JimFormation Today  
I've been thinking ...

Arrgh! My Nose
The turbinates are thin curlicues of bone in the nose that are covered by thick mucous membranes. Under the mucous membranes are erectile tissues.

In some cases, when these nasal erectile tissues are engorged, the nasal nerves are irritated causing a sneeze. It's actually part of the system that keeps foreign bodies (dust, pollen, et al) out of your airway. And it also helps warm cold air before it goes into your lungs.

Some people are hypersensitive and sneeze whenever the nasal erectile tissues swell.

Ah! Choo!

But consider this, an erection can be systemic response.

A side effect of taking Viagra, for instance, is a stuffy nose. Not only does the drug cause engorgement of the penis, but ALL erectile tissue. Including the erectile tissues of the nose.

Sniff, sniff.

The same thing happens during sex, your nose gets an erection. This can make breathing a little more difficult during "the act".

Pant, pant.

Now, consider you're one of those hypersensitive types. Instead of "Pant, pant", it's "Ah-choo, ah-choo". It happens. But it can get really embarrassing.

Imagine you're out with your girl. She knows you well enough to know about your sneezing problem. Dinner finished, she asks, "Whatever shall we do now?"

You, "How about catching a movie?" AHHHH! CHOOOOO! :::

Arrgh! My Ears
Last weekend I put a new vanity, sink and medicine chest in my bathroom. (A quick shout out to Donato for moving the cold water pipe over).

When everything was said and done and I turned the water on, an earsplitting whistle overtook the bathroom.

Sandi and I grabbed our ears and fell to our knees. We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a bad Star Trek episode. You know the one's where Kirk and Spock grab their ears and have to fight through the aggressor's trick high frequency weapon.

Sandi (my Spock), by now, had already passed out in the corner.

Something. has. taken. control. of. my. bathroom. and. is. killing. my. crew.

I need to fight. my. way. through. the. disorienting. pain. to. the. source. of. the. sound.

The. new. faucet. Of. course!

Through stunned muscles, I quickly spun off the screen holder at the faucet exit. And there it was, the source of the alien's power, a two-piece plastic thingy. The water was being forced through a hole on top and escaping through outlets on the side.

The water pressuring through this apparatus creates debilitating high frequency sound emmissions.

Turns out it wasn't made by aliens afterall. But, instead, by Californians.

The plastic thingy is a flow restriction device. A device mandated by the idiot government politicos in California. The same numb nuts that have brought us rotating power outages.

Well, I ditched the flow restrictor. And now my faucet is illegal in California.

I'm a rebel.

And don't try to stop me. I'll bring you down too. :::

Hey, we all have relationships that have gone sour. Perhaps yours is going sour right now.

Most of us have been the one that made THE thousand phone calls. Most of us have received THE thousand phone calls.

And, if you're divorced, perhaps THE thousand phone calls have cost you half your money and stuff.

Maybe not. But regardless, visit psychoexgirlfriend.com and be prepared to laugh that nervous laugh again and to feel the chills go up and down your spine.

Perhaps you'll recognize yourself in these calls. Perhaps you'll recognize someone you once knew. Probably a little of both. :::

Marriage II
I planned on intricately weaving a wonderful tapestry of witty thoughts on marriage. And on why you should never marry for love.

But I couldn't do it as well as these people:

Ironically, the least reliable grounds for marriage is romance … The forty-six percent of marriages that do last longer then five years have almost all moved from being primarily romantic endeavors, to incorporating (some other type) of relationship.
       Peter McWilliams

Venus, a beautiful, good-natured lady, was the goddess of love; Juno, a terrible shrew, the goddess of marriage: and they were always mortal enemies.
       Jonathan Swift

A good marriage, if there is such a thing, rejects the company and conditions of love. It tries to imitate those of friendship.
       Michel de Montaigne

Love is a reciprocity of soul and has a different end and obeys different laws from marriage. Hence one should not take the loved one to wife.
       Alessandro Piccolomini

It is most unwise for people in love to marry.
       George Bernard Shaw

At the beginning of a marriage ask yourself whether this woman will be interesting to talk to from now until old age. Everything else in marriage is transitory: most of the time is spent in conversation.
       Friedrich Nietzsche

Only choose in marriage a woman whom you would choose as a friend if she were a man.
       Joseph Joubert

People marry for a variety of reasons, and with varying results; but to marry for love is to invite inevitable tragedy.
       James Branch Cabell :::

Wallpaper II
Alright, Dad didn't like my wallpaper from yesterday. He likes a more traditional picture. This next one my wife uses. This, too, I photographed and PhotoShopped.

So, Dad, give this one a look:

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Wallpaper I
Now you can use the same wallpaper used by me, your pal, Jim.

This image was photographed and enhanced by yours truly. I've got a bunch of them and will soon share elsewhere on this site. Probably in the gallery. Until

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Marriage I
I didn't start off trying to tell this story. I had some other points on marriage I wanted to hit. It just didn't come out that way. I'll try again tomorrow.

But, I'm telling you, I love this stuff.

The woman who wrote "The Rules" for a happy marriage has filed for divorce. Couldn't apply her own rules, I assume. Or her rules suck.

When I seek advice, I look to the experienced.

On Nan and Pop's fiftieth wedding anniversary I asked Pop, "I know that there's no secret for a long, happy marriage, but what can you tell me that might get Sandi and me to our fiftieth?"

He answer, "Every now and then you just have to ignore her."

There are volumes in that one simple sentence: "Don't take everything so personal." "It's seldom that serious." "Everything is not a battle." "Give her space." "Let her complain." And on and on.

I thought about a typical situation I saw all my life -

Nan, spitfire that she is, could rant about anything. She was particularly good at ranting at Pop. Pop was more subdued. Much more.

She'd go on and on about him bringing a sick, stray cat home or about him picking up a hitchhiker or any number of things. Pop wouldn't say a word. Instead, he'd make tea.

… you know we don't need another animal around here …

Water goes into tea kettle.

… do you think I have the time to take care of every sick animal in this town …

Water boils.

… you're going to bring this thing back where you got it from …

Brews tea.

… and another thing, you've got too many golf balls in this house …

In goes the lemon juice.

… Herb, how many times do we have to go over this …

Now the honey.

... I swear, Herb, sometimes you don't even listen to me ...

He sits down next to her, tea in hand:

"Okay, enough, woman. Or I'll send you back to Baltimore."

Sips tea.

Sometimes you gotta ignore 'em. And sometimes you gotta threaten to send 'em back where they came from. :::

Oh, God
Man, am I glad that I'm not an Hassidic Jew.

As an Hassidic Jew, you're waiting for the Messiah. And the Messiah will only come when one, just one, Hassidic Jew has a perfect, sinless day.

I could see me spending the entire Sabbath praying, studying, chanting, meditating, fasting. Doing everything correctly. Perfectly. Not one impure thought. Not a movement outside the Law.

And then, at the eleventh hour, a thought out of no where pops in my head -

"Damn, I bet a ham sandwich would taste good right now."


No Messiah.

And I wouldn't even get the ham sandwich.

I think God does this a lot to the Hassids. I think He likes screwing with them. :::

Damn Yankees
In case you haven't been paying attention, baseball season is a scant two weeks away.

And, just as a reminder, the New York Yankees have won four out of the last five World Series.

Going into this season, their poised to take another one.

Sports writer Michael Knisley lamented this in his latest article. He went so far as to barter his soul to the devil just to stop the Yanks from winning it all this year.

One soul, slightly worn. Willing to sell or swap in exchange for a good long-ball hitter and the American League pennant or the 2001 World Series title. E-mail serious offers to mknisley@sportingnews.com. New York Yankees need not respond.

Apparently, it's going to take (a) bargain with Beelzebub to stop the Yankees this time, so I volunteer. Take my soul.

So my alter-ego emailed him -

Dear Mr. Knisley -

Your latest column was very nice indeed.

And I like your little offer.

One problem though, I'm a Yankees fan. But you knew that.



Mr. Knisley replies -

Dear Meph,

I never considered that. Sounds like a flaw in my system.

Guess the Yankees are going to win again.

Michael Knisley
The Sporting News

Happy B'rynn Day
Last Saturday was my son's fourth birthday party. My house was chock-a-block full of four year olds.

I took pics. Lots of pics of kids and their parents. Too many.

Two galleries full: Here. And here. :::

Hobnobbin' with the Goblin
I used to write with reckless abandon. Never knowing when the words would come or where they would go. Not caring what would come out next.

Now the words are chosen carefully. My internal editor checking and rechecking every phrase and every word before anything is even written. The purest thoughts and most absolute feelings get lost. Or broken. Fractured.

The windshield shatters. Struck by a head.

It is only when this editor disappears, perhaps steps away from sheer boredom, can the real things even pretend to happen. Only then can the hobgoblins of imagination poke their heads out of their darkened holes.

It is poor to long for these days, because these are the days. It takes mere moments to fill a page.

To burn through.

To bleed. :::

I Am
Listen. I'm not even sure I believe in God.

Because first I must wrap my head around the concept of God. And so far, I haven't been able to do it.

The best I've come up with is a derivative of the first two lines of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching -

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

I take the liberty to translate "Tao" as "God" or "Truth".

It is with this near-idea of "God" that I read this poem by John Newton -

I Am …

I am not what I might be,
I am not what I ought to be,
I am not what I wish to be,
I am not what I hope to be,
But I thank God
I am not what I once was,
And I can say with the great apostle,
"By the grace of God
I am what I am"

I like that. It implies a movement of self and Soul. A transition. Growth. With an awareness of something greater.

John Newton wrote "Amazing Grace".

The odd, poetic irony is that "Amazing Grace" was sung by slaves and is still sung passionately every Sunday in black Baptist churches all over the world. And it was written on a slave ship by the ship's captain while making a delivery of human cargo to America. That captain was John Newton.

Newton went on to complete that delivery. And maybe even a few more.

In the end, he thoroughly and heroically denounced the practice of people owning people. And spent the last forty-three years of his life preaching the "Good News".

Which brings even more meaning to his poem "I Am …". :::

Hey! If you're new here. Read my old stuff.

© JimFormation 2001