Category Archives: society

17 Seconds

That’s it, 17 seconds.  Count them, go ahead: 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, 4-1000, 5-1000 ………Done? All of them? Well now guess what, phfst, snap, whoosh.  Those 17 seconds no longer exist except perhaps in your memory and even that will fade.

Now a length of time measured in seconds doesn’t seem all that noteworthy, at least not to those who have a potential life span well into 90 years.   Mayflies only live for 24 hours so 17 seconds would be important.  And it should be to you and me as well.  Minds can be changed in 17 seconds, wars can be initiated in 17 seconds, a lingering kiss can . . . Well you get the picture.  A lot can happen in 17 seconds.

It takes much less time for a life to pass on, for love to bloom (ok maybe in some cases it’s only lust but it is ‘a blooming!).  We spend so much time organizing, planning and cajoling and yet sometimes it is the unexpected hiccups that are the most memorable.

I once had several guns pointed directly at me.  It seemed to last for a lifetime as visions of my oh so young life flashed brightly across my mind’s eye.  It probably only lasted for a few seconds but OH MY WORD!!!

It was a dark and stormy night . . . Ok, ok, yes, it was dark and cold.  I was on my way to a night class in Anthropology.  Mid-eighties, winter. I was minding my own business, head down, when out of the corner of my eye I see dozens of huge men with drawn guns racing towards me, directly towards me.  Someone screamed “FREEZE” and I froze, solid.  I don’t think I dared to breathe.

Now I am told that memory is a fragile thing, often tempered by television, movies, news articles, even suggestions from other people. Well, that may be true but I am here to tell you my truth.  I wasn’t afraid.  Honestly.  I don’t think I had the time to consciously form a thought.  I was frozen, remember.  The officers (only 3 or 4) raced past me and into the building I was adjacent to.  Fortunately, one of them came back to release me from my frozen state.  I continued on to my class and only later discovered what had happened.

It seemed some unsavoury characters were hiding in plain sight on my University Campus. Pretty smart when you think about it.  The police were smarter.

Many years later I joined a Police Department.  Did that encounter unconsciously point me in that direction?  17 seconds can change your life.

And one thing can be counted on to be absolutely true:  Those 17 seconds will never come again.  So use them wisely.

Not my fault!

Once again, THIS IS NOT MY FAULT!  I was minding my own business, reading the blogs I follow and I ran full tilt into THIS!  As you can see I was mercilessly coerced into . . . well . . . I was having too much fun.

Over at they do this Fibbing Friday and I could not resist. To say that I am twisted would be . . . well you be the judge!

1 – 10 are from the mind of

11 – 20 are from

  1. Can a woodchuck chuck more wood than a woodpecker can peck?                                                                     Is this a sexual thing?
    2. If you put something where the Sun does not shine, where did it go?                                                               In the dishwasher.
    3. What did Columbus say when he landed in the New World?                                                                                 Dov’è il bagno!  (where is the bathroom!)
    4. Why was Nero playing his fiddle when Rome burned?                                                                                              Because somebody stole his harp.
    5. If you are retired, can you still observe Labor Day?                                                                                                   Only with sunglasses.
    6. Where did the Amazons come from?                                                                                                                         Upriver.
    7. Who started the Trojan War?                                                                                                                                      The Condom Companies.
    8. Since corn oil is made from corn and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, where does baby oil come from?                                                                                                                                                         Baby urine.
    9. Why is the man who invests all of your money called a broker?                                                                              Because he breaks people.  Is that a sexual thing?
    10. The #2 pencil seems to be the most popular, so why doesn’t someone invent a #1 pencil?                                                                                                                                                                                 They did but the woodchuck ate it.


    1. If there was an Eighth Dwarf along with Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy and Sleepy, what would his name be?                                                                                                              Confucius.  Oh wait, wrong story.
      12. Why are zebras striped?                                                                                                                                So they don’t get run over by the elephants.
      13. If the Love Bug hadn’t been a volkswagon beetle, what would it have been?                             A Dung Beetle.
      14.Why aren’t we on Cloud 10 when we’re happy?                                                                                         Cause that’s where you go with your hangover.
      15. Why do we draw curtains?                                                                                                                               Because painting them is so last year.
      16. What is the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?                                                          Inside/outside.
      17. Are wine gums alcoholic?                                                                                                                                 Do they go to AA meetings?
      18. What’s the best way to diet?                                                                                                                           At a distance
      19. What is a homonym?                                                                                                                                     A dwarf’s house
      20. Why do witches always seem to wear stripey socks?                                                                              So the elephants don’t run over them


Now, I love honey.  I like it on toast, I make a wonderful bread with it, many desserts use it.  It has been around for more than eight thousand years, that we know of.  It was used to coat wounds on the battlefield! (Not recently, that I know of) Jars of it have been found in Pharaohs’ tombs and it was still viable! Yep, Honey is popular stuff.  But did you know . . .

Many years ago, I was invited to a Chinese New Year dinner. It was in Chinatown and very few people there spoke English. I was lucky enough to be seated beside a woman who did speak English. And it was a fascinating trip through each course.  She warned me early on that there would be many courses.  And while each offering was delectable, I did pace myself. This kind woman answered all my questions about the food I was eating. I was curious.  As one of the few Occidentals at the table I’m sure many of my questions were amusing. And then came the soup course.

It was delicious. Since the waiter had given me this soup using Chinese to identify it, I didn’t have a clue what it was. So, I turned to my dinner companion. She asked if I was enjoying it, to which I replied emphatically: yes!  It was at this point that she got an odd look on her face, smiled and said “I’ll tell you later”. Now my nature is one that does not backdown from curiosity. I wanted to know. She explained that if she told me, I would stop eating it. I put my spoon down, thought about it for a moment, took another sip and said no, I want to know. That’s how I found out it was called Bird’s Nest Soup. What does that actually mean you ask? Oh, let me explain…

My companion told me that actual bird’s nests are boiled to extract the saliva that holds the nest together. The effluents, feathers and other detritus are, hopefully, boiled off. What you’re left with is the stock for the soup. I thought about it for a moment. Smiled. Took another mouthful and said:  Bird Spit Soup, I like it! I have since watched documentaries on how this particular soup is made and it does look disgusting.  I would eat it again in a second!

I don’t know why I starting wondering about honey. But I did read up on it. Honey is basically churned up in the stomach of one bee, vomited into the mouth of another and then deposited on the honeycombs. That is what we collect and put on our toast in the morning. Yum!

But hey, none of that matters. Isn’t it all about taste? And what about that famous coffee from Asia that gains its exotic flavour after having passed through the intestines of a civet cat? And you wonder why I drink tea?