That Fills The Bill

SW - 1

SW - 2

My recent host and hostess were not interested in money.

I took along a few foreign bills, and odd coinage, to show them.  There was some vague interest in the mis-cut American $1 bill, the somewhat rare American $2, and some chuckles over the ‘Slick Willy’ Bill Clinton $3 fake bill.  The lack of interest may have been because he’s a soldier who has been posted all over the world, and seen much of these firsthand.

BAF - 1

BAF - 2

The interest ramped up when I showed the collection to her younger son and his girlfriend.  We played a game of, ‘You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.’  Only partly because his step-father is a soldier, he has amassed a promising collection.  Going through my catalogue, we found a British Armed Forces, £1 occupational scrip which Rants might have been interested in.

india - 1

india - 2

He kindly offered to let me take any of his bills and coins, because he merely keeps them, not mounts and displays, as I do.  He had 16 or more countries’ bills.  I could have asked for all of it, but restrained myself to three countries that he had duplicates of.

sri lanka - 1

sri lanka - 2

As luck would have it, they’re all from the same general area of the world.  The Indian 10 Rupee, and the Sri Lankan 20 Rupee, are both paper, and printed about the year 2000.  The Singaporean $2 is newer, and made of polymer plastic with all kinds of security features that prevented me from taking a photocopy of it.  I did my usual money laundering, and washed and ironed them.  Singapore had a hard fold in the center, which even mild heat wouldn’t flatten completely out.

Singapore - 1

Singapore - 2

Pawing through his coins, suddenly I had British King George V looking up at me from a large coin.  I knew it wasn’t Canadian.  Might it be from England – or Jamaica – or Australia??  Turning it over, I was amazed to find that it was a 1919 Newfoundland Half Dollar.

Newfy 50 TailsNewfy 50 Heads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I explained to him that Newfoundland was the 10th province of Canada, but didn’t join
Confederation until 1949.  Until then, they had their own coins and bills, minted and printed in England.  I have long wanted at least one Newfy coin to add to my collection.  Not produced for almost 70 years, I had long ago given up much hope of finding any.

Since he didn’t even know what it was, and it plainly meant something to me, he insisted that I take it.  A caring mother has obviously raised a kind and generous child.  Before I left, BrainRants gave me a quarter-sized United Arab Emirates 1 Rial coin, which he didn’t obtain while he was serving in the army, but rather, he found it, going to work on the bus, in cosmopolitan Washington DC.

Rial

I have many other foreign bills that I will publish pictures of in a post one day, as soon as I work off the procrastination.  Till then, I am always happy to have you visit.  Come again, y’hear!   😀

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TANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

Tank

That little Iraqi War thing was the first time the American military got to play with GPS on a large scale. Iraqi tank corps were ready….as long as it came down the road.  Out in the middle of the trackless desert, it’s easy to get lost.  GPS enabled American tanks to take off from Uncle Ibn Saud’s pool and spa, travel across hundreds of miles of open desert with no signposts, and still arrive at Saddam Hussein’s garden within a couple of yards.

One night, a trio of American tanks (one mission commander and two wingmen) were moving forward. They came to the crest of a small hill, near a bunker, spotted earlier by recon aircraft.  At the bottom of a small, bowl-like valley was a tank laager – 22 Iraqi battle tanks, parked in a rough circle, facing outward, in front of the bunker.

With 3 against 22, they might have inflicted serious damage, but with the possibility of losing one or more American tanks. Wars and battles are not won by getting killed.  The commanding officer was considering calling in the warplanes, but that would give up the glory to the flyboys, and dawn was fast approaching.  By the time the bombs and rockets arrived, these guys could be long gone.

Suddenly, one of the tankers had an inspiration. Abrams tanks can do over 60MPH on flat ground.  As the first Iraqis started exiting the bunker, there was no time to explain, or receive permission.  He just accelerated down the slope and dashed inside the ring of tanks, where he roared around a couple of times, raising a huge cloud of dust.

He now had the advantage. Everything he saw that moved, was a target, while the Iraqis couldn’t fire, for fear of hitting their friends.  Some of them scrambled for their tanks, but smashed into, and blocked others.  In the American tank, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.  Target – fire – boom.  Target – fire – boom.  Target – fire – boom.  Soft target – co-ax machinegun.  Splash one rag-head.

