reason was that I was making my own route which was clearly not marked.  Sure, there were animal trails that had been slightly enhanced by minimal human traffic but those passages had many places that had become so fully overgrown that a person had to clamber over a fallen tree, through thorn laced vines or things of the likes. 

Plenty of these tanglers to trip me up.

 

     The vines and downed logs were not as bad as what I was about to face.  I had to deal with My own wild imagination!  There I was, All alone in the woods, (at least speaking of another human presence), where I starred in my own horror story.  The deeper I got, the worse my thoughts of “something” happening. 

     Now, you have to know that the whole woods covered an area no bigger than 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile so it wasn’t likely that I was going to get so lost that I would have to cut off my own leg and eat it raw to survive!  That would be silly.  I don’t even like leg-of-hiker!  Still……it was just me, face to face with nature.  As I continued on, I was surprised at all the variety of “discoveries” I came across.  Some of them were at the hands of squatters or other humans who had entered the forest.   some of what I happened upon was at the hands- no, at the legs and feet and so forth of the forest dwelling creatures! 

Enough trash for all to enjoy! Evidently, the "Pack it in, pack it out" rule doesn't apply!

 

I found trees with aluminum tags and colored plastic ribbons in many places. My guess is that they had something to do with surveying.

 

     I also came across some other pretty cool sites that God had contributed. 

CAPTAIN'S LOG Forest date 9-24-10 It seems as if we are about to be overtaken by "Cling Ons".

 

This mushroom had a scale-like cap.

 

A scaly mushroom as big as my hand.

 

Smaller mushrooms on a nurse log.

 

Look at all those cute baby 'shrooms!

 

     

    These just look like pancakes growing out of the log.

            

Beetle graphics!

 

           

This looks like a wig for a Sesame Street character.

 

This is Mister Stumpy. He is wired for sound and has a nose for mushrooms!

 

     And then, there was the bizarre.  I came upon some things which were not exactly what you would expect to find in a forest.

A Christmas decoration in the middle of a forest. It's not like there weren't any trees to hang it on!

 

It may not be a glass slipper but it could be the flip flop of Cinderella of the forest!

 

Just a spoonful of dirt helps the pine needles go down in the most delightful way!

 

Maybe while you're in the forest, you could pick up a second tube of toothpaste.

 

           

This is the new and improved version of the Forest Port-A-Potty. Is this really better than the old and reliable tree or bush?

 

As with most cases, someone forgot to put the lid down. Or should I just say, "No one put the lid on"?

 

Fortunately, out of the ten or so sleeping bags I came across, all were empty. No bodies, bones or blood!

 

Who needs a bumper when there is a tree? My question is, "If a bumper sticker is on a tree in the forest, will anyone read it?"

 

Forest shopping is so hard on the equipment!

 

I was certainly in the right place to help save the world by keeping the planet green!

 

     And lastly, there were the Creatures Of The Forest!

What do you mean, "I should shave my legs?"

 

This tight rope walker cheated by "walking" underneath!

 

What a tangled web they weave When forest spiders do conceive!

 

Welcome to my web-I mean to my world!

 

And my web address is inyourface.net!

 

"Honey, how about "Poor Hiker" for dinner tonight?"

 

Above my head, Tarzan swings, Onto my head, Tarzan falls, Out of my mouth, Comes the calls, "AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!"

 

Just another spider I must "face"!

 

And yet, another spider web at face level for me at 6'2". Most webs seemed to be located at that height.

 

Hold it, Buddy!

 

A spider's clothesline!

 

      I believe the below spider is the culprit of which I had most of my literal “run-ins” with!   As near as I can tell, what I encountered was the Orb Weaving Spider.

Orb Weaving Spiders (Family Araneidae).These belong to the largest family of spiders. All construct the circular, flat, wheel-like web in which they trap flying insects. The very large black and yellow garden spider is a typical example
.
 Garden spider in her web.

     Now, these creatures were not the in-your-face creatures but more the ones of under-your-foot squeeshies if you’re not careful!

This was not left behind by a dog! It is a Banana Slug.

 

Another Banana Slug. This one was about 4-5 inches. I have seen longer and thicker ones.

 

   

Oh, the horror of it all! Two slugs traveling at lightning speed, on a collision course, like a train wreck in slow motion!

 

       I also had time to just be me, which included my “entrapment”!  This case was not due to the spiders.

Can you guess what's at the bottom of this deep, (12-14") dark hole?

 

The hole sucked my shoe right off of my foot. I had to reach in and retrieve it.

 

I can't believe I willingly put my hand into this tree hole, considering all of the slugs and spiders I had already encountered!

 

I took this shot by inserting my camera inside the hole of the tree and pointing it up.

 

This shot was taken, looking down the stump and putting my hand in the hole!

 

Oh, how handy!

 

Could I offer you a hand?

 

I guess it's about time for a new hand!

 

          Finally, I found my way back out of the forest!  I had stumbled around for over two hours, had gotten 1/4 turn off according to the compass (which I didn’t have), coming out on a different side of the forest than the one I had entered into.

Nearing the end of my adventure!

 

I didn't realize how dark the forest was till I saw how bright the rest of the world was!

 

At long last, I make it back to my car!

 

Well, at least someone was waiting for me.

 

Sadly, I could not remove all of the ground in grime. Even towards the end of my work day, my clothing still looked like and smelled like musty mold of the deep, dark woods!

 

     Am I scared about going back into that forest again by myself?  Hah!  I laugh in the face of danger…..as long as I am still alive…………..safely in my car……………driving away……..in the middle of a sunny day…..!