Smitty’s Loose Change #12

Smitty's Loose Change

We (the wife) have acquired a new medical specialist, a Physiatrist (fizz-eye-aah-tryst). This is a term invented by another doctor in 1957. It originally was an alternative to physician, or GP, to distinguish from the growing horde of specialists. Over the ensuing 60 years though, it has come to refer to a doctor who specializes in pain management and control.

He recommends and co-ordinates with chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists, and physiotherapists. He can prescribe specific medications, but usually leaves it to the patient and their GP. He can recommend exercises for specific muscle groups, for home, gym or physio sessions. As a last resort, he is trained and authorized to administer injections of analgesics or cortisones.

His clinic is not – and may never be – authorized to administer the long-term, IV-drip, pain-med infusions that I drive the daughter 60 miles every 8/9 weeks to get.

***

I recently got a phone call from a polling firm, working on behalf of my electricity supplier, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro. While seeming simple, the questions were actually rather confusing. They wanted to know why I had chosen K/W Hydro, and what it would take for me to recommend them to another potential user.

They asked about draws, perhaps one or more customers could have their monthly charge written off. The finances are a closed system. It takes X amount of money to purchase and distribute power. If one (or more) people don’t have to pay, then the rest of us all have to pay a bit more. I don’t want to pay any extra, and, if I were to win, I’d feel guilty about the rest paying more.

Then they asked about rebates. If they can afford to give rebates, then they’re overcharging us. The final suggestion was to donate money to charity. It’s a feel-good idea, but, either they’re overcharging, or we’re all going to pay more, to finance that scheme.

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but the truly bizarre thing about all this is that they hold a monopoly. No other power-supply company can operate in this district. We have Hobson’s choice – take it, or else. The only other options are to freeze in the dark, or buy a Honda generator at Home Despot. And, my bill went up to help pay for this useless survey.

***

I’ve been translating German names again. Some of them give cause for wonder/amusement.
Einwechter = one – of a half. One what?? Of a half of what? I suppose the Germans know.
Kieswetter = cheese weather – which is a sky overcast with small, dark, chunky clouds that resemble cheese curds. How in Hell you get named after rain clouds, I don’t know. No wonder these people tried to conquer Europe – Twice

Kieswetter

***

Arbitrary

How you’ve heard it: “His bookshelves are organized in a totally arbitrary way. “What it means: Random, erratic, unpredictable, not based on coherent logic whatsoever.

It may be unpredictable to you. It may appear erratic, but it is not random! ‘Arbitrary’ means selected, or chosen. The books on the shelf may be arranged by size, by color, by the number of pages, or even in reverse alphabetical order of the authors’ first names. You may not see the order. You may not agree with the logic, but the owner arbitrarily chose it. He may even have chosen random.

***

My neurologist, the guy who probably saved my sight – the doctor who was willing to throw me in the trunk of his car and drive me 60 miles to a hospital specializing in eye health – has been charged with 34 counts of sexual harassment, and had his medical license revoked. I did not see that coming.

***

We recently survived another Federal election. One of the son’s co-workers asked him – based on the number of lawn signs – who he felt would be the winner in our neighborhood. The son replied that it looked like Re/Max Realty was out ahead, with Century 21 close behind. The son held out hope for a young upstart named Butter Tart Festival, holding a revival meeting at a local tourist trap. The worker protested, “Aren’t you ever serious?” “Sometimes.” “See, there you go again.” Ya just can’t win.

 

(Self-)Help Is On The Way

Self Help

In order to improve the lot in life of our employees and customers, Archon’s Addled Alliance is offering some free on-line courses. All you need to do is contact us and admit that you need help, and we’ll enroll you in a suitable one from the following list.

SELF IMPROVEMENT

Creative Suffering
Overcoming Peace of Mind
You and Your Birthmarks
Guilt Without Sex
The Primal Shrug
Ego Gratification Through Violence
Moulding Your Child’s Behavior Through Guilt And Fear
Dealing with Post-Realization Depression
Whine Your Way to Alienation
How to Overcome Self-Doubt Through Pretense and Ostentation
Hairstyling by Microwave

BUSINESS AND CAREER

Retire at 26 by Embezzlement
How I made $100 in Real Estate
Money Can Make You Rich
Packaging And Selling Your Children
Career Opportunities in El Salvador
How to Profit From Your Own Body
The Underachievers Guide to Very Small Business Opportunities
Tax Shelters For The Indigent
The Looters Guide to North American Cities
Mortgage Reduction Through Arson
Manipulation – The Key To Success
Hysteria – Motivation and Methodology
Preliminary to Employment Through Nepotism
Dice and Dope – Roll Your Way to Success

ECONOMICS

Counterfeiting Canadian Tire Money (Open to residents of Canada only)
Basic Kitchen Taxidermy
How to Convert a Wheelchair Into a Dune Buggy
Cat Hair Macramé
Christianity and The Art of RV Maintenance
What to do With Your Conversation Pit
Sinus Drainage (Contracts)
1001 Uses For Krazy Glue
Repair and Maintenance of Your Virginity
Burglar-Proof Your Home With Concrete
How to Convert Your Kirby Vacuum-Cleaner Into a Fully Automatic Rifle
How to Build a Patio With Prune Pits – Franchise Program
Second-Hand Tupperware Parties

HEALTH AND FITNESS

Creative Tooth Decay
Fun With Necrophilia
The Joys of Hypochondria
Exorcism and Acne
High Fibre Sex
Suicide and Your Health
Skate Your Way to Regularity
Understanding Nudity
Tap Dance Your Way to Ridicule
Optional Body Functions
The Braille System of Anatomy
Dressing Right/Dressing Left – How It Can Change Your Life
Isometric Fitness For the Lazy
Understanding Underarm Wetness and Wind Direction

ARTS AND CRAFTS

Start Your Own TV Evangelism
Self Actualization Through Macramé
Needlecraft for Junkies
Gifts For the Senile
Cuticle Crafts
How to Draw Genitals
Bonsai Your Pet
Wind Chimes As a Substitute For Religion
25 Creative Uses For a Water-Pik
Crochet Drapes From Dental Floss
Toilet Bowl Reading

Please add any courses that you would like to see offered in the future.

Flash Fiction #139

Castle

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR

There it is! Isn’t she a beauty?

When Robin Hood Realty says we’ll get you a castle, we deliver. ‘Course, it needs a bit of fixin’ up, but I know a tradesman who can put in new windows and cut your heating bill to nothing.

But….location, location, location. The Queen has a home just there, and back the other way, Madge – oops, sorry.  You colonials call her Madonna, like Adele, that one-named squawker of ours.

Madge’s husband?? ….buys an estate with a public footpath through it, then complains when the riff-raff parades past.

Don’t worry. Nobody wants to walk here.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Creative Illiteracy – Pros vs. Amateurs

Grammar Nazi

I didn’t do it for this post, because I didn’t keep track, but you may correctly guess that, in the future, I am going to set up separate sections, to show how professional writers are becoming as bad as the great unwashed public, in their ill treatment of the English language.

Dictionary

Apartment for rent – Brightup Park – Rental agent must be new to this German town.  It’s just down the street from my old job on Breithaupt St., (incorrectly) pronounced ‘bright up.’

Jane Fonda, with a full quaff of feathered ‘80s hair – that’s a style (coif) that I could drink to.

Standard undies and a bike seat result in chaffing. – I was chafing when I read this.

a red bag with the body of a Lion Rampen on itBoard of Heraldry insists the Lion is Rampant

The crowbar was not fashioned to the sill – I fastened onto this one quickly.

ones I crossed the street – I learned to write correct English once I got there.

President Obama pairs down his wardrobe to grey and blue suits – Well….there are just the two colors.

women with no close on – Just what you’d expect from some yob who’d write this.

I was a little dump founded – This one’s easy.  Just tell ‘em you founded your dumb.

Toronto Trekkies set their faces to stun – My face is stunned that even this non-nerd didn’t know about phasers.

The LCBO is trying bottle locks it hopes may prevent less booze from going into the pockets of thieves. – Surely they’re trying to prevent more loss.

Deer listener, welcome to another – Dear me, I’ve listened to deer.  They don’t say anything.

Its pretty oviese – that you meant, it’s pretty obvious.

A comfort and convince issue – You can’t convince me that it shouldn’t be convenience.

His smile infactuated my mind.  His eyes were infultrated with dark specks. – The writer must have had red lines under these words….I need to sit down.

One of my jobs was creating visitors as they entered – I would just be greeting them myself, but if they let you get into that creating…

So I here there is a rumor. – Yes, I hear that they say you don’t know proper English.

Napa Valley is famous for whine – Is he being serious?  I don’t know if a joke is required.

The whole kerfuffle wreaks of the entitled attitude – And this columnist’s writing reeks of pretention and lack of language knowledge.

I was quote on quote, “fake”. – And you were “quote – unquote, not thinking about that phrase’s meaning.

He was a tattle tail – Even SpellCheck knows that it’s tattletale

Swimmers go toe-to-toe with undertoe – At least they didn’t tow the line….somewhere else.

Dancers are quite a common site – Any dancer large enough to qualify, must be a sight.

You are hurdled through the air, 35,000 feet up – I’d just like to see someone hurdle me when I’ve been hurtled that high.

Be wear of men who – know you should beware.

His near-do-well life, and tales of his daring-do – in a post bitching about someone else using ‘imperserate’ for impersonate.  His should be ‘ne’er-do-well, and derring-do, since you asked.

and I but in – when he should butt in

I got have way across the street – I’ve got no halfway smartass comment except – Think! Damn it, think!

The have-knots protested lack of money. – That’s a problem I could untie for them.

In an article about typos – after listing exotic trips as erotic ones, Yellow Pages offered to wave their fee.

Crossword – shotguns have them = calibers – No, rifles & pistols have calibers.  Shotguns have gauges!
drills = jackhammers – NO! No!  Drills go round and round, jackhammers go up and down.
kinda drift =
continentalKinda and (a) kind of do not mean the same thing.
– carpenter’s plane = sander – plane has steel blade, sander has
sand, on paper

***

 

Ginter Gardens

Hello there. Do you have lung cancer? Does anyone you know have lung cancer? Then you probably hate Lewis Ginter without ever having met him or knowing who he was.

On the other hand, if you love flowers and plants and gardens and landscaping, you might possibly forgive him.

Ginter 6

Hi there! This is Archon, your unpaid  😦  travel advisor again.  I know it’s already a bit late in the summer, but I have another place I recommend to go. Perhaps keep it in mind for next year. My wife, the gardening guru, and I, enjoyed a lovely day there a few years ago. I’m talking about the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, in north Richmond, Virginia.

Ginter 2

Born in 1824, of Dutch ancestry, originally from New York, Lewis Ginter moved to Richmond when he was 18. He made a considerable fortune, first through retail merchandising, then manufacturing, real estate development, and investments during the Civil War

After the war he got into tobacco and cigarettes. At one time he had a plant with 1000 young women rolling cigarettes. Other manufacturers started using mechanical rolling machines. Ginter designed and had built, even more efficient machines, making him more money, and producing more smokers.

Ginter 7

He was a philanthropist, donating money, often anonymously, to many charities. He created quite a development, outside of the north end of Richmond, for the privileged rich. He had a stream dammed to create a lake for paddling, and had trees and flowers planted. When bicycling became popular in the Gay 90s, he built a cycling club.

Ginter 3

The area around his property, Lakeside Estate was constantly beautified with the addition of flowers, trees and landscaping. When he died in 1897, he left it to a niece to continue his work. She renamed it Bloemendaal, Dutch for ‘Blooming Valley’, in honor of their heritage. She established a progressive farm, and built an orphanage for homeless Richmond children.

Ginter 1

Later she expanded the garden aspect and named it the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. It has six different garden types and areas, including a water garden, and a Japanese garden. It’s a beautiful place, and the sights and smells are enthralling.

Ginter 4

His (later, her) mansion is still standing. There is a magnificent Ginkgo tree, and an olive tree almost as big as an oak. Its huge branches are held together with steel cables to prevent it splitting. We were allowed a partial tour of the inside. I had a small, silent chuckle when the tour guide described the niece’s old age. In the year 2000, the word ‘slaves’ could still not be used, and even ‘servants’ apparently caused some consternation. She finally spluttered out, ‘the people who helped her’, all of whom I imagine were Negro.

Ginter 5

It’s quick and easy to get to, right off I-85. The entry fee is reasonable. Food and drink are available, or, you are allowed to bring your own and have a picnic. It’s a gorgeous, peaceful place to spend a day if you can get there. Click the link above to the Gardens’ website for hours of operation and maps, or access Wikipedia for Ginter Gardens – and post pictures after you get back.

Ginter 8  Stony Man’s younger brother

#496

Flash Fiction #30

cropped-bugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB

The lawyer arrives at the Pearly Gates for judgement, confused.

“I’m not supposed to be here!  I’m only 37.”

St. Peter says, “No, we checked your billed hours, and apparently you’re 104”

***

….and there will be a $27 charge for photocopies, and an $8 charge for consumed office supplies, and a $100 registration fee for the use of our legal library….

“I had hoped that selling the little house that your mother left us would pretty much pay off our debts.  Will there be anything left when they’re done?  This law firm is sucking the life out of us.”

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday picture as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Admittedly, it’s not all completely original work, but there was a lot of appreciation the last time I slagged lawyers, so I thought I’d throw in another laugh or two.  We all need a laugh or two where lawyers are involved   😀