Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Rock Tournament

           Most families have a favorite game. Our family loves to play Rook. It’s a great card game, but only four can play, so we can’t play if everybody’s home. In those cases we love the hilarity of Telestrations and What Were You Thinking?

          On a train in Italy, we got laughing so hard at Telestrations that other passengers begged to join in.

          But for Mother’s Day we only had Richie and Nicole at home, so I sent them a text to let them know we’d be having a rock tournament. That’s right, a ROCK tournament, brought to you by Auto-correct.

          I can just see this—what do we do, throw rocks at each other?  Or is it a new Scottish game, like throwing Haggus? (By the way, Richie placed 2nd in a huge Haggus competition a few years ago, so no way am I playing that guy with Orangutan arms.)

          But he also shouted, “Bet you can’t hit me with a rock,” to his little brother, Brandon, when they were both young and innocent—at which point Brandon dashed up the beach to prove him wrong.

            Maybe they thought it was rock and roll, since I just attended the Ringo Starr concert with three girlfriends:

     But I doubt Ringo and his buddies would come over to meet the fam'.  So there will be no rock-based events at our next gathering. And I want a new rule for Mother’s Day: Moms get to win all card games.

          I don’t have a life hack that will help you win a Rook tournament, but I have hundreds of other life hacks right here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Talking to Myself

         Yes, I have reached the age where I mutter aloud to myself in public places. I’ll look at a price tag and gasp, “What!?” or “Hmm, that’s cute.”

          I’ve been doing it at home for years. All by myself I mumble, “Where’s the green spatula?” “How did the butter get over here?” and “Why doesn’t this lid fit?” Rarely do I get an argument.

In fact, if St. Bob’s doctor tells him he isn’t hearing as well as he used to, and asks if he misses my voice, I fully expect him to shrug and say, “Not really.”

But now that I’m talking to myself in public as well, I think folks will just assume I’ve lost my last marble and have created an imaginary friend for myself.  Or maybe they’ll think I’m talking to them and they’ll answer me.

So far I haven’t noticed anyone giving me strange looks. But maybe they’re talking to themselves as well, and just wish I would stop interrupting.

Hopefully no one will interrupt while you’re watching one of my life hacks here!

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Auto Correct for Speaking

           You'd think with Artificial Intelligence they’d have thought of everything, right?  Then riddle me this: Why aren’t people more intelligent? I wouldn’t even care if it was artificial.

          In fact, I’d like to volunteer to become more intelligent. Maybe they can use me to invent Auto Correct for Speaking.

          Oh, sure, we all gripe about what auto correct does to our texts. It changes “I will call you” to “I will claw you” and “His wife is Morgan” to  “His wife is Morbid,” forcing us to scan every word we speak before we press “send.” I’ve blogged about the horrors of auto-correct here and here.

          But I need this for my mouth. Just this week I heard a man speak, detected an accent, and happily asked what country he’s from. Ah, but he was born here. What he had was a speech impediment!  Yes, I am still embarrassed for being such a clod.

          Then I gushed over someone new, only to discover we had already met.  She frowned; obviously she hadn’t made much of an impression. I felt terrible. Remiss. Thoughtless. Stupid.

          So either I need a time machine so I can go back for two minutes and avoid such blunders, or I need to have more intelligence so I don’t make them in the first place.

However, you can watch my wonderful life hacks here, which (I hope) do not contain any foot-in-mouth examples.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Why I Failed Dog Training

           Okay, first of all, let’s agree that dog training is actually people training. If you can train the owner, the owner can then control the dog.

          But here’s what happened. All the owners stood in a circle with their dogs. The first thing we were to teach them was to sit on command.

          Maybe it’s my curiosity kicking in, but I kept thinking, “Why?” When do you care if your dog is sitting or standing? I say let them do whichever makes them comfortable. Seriously, have you ever seen a standing dog and thought, “Well, that won’t do! You must sit at once!”?

          Next was teaching them to lie down.  See above reasoning.

          Then it was to have them wait as you walk a distance away, then run to you on command. See above reasoning again.

          What possible scenario would require you to walk away from your dog, and then suddenly want him beside you?  As they say in British detective shows, “What are you playing at?”

          If you’re going to train your dog, why not teach him tricks that are fun to watch?  Singing, for example. Or playing the drums with his tail. Bringing you an object from across the room.  I’ve taught our little chihuahua mix to turn in a circle, run around the table, and do the “downward dog” yoga pose. All highly entertaining.

          Tell you what. Run a dog training class that teaches them to use the toilet, and I’ll sign right up.

          Be sure to watch my Youtube Mom videos for countless life hacks (and a secret something to do when training dogs is coming up)!

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Double Trouble

           St. Bob was just in Mississippi.  As executor of his brother’s estate, he had to fly there for meetings with bankers and attorneys, and naturally had to rent this car:         

         But if you look closely you’ll notice he promptly got not one, but TWO flat tires from a local pothole.  It also prompted our son, Richie, to text, “You shouldn’t drive if you’re two-tired.” 

          However, this problem pales in comparison to what happened next. The rental company brought him a replacement, but when he opened the door to get in, there was a gigantic spider in the hinge!

          It would quickly scoot back towards the engine area, so Bob could never capture it to get rid of it. He drove that car for days, always playing hide-and-seek with this spider.

          I would not get in the first time!  Nope, nope, nope.

           I would call the rental company and ask them to bring me a third car, a spiderless vehicle to swap out with this death trap. Had I been with St. Bob on this trip, I would have refused to get in and sit down in this already-occupied space.

          But, with my luck, they’d bring me a Batmobile.     

    Hey, if you're ever stuck on the side of a road, first get away from all spiders. Then tune in to my Youtube Mom videos-- there are hundreds of them!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Traffic Jam? Here I am!

          I was stuck in one of those traffic jams that just seem to happen, like bees swarming. There’s no crash ahead, no construction. Just all of a sudden, traffic is tied in knots. Usually there’s a pokey driver up in front, holding up hundreds of others.

          Granted, I drive a tad faster than I should. So I sometimes wonder why we can’t just suddenly stampede? If everyone simultaneously pressed on the gas pedal, we’d all get where we want to go, right?

          Animals do this all the time. Okay, usually when they’re frightened or they want to escape a predator. Either way, they perceive a threat.  And I, humbly driving along on the freeway, perceive the threat that I will be late if we don’t get a move-on.

          This piqued my interest, so I looked it up.  The kinds of animals that stampede are usually herbivores, which is curious. This list includes buffalo, zebras, cattle, elephants, reindeer, sheep, pigs, goats, blue wildebeests, wild horses, rhinoceroses, and—get this: Walruses!  Whaat?

          If you couldn’t run any better than a walrus, would you stampede? I imagine I’d just sit my chubby ol’ self down on the sand, enjoy the sun, and await a fish dinner. Not only that, but they trample one another, so it’s a bad idea all the way around.

          And, I guess that would happen if someone in a helicopter shouted down through a bullhorn: Okay, drivers, GUN IT!  Maybe it’s because, like walruses, we aren’t really true herbivores.

Looking for something to give Mom on Mother’s Day? Do not give her a walrus. Instead, check out 12 great ideas right here on my Youtube Channel!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Wagging Our Tongues?

          Today I’m blogging about a muscle we use all the time, but never sprain. It’s our tongue.

          Yes, I know I’m a bit chatty and use mine more often than is probably wise, but we take this weird muscle for granted, and I want you to know more about it.

          First, your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end. This loose connection seems rather risky, yes?  Maybe it’s why we tend to blabber on and on. If it were connected at the tip, I’m guessing we’d be very selective in what we choose to say.

          To be accurate, the tongue is more than one muscle—it’s made up of eight muscles. And on it we have 3,000 to 10,000 taste buds. It’s unique, like a fingerprint. Even identical twins have different tongue prints.

Flipping your tongue over or curling it into a clover are genetic abilities, however they pay nothing.

We can’t actually taste anything until saliva has moistened it, and since salt dissolves in water, this is what we usually taste first. The tongue keeps working while we sleep, too, pushing saliva into our throats to moisten them.

We should brush our tongue, just like we brush our teeth.

Fastest tongue in the west (or in any direction): The chameleon’s. It can go from zero to 50 in 1/100th of a second. Sorry, sports car fans.

          Weirdest Tongue Award goes to the giraffe, whose prehensile tongue can look purple or black. Scientists think this extra pigment protects against UV rays (and is certainly more convenient than rubbing sunscreen on your tongue every hour).

And now you can use your talented tongue to tell all your friends to subscribe to this blog!