Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Postcard from Wanda

A big thank you to our friend Wanda who is always ready to pitch in and lend a hand whenever it’s needed. When she read our last blog about the dire threat to the postcard she immediately responded by sending us a few postcards while on a visit to Florida.

We’re including one of those postcards in our blog this week. Not only is this a really interesting postcard about a beautiful tradition we would most likely never have heard about,  it also serves as a reminder to all those rude folks who think nothing of snapping tourist photos at religious sites during sacred ceremonies. Look! There are other ways of sharing your latest adventure without being downright rude and disrespectful.
From the back of the postcard: Annual celebration honoring Mother’s Day with 10,000 roses at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe in Orlando, Florida.

Wanda: Stretch and Tiny are gathering some roses from their garden and making a little window box for your miniature house. Watch the mail for a package from BEAR FLORISTS.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Save the Postcard!

We read a bit of news recently that really distressed us. The postcard is in danger of becoming extinct! Yes, with everyone taking “selfies” and instantly being able to send photos across the world on their cell phones or tablets these days, it seems postcards are following the dinosaurs down the path of no return.

This really saddened us, particularly because, as our relatives and friends are well aware, we are postcard junkies. Stretch and I love nothing more than to go to our mailbox and discover some exotic or funny or just plain touristy postcard hiding among the usual bills and junk mail, waiting to entertain us.

What’s more, we also collect “historic” postcards. Not historic in the sense of being rare or valuable, but fun history that records for posterity the often funny or unusual messages people took the time to write, or the truly wacky scenes of tourist spots that could never exist in our politically correct times.

After reading about the peril the postcard is in, we’ve decided we can’t sit idly by. So in the next few months you can expect to find postcards cleverly (we hope!) worked into blog posts as part of our mission to convince at least a few people to pick up a postcard on their summer travels and support our cause to save this endangered species.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Donut Philosophy

I was doing some cleaning this morning and found this old postcard....a little inspiration to start the week on a rainy, yucky Monday:

As you ramble thru Life, Brother, Whatever your goal
Keep your eye upon the Doughnut and not upon the Hole.

Stretch: Or you could make it easy and just buy donuts without holes....

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Limerick Day

May 12 is "Limerick Day," celebrated on the birthday of Edward Lear, a noted limerick author who wrote the famous "Owl and the Pussycat" limerick.

To celebrate this day, I thought I'd try writing a limerick of my own, one which could help other aspiring writers avoid a precarious pitfall at the outset of their writing career:

If you're thinking of blogging beware,
Of including a tiny stuffed bear.
'Tho he may appear small,
His ego's quite tall,
And he'll take over before you're aware.

Can I help it if everyone loves me?

And to prove my point, here's a limerick my cousin Harold sent me:

Many stories of Stretch have been told,
And we fans are admittedly sold.
As adventures with Cathy continue,
To each awesome, amazing new venue,
We will enjoy this comedy gold.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tardigrades and the Honeymooners

On Sunday we took Stretch to a new exhibit that just opened at the American Museum of Natural History. Called “Life at the Limits,” it explores how some species are “so creative in their responses to the usual wear, tear and stress of life, they seem to cheat death.”

Of all the examples of amazingly adaptive organisms shown, my favorite was the “Tardigrade.” These are tiny aquatic animals with little clawed legs; the first scientist who discovered them referred to them as “little water bears.” Hmm. Seems appropriate that one of the most hardy creatures should resemble a little bear that is very clever in adapting to its environment . . .

Anyway, these little guys have been around for at least half a billion years. What fascinates scientists is their ability, when the going gets tough, to defy death by imitating it.  To quote: “When conditions turn life-threatening—whether from rapid drying, extremes in temperature, or spikes in salinity, they temporarily wind down their metabolism in a reversible process called cryptobiosis.  They curl their limbs and head inside their body, shed more than 95 percent of their water and shrivel into a blob resembling a beer barrel. The metabolic processes dwindle to less than 0.01 percent of normal activity and they simply wait until conditions improve.”

Sounds like a great plan to me! When you’re having a bad day, just curl up into a blob and hibernate until things get better. Somehow I think we lost some good qualities along the road of evolution.

Stretch wants me to mention the highlight of his trip, which had nothing to do with the museum exhibit. On the way back to Penn Station the subway was so uncomfortably crowded we decided to get out at 42 Street and stroll back since it was such a warm sunny day. This subway stop leaves you at the Port Authority Bus Terminal where Stretch had never been and he was delighted to find the statue of Ralph Kramden outside the terminal . He’s been a big fan of the Honeymooners ever since our friend Joanne introduced him to the show. (Yeah, I tried pointing out that this is a “classic tv comedy” so doesn’t that make him “so last century” too and he told me that enjoying classic tv doesn’t count.)

With that in mind, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell Stretch about the days when Joe and I belonged to a Honeymooners Fan Club back in the late 1980s. There was a convention held each year at a local college where the surviving stars of the show would come speak and answer questions. The best part: We got to wear raccoon caps and bulging eyeballs and do the “Hucklebuck.”

Stretch:  Excuse me, I think I need to go “Tardigrade” my brain for a while after seeing that pic . . .