Advice from Beyond the Grave
Montezuma is creator of the famous “Ballad of the Green Berets.” He enjoys salads.
I use socks often. Sometimes in the shower, but mostly to store foodstuffs in the kitchen and to strain used lubricating oil for recycling. Over the years, many people have poked fun at me for this, but I can tell you that a better strainer is hard to find (perhaps cheese cloth). At any rate, I was wondering if you could recommend a better strainer.
Sincere In No Nasty Ethos Really
Far too often we place our clothing and accoutrements in mere arbitrary sets, without the necessary thought that each piece of clothing is in itself as unique as any of the varied life forms which dwell on even the most unimpressive of vacant lots. Beetles, which crawl about on tiny legs beneath the towering blades of grass are like the yellow striped tube socks most popular in the 1980s. Those that alight through the air; the avian sparrows, crows and stoat wobblers, who feed upon the beetles, are far more similar to that fancy sort of socks with attached garters. And those beneath the dirt? The horrid eye-less cillanders who consume the very dirt in which they dwell? Everyone knows what sort of socks they resemble, I need not even reiterate it here.
The other day I got home from work and put my bike up in its rack by the DVD player. The bike fell over and the chain was dismounted from the gears. I was going to ask how to fix that, but I figured it out right after I wrote the word “home” above. I was also going to ask how to remove grease from the chain which has gotten onto my fingers, but as I wrote, I realized the more important question was how to remove grease from my computer.
Bertha I. Kensington
The removal of grease from a computational engine can be a tricky endeavor. It is good that you consulted a known wise-person. Back in Tenochtitlan, we had a old saying “Respect your elders.” Those guys who hung around the Chichan Itza had a slightly different way of putting it “Don’t respect people who are younger than you.” If you took these aphorisms to heart you would know that you should have consulted the book Itzacoatl: Ruler of Answers! (Out of Print). Before my good friend Itzacoatl retired from writing this humble column, turning it over to me, he answered the question of how to remove safflower oil from an electric typewriter. The principle is the same.
Dear Ann Landers,
I read in the newspaper the other day that you are dead. Is this true? If so, can you tell me what the after life is like? If this is not true, could you tell me how to get my cheating husband in line?
Blanche Owens Jobs
Dear BLOW JOBS,
I would invite you to consider the Continent of Australia and how much bigger it is than Nova Scotia. Compare maps of the two regions. Notice that Australia is larger and dwell upon this as you do the laundry, take the dog or ferret for a saunter, gargle or mow your lawn. Nova Scotia is indeed small and unimpressive.
The other day I received an irate phone call from “the other man.” He was very irate. His demeanor made me think he was quite perturbed, even irate. I’m not sure how to deal with someone so irate. Should I simply shrug off the irate attitