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A Thought for Today

Have the courage to be yourself. Echoes are for amateurs.


The first Friday of the month and the first chance to pass along some “stuff.”


Our thanks to Nicky Williams for this one.

By Jeff Ackerman - The Nevada Appeal

A couple of weeks ago I indicated that if I could, I'd enlist today
and help my country track down those responsible for killing
thousands of innocent people in New York City and Washington, D. C.. But I'm 50 now and the Armed Forces says I'm too old to track down terrorists.

You cannot be older than 35 to join the Army.

They have the whole thing backwards. Instead of sending 18-year-olds off to the fight, they ought to take us old guys. You should not be able to join until you are at least 35-years-old.

For starters: Researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every 10-seconds. Old guys think about sex every 15-seconds, leaving us more than 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.

Young guys have not lived long enough to be cranky and grumpy. A cranky and grumpy soldier is a dangerous soldier. If we cannot kill the enemy we'll complain them into submission or surrender. "My back hurts!" "I'm hungry!" "Where's the remote control?"

An 18-year-old has not had a legal bottle of beer yet, and you
shouldn't go to war until you're at least old enough to legally drink beer. An average old guy, on the other hand, has probably consumed at least 126,000 gallons of beer by the time he's 35, and a jaunt through the desert heat with a backpack on and an M-60 over your shoulder would do wonders for a beer belly.

An 18-year-old doesn't like to get up before 10 a. m. Old guys get up early just to show we can [and to steal the neighbors newspaper.] If old guys got captured we couldn't spill the beans because we'd probably forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank and serial number would be a real brainteaser.

If it wasn't for the age barrier, I'd pretty much be able to get into
the Army without a hitch. According to the Army Internet site, I'd
need to pass an entrance exam [officially called an ASVAB], but the sample questions I saw weren't exactly headache material. For example:

A magnet will attract:
(a) water
(b) a flower
(c) a cloth rag
(d) a nail
I took a wild stab at it and guessed, "nail," knowing they'd probably stick me in some desk job with Army Intelligence after Boot Camp.

If 12 workers are needed to run 4 machines, how many workers are needed to run 20 machines?
(a) 16
(b) 18
(c) 3
(d) 60
Well, let's see now..... three workers per machine times 20
machines.... err....60?

Finally, they wanted to know if I had command of the English
language, just in case I had to describe an enemy camp from memory.

Now you know where the first questions come from for the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" game show. Boot Camp would actually be easier for old guys. We are used to getting screamed and yelled at, and we actually like soft food. We have also developed a deep appreciation for guns and rifles. We like them almost better than naps.

The Army could lighten up on the obstacle course, however. I've been to the desert and didn't see a single 20-foot wall with a rope hanging over the side. I can hear the Drill Sergeant now. "Get down and give!"

And the running part seems to be a hell of a waste of good energy. I've never seen anyone outrun a bullet. I'm reminded of the story of the young bull and the old bull standing on a hill looking down at the cows. "Let's run down there and breed one of those cows," says the young bull. "How about we WALK down there and breed ALL those cows," replies the old bull.

Patience is something most 18-year-olds simply do not have. For good reason, too. An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He's still learning to shave. To actually carry on a conversation. To learn that a pierced tongue catches food particles. And that a 200-watt speaker in the back seat of a Honda Accord can rupture an eardrum. All great reasons to keep our sons at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off to a possible death.

Let us old guys track down those dirty, rotten, filthy, cowards who attacked our country three weeks ago today. The last thing they'd want to see right now would be a couple of million old guys with attitudes! - ©2001 by Jeff Ackerman & The Nevada Appeal


Jane thinks this is an ideal way to get the job done.


A man was going up to bed, when his wife told him he'd left the light on in the garden shed - she could see it from the bedroom window. But he said that he hadn't been in the shed that day. He looked himself, and there were people in the shed, stealing things.

He rang the police, but they told him that no one was in his area, so no one was available to catch the thieves. He said ok, hung up, counted to 30 and rang the police again.

"Hello. I just rang you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed? Well, you don't have to worry about them now, I've just shot them all."

Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an armed response unit, the works. Of course, they caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to this man: "I thought you said you'd shot them!"

He replied: "I thought you said there was no-one available!"


Yes you did Pat and I’m ratting you out.


According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen- had to be a girl.

We should've known. Only women would be able to drag a fat-ass man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.


Ann Martin asks and answers:

"What's the difference between a woman with PMS and a Pit Bull?" Answer: LIPSTICK”


Sharonann writes:

“Thought these might give you a giggle!”


*A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen and this kitchen is delirious.

*No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

*A husband is someone who takes out the trash and gives the impression he just cleaned the whole house.

*A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

*Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

*Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.

*A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

*Help keep the kitchen clean - eat out.

*Housework done properly can kill you.

*Countless number of people have eaten in this kitchen and gone on to lead normal lives.

*My next house will have no kitchen - just vending machines.

*The only reason I have a kitchen is because it came with the house when I bought it.

* There are only three kinds of food - Frozen, Canned, & Take-out!


Sue writes:

“You know I love puns! You have been warned!”


Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian.

The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that patrolled the area. Finally, one day during a tropical storm, Justin said to Christian "I'm bored and frustrated at being a prawn, I wish I was a shark - I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten..."

As Justin had his mind firmly on becoming a predator, a flash of lightning hit the water and, lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate.

Time went on (as it invariably does...) and Justin found himself
Becoming bored and lonely as a shark. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them. Justin didn't realize that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight. During the next tropical storm, Justin figured that the same lightning force could change him back into a prawn.

Lightning never strikes twice except in stories like these, but while he was thinking of being a prawn again, a flash of lightning struck the water next to Justin and, lo and behold, he turned back into a prawn.

With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, Justin swam back to his
friends and bought them all a cocktail. (The punch line does not involve a prawn cocktail - it's much worse). Looking around the gathering at the reef, he searched for his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked. "He's at home, distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy and became a shark" came the reply.

Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Christian's house. As he opened the coral gate, the memories came flooding back. He banged on the door and shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old friend. Come out and see me again".

Christian replied, "No way, man. You'll eat me. You're a shark, the enemy. I will not be tricked".

Justin cried back "No I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed. I'm a prawn again Christian!"

I’ll be back tomorrow with something for Saturday. Sleep warm.

RM 10/31/01 Previously unpublished

Details of Rod's next appearance can be obtained by following the link below.

"Tap Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman

notable birthdays Marie Antoinette o Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu o Daniel Boone o Pat Buchanan o Paul Ford o Kerrie Friend o Warren G. Harding o Burt Lancaster o k.d. lang o James K. Polk o Stefanie Powers o Ann Rutherford o Giuseppe Sinopoli o Warren Stevens o Luchino Visconti o Ray Walston o Tracie Young
Rod's random thoughts Nothing works without leisure.

The influence of human action never dies.

To anyone who hasn’t loved, hating comes easy.


Each of us was cheated.
You won the stallion,
prior to the line-up
at the starting gate,
I took home the mare.

How curious
after such a lengthy time
that we should both still covet
one another’s runners.
Perhaps that is the basis
for our long unspoken friendship.

Surely your misfortune
at not taming
that wild stallion
to gallop at your will
up the hill and through
               the vineyards
of the quiet Villa Roi
is migrated by the visits,
once a year -
more often once a decade.

I have had to learn
that even Casa Angelo
with all its crooks
and cragged secret passages
is not enough for my spoiled filly
to be lost or found in.
It is, alas,
too close a chomping, stomping ground
for horse and rider to be sharing.

The book of days
I go on writing
has so far shown
too little room for change.

But I suspect another book
        of days and nights
is still inside of me
waiting to be written.
That means another chance
at life’s brass ring
on some aging carousel
in some brilliant new corral.

It is a comfort
that we share the certainty,
        if not the sorrow,
only age can teach;
nothing is so often better than

I toast you then
with every grape,
to Venice from
my own backyard.
I know Sebastian’s
have not, will not
pin you to the gate.

Hail, kindred spirit
no longer waiting
for the race to start.
All bets are off.

-from “Watch for the Wind, “ 1983

© 1971, 1983, 1988, 1999 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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