Suddenly in the night-vision screen, they saw a soldier running from the bunker, readying an RPG – a rocket-propelled-grenade. It’s possible that the grenade might have just clanged off the tank’s armor, but it’s better not to find out.  Too quick to activate the machinegun, the gunner simply fired the main cannon.

Rags fluttered to the ground. The 40-pound warhead, travelling at 2800 feet per second passed right through him, striking an already damaged tank.  The hydrostatic shock left a fine pink mist settling to the sand.

The other two Americans watched in awe and wonder. After about five minutes, everything got quiet.  Final score: USA-22 – Iraq-0!  One lone American tank had destroyed 22 Iraqi tanks, and heavily damaged the bunker.

Proudly, the lone wolf pranced back to the pack with no more than a few dings and scratches from bumping into, what was now, a pile of garbage. Essentially, the mission Commander told him, “I understand the need for quick action, but if you ever scare me like that again, I will shoot you myself.  By the way, here’s a commendation, and maybe a little medal.”

Technology, ingenuity and independent thinking, as well as grit and guts, prevented what might have become a nasty, protracted war, and turned it into more of a police action, with relatively few American casualties. The GroPosground-pounding infantry – are the ones who write the final chapter, but ya gotta love the tankers who clear the roads so that they can get there, and get the job done. Salute!   😎

Life Insurance

Accident

Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the
accident were serious enough to take the
trucking company (responsible for the
accident) to court. In court, the
trucking companies’ fancy lawyer was
questioning farmer Joe. Didn’t you say,
at the scene of the accident, “I’m
fine,” said the lawyer.

Farmer Joe responded, “Well I’ll tell you what
happened. I had just loaded my favorite
mule Bessie into the..”

“I didn’t ask for any details,” the
lawyer interrupted, “just answer the
question.” “Did you not say, at the
scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine!'”

Farmer Joe said, “Well I had just got
Bessie into the trailer and I was
driving down the road..”

The lawyer interrupted again and said,
“Judge, I am trying to establish the
fact that, at the scene of the accident,
this man told the Highway Patrolman on
the scene that he was just fine. Now
several weeks after the accident he is
trying to sue my client. I believe he is
a fraud. Please tell him to simply
answer the question.”

By this time the Judge was fairly
interested in Farmer Joe’s answer and
said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear
what he has to say about his favorite
mule Bessie.”

Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded,
“Well as I was saying, I had just
loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into
the trailer and was driving her down
the highway when this huge semi-truck
and trailer ran the stop sign and
smacked my truck right in the side. I
was thrown into one ditch and Bessie
was thrown into the other. I was hurting
real bad and didn’t want to move.

However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning
and groaning. I knew she was in terrible
shape just by her groans. Shortly after
the accident a Highway Patrolman came on
the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning
and groaning so he went over to her.

After he looked at her he took out his
gun and shot her between the eyes. Then
the Patrolman came across the road with
his gun in his hand and looked at me. He
said, “Your mule was in such bad shape I
had to shoot her. How are you feeling?”

***

Yogurt (noun) Semi-solid dairy product made from partially
evaporated and fermented milk. Yogurt is one of only three foods
that taste exactly the same as they sound. The other two
are goulash and squid.

***

Two Marines boarded a shuttle flight out of Washington, headed for SC. One sat in the window seat, the other sat in the middle seat. Just before takeoff, a Soldier got on and took the aisle seat next to the two Marines.  The Soldier kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Marine in the window seat said, “I think I’ll get up and get a coke.”

“No problem,” said the Soldier, “I’ll get it for you.” While he was gone, the Marine picked up one of the Soldier’s shoes and spit in it.  When the Soldier returned with the coke, the other Marine said, “That looks good, I think I’ll have one, too. ”

Again, the Soldier obligingly went to fetch it and while he was gone, the Marine picked up the Soldier’s other shoe and spit in it.  The Soldier returned and they all sat back and enjoyed the remainder of their short flight to SC.

As the plane was landing, the Soldier slipped his feet into his shoes and realized immediately what had happened.”How long must this go on?” the Soldier asked. “This fighting between our services? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and peeing in cokes?”

Irish Ayes Are Smilin’

Guinness

 

 

 

 

 

Two Irishmen, looking to get rich, open a pub. After a year, they’re deep in red ink. One says, “I know, let’s turn it into a brothel.” The other replies, “Don’t be daft! We can’t get ‘em to drink beer. How are we goin’ to get ‘em to drink broth??”

***

A group of chess enthusiasts had checked into a
hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing
their recent tournament victories. After about an
hour, the manager came out of the office and
asked them to disperse. “But why?” they asked,
as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can’t
stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

***

Do you know what is black and blue and found in a ditch?

A man who told one too many blonde jokes.

***

Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day.
Teach him how to fish and you can sell him equipment.

***

Error, no keyboard – press F1 to continue.

***

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working
the moment you get up in the morning and doesn’t
stop until you get into the office.

Robert Frost

***

The Pentagon recently found it had too many
Generals and offered an early retirement bonus.
They promised any general who retired straight
away, his full annually benefits PLUS $10,000.00
for every inch measured in a straight line along
the retiring general’s body between two points
he chose. (Something only Congress came up with!)

The first General accepted. He asked the pension man
to measure from the top of his head to the tip of
his toes. 6 feet. He walked out with a check of
$720,000.00.

The second General asked them to measure from the
tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. 8 feet!
He walked out with a check for $960,000.00.

Meantime, the first General had tipped off the
third. When he was asked where to measure, he
told the pension man. “From the tip of my penis
to my balls.” The pension man said that would be
fine, but he’d better get the Medical Officer to
do the measuring.

The Medical Officer attended and asked the
General to drop ’em. He did. The Medical Officer
placed the tape on the tip of the general’s penis
and began to work back. “My God!” he said.
“Where are your balls?”

The General replies, “In Viet Nam!”

***

The kindergarten teacher is trying to explain to
her class the definition of the word “definitely”
to them. To make sure the students have a good
understanding of the word, she asks them to use
it in a sentence.

When called upon, the first student says
“The sky is definitely blue”. The teacher
said “Well that isn’t entirely correct because
sometimes it’s gray and cloudy”.

Another student says “Grass is definitely green”.
Teacher again replies “If grass doesn’t get enough
water it turns brown, so that isn’t really correct”.

A third student raises his hand and asks the
teacher “Do farts have lumps?”  The teacher
replied, “No, and that is not a suitable question
for class discussion”. The student replies,
“Then I definitely shit my pants”.

 

Big Talk

Stool

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two little kids, aged six and eight, decide it’s
time to learn how to swear. So, the eight year
old says to the six year old, “Okay, you say
`ass’ and I’ll say `hell'”.

All excited about their plan, they troop
downstairs, where their mother asks them what
they’d like for breakfast. “Aw, hell,” says the
eight-year-old, “gimme some Cheerios.” His mother
backhands him off the stool, sending him bawling
out of the room, and turns to the younger
brother. “What’ll you have?”

“I dunno,” quavers the six-year-old, “but you
can bet your ass it ain’t gonna be Cheerios.”

***

Is there life before coffee?

***

Fu, Bu and Chu immigrated to the US from China.
They decided to become American Citizens, and
“Americanize” their names.

Bu called himself “Buck”
Chu called himself “Chuck”
and Fu had to go back to China

***

There is a new statute in Pennsylvania that all
lawyers must be buried 20 feet under.

You see, they’ve found out that deep down all
lawyers are really good.

***

Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school
I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.

***

If you put the federal government in charge of the
Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.

***

After God had created Adam he noticed that he
looked very lonely. He decided to help. He said
“Adam, I’ve decided to make you a woman. She’ll
love you, cook for you, be sweet to you, and
understand you.” Adam said “Great! How much will
she cost me?” The answer came back, “An arm and
a leg.”

“Well,” said Adam “what can I get for a rib?”

***

How many mystery writers does it take
to screw in a light bulb?

Two: One to screw it almost all the way in and
the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

***

The kindergarten class had a homework assignment
to find out about something exciting and relate
it to the class the next day. When the time came
for the little kids to give their reports, the
teacher was calling on them one at a time.

The teacher was reluctant to call upon little
Johnnie, knowing that he sometimes could be a bit
crude. But eventually his turn came. Little
Johnnie walked up to the front of the class, and
with a piece of chalk, made a small white dot on
the blackboard, then sat back down.

Well the teacher couldn’t figure out what Johnnie
had in mind for his report on something exciting,
so she asked him just what that was. ‘It’s a
period’, Johnnie explained.

‘Well I can see that,’ she said, ‘but what is so
exciting about a period?’

‘Damned if I know,’ said Johnnie, ‘but this
morning my sister said she missed one. Then Daddy
had a heart attack and Mommy fainted.’

***

An Army sentry had been posted at a base road gate, with the firm instructions that no vehicle was to be allowed on base without a special pre-authorized sticker.

A large car rolled up with no sticker, but a military driver and an officer in the back.  “Halt.  Who goes there?” he said.  The driver replied, “It’s General Wheeler.”  “I’m sorry; you can’t enter without a sticker.”  The General says, “Nonsense son, drive on.”

The sentry stepped out to block the car and repeated, “You can’t enter the base without a sticker for your car.”  The General said, “I’m a General.  I don’t wait.  Drive on son!”

The sentry pointed his rifle at the driver’s window, leaned forward and said, “I’m new at this sir.  Do I shoot you, or the driver??”   😕

Purls Of Wisdom

WomanDrivingKnittingS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting!

Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, “PULL OVER!”

 

“NO,” the blonde yelled back, “IT’S A SCARF!”

 

****

Paul Mitchell, 29, was walking home from a friend’s Halloween party earlier this year when he found himself next to his neighbor’s pumpkin field.  He had always joked in his mind about how the inside of pumpkins are soft, mushy, and warm (in Texas). So he took out his knife, cut a hole in his choice pumpkin, and began fucking it.

An officer of the City Police Dept. saw Mitchell and stopped to see what was going on. “I expected Mitchell to be urinating in the field and possibly be intoxicated,” said the Officer. Mitchell didn’t hear or see the Officer as she approached, due to his newfound hobby. She shined her flashlight on Paul and said, “Sir, do you realize that you are screwing a pumpkin?”

Mitchell replied almost instantly, “Is it midnight already?”

****

The local vicar is having a bath, and he’s a little bored, so he decides to, ‘pleasure’ himself. He’s quite happily tugging away, reaches the old moment of bliss, and opens his eyes only to see, at the window, the window cleaner, jaw agape at what he’s just seen.

A couple of minutes later, the doorbell rings, it’s the window cleaner.  The vicar is understandably embarrassed, and asks the man how much he owes him.  “50 quid” comes the reply.  “50 quid ?!?” says the vicar, startled.  “Yep, fifty quid or I tell the whole parish about what I saw, you perv.”

So the vicar hands over the cash, and the cleaner gets on his way.

The following week, the bishop’s ’round for his supper and is having a wander ’round the vicar’s house, admiring his lovely home.  He says to the vicar, “Lovely clean windows you’ve got there vicar, who does them for you?”

“Oh, a guy from the village does them for me, he does a great job,” replies the vicar.

“Oh, yes. How much does he charge you, then?”

“Well,” replies the vicar, “fifty quid, actually”

“Fifty quid?!? Blimey!” says the bishop.  “He must have seen you coming!”

****

The history teacher announced that the students who could tell her the source of the following famous quotes would be allowed to go home early.

“The first quote is: ‘Four score and seven years ago…'”

Cathy raised her and answered “Abe Lincoln”.

“Very good Cathy, you may go home,” said the teacher. “The next quote is ‘Give me liberty or give me…”

Jane raised her hand and blurted out “Patrick Henry.”

“Very good Jane, you may also leave.”

Meanwhile a boy had his hand up in the back of the room the whole time and the teacher never acknowledged him, and she said that would be all for the day. She proceeded to write something on the board when the boy said “Stupid Bitches, if it weren’t for them none of this ever would’ve happened”

The teacher turned around and said, “Who said that?”

The boy blurted out “Bill Clinton, now can I go home!”

****

Did you hear about the accident at the army base?

A jeep ran over a box of popcorn & killed 2 kernels

 

Book Review #5

Finally, a book I can be proud to admit I read.

The Author – Jonathan Haidt

The Book – The Righteous Mind

Subtitled – Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

The Review

4-The Righteous MindI might as well start with the book itself.  The dust cover is printed with what looks like a knife slash from corner to corner, with a black gap, showing how “good people” are “divided.”  Despite the subtitle promising to tell why people are divided, nowhere in the book is it explained.  That folks are divided on many topics is emphasised, and the How and Where is demonstrated, but the Why is never given.

On the blurb page, a promise is given to show how to win an argument against someone whose views you do not agree with.  I read it very carefully.  It involves empathizing with your opponent until you Become them, and then slowly and gently lead them away from their position, towards yours.

Sort of like, if I want my neighbor to stop kicking his dog, I bring him over to my place to watch me kick my dog, to show him how much the dog hurts.  I don’t want to lose my morals and empathize till I become the narrow-minded asshole I’ve come to hate.  I’d sooner use the direct approach, and just kick the neighbor till he agrees to stop.

The book itself is a hardcover, each page with twice as much printing as my little paperbacks.  A quick check at the back shows 420 pages, equal to 840 pages of my normal reading.  If I’m not careful I might end up learning something before I’m done.

But wait, it’s been a while since I read a book like this.  The final 110 pages aren’t actually part of the book.  A third of it is a list of people and their research that he stole from, to formulate his theories.  Another third is notes to explain how he twisted their square ideas to fit his round pigeonholes, and the final third is an index to guide you to where you can worship his multifaceted brilliance.

That leaves only 310/620 pages of real reading.  Perhaps I’ll only get a clue when I’m done.

The author is a moral psychologist.  This doesn’t mean that he gives a damn if you’re screwing the neighbor, drinking, drugging, or even dancing.  He’s the guy who explains why and how we make decisions about what we feel is acceptable and non-acceptable behavior, for ourselves and others, even in the face of conflicting opinions, or facts.

The Atheist/philosopher, Richard Dawkins wrote a book called The Selfish Gene, in which he claimed that evolution insists that everything we do, from love, to altruism, to charity, must somehow benefit the individual.

Haidt raises this thought a couple of levels by comparing human society to biological evolution.  Single-cell organisms united to create multi-celled ones, right up to humans and large animals.  Groups of specialized cells and organs allow achievements that single cells could not achieve.

Humans first grouped by family, then by clan, then village, right up to nation.  Things like sports, politics, religion and armed forces create focused groups through synchronized sounds – prayers, hymns, chants, etc., movements – dances, marching, calisthenics – rituals and sacred totems – salutes, uniforms, crosses, even cheeseheads.

Successful groups outperform, and absorb or drive out lesser ones, and can cause actions that are not beneficial to the individual (suicide bombing), but are, to the group (Islam).

To the scientist, for any group, hypocrisy is a good thing.  For the liar, whether group or individual, it gives them a chance to reap their desired ends and feel good about it.  That makes for more confident leadership and an increase in following and obeying.

About the strange, often conflicting beliefs of every religion, including Christianity, the author says:

The memorable nymphs and fairies and goblins and demons that crowd the mythologies of every people, are the imaginative offspring of a hyperactive habit of finding agency wherever anything puzzles or frightens us.  This mindlessly generates a vast overpopulation of agent-ideas, most of which are too stupid to hold our attention for an instant; only a well-designed few make it through the rehearsal tournament, mutating and improving as they go.  The ones that get shared and remembered are the souped-up winners of billions of competitions for rehearsal time in the brains of our ancestors.

Haidt shows that, once we learn something, even if it’s wrong, it takes more mental energy to unlearn it, than to merely absorb the correct information.

The researchers saw similar results when they told participants that pressing a button would reduce the chance of shock by as much as 90%. Those participants who had to make a proactive choice to press the button opted to leave it untouched about half the time, even though it meant they had to withstand shocks they themselves rated as highly undesirable.

It gave me a slight, momentary sympathy for those I’ve viewed as merely too lazy or bull-headed to accept apparently clear proof of their invalid stances.  Then, he went on to state that, having taken a stance, we will expend even more energy to come up with, sometimes very convoluted, justifications for it, all in the name of support from and for, “our group.”

Since there are limits to most people’s ability to reach outside themselves, there are limits to how large the groups may grow.  The book crystallized and explained why I am a non-joining loner, just shy of being a psychopath; yet rail at Quebec for not “joining” Canada, or the Baltic States for each wanting to rule their own little valley.

This was deep and enlightening reading.  My hopes for an informed quick-fix were soon dashed.  Rather, as I wrote in a long-gone post, if we can keep the momentum in the right direction, thousands, millions, billions of tiny steps and nudges may make mankind a better race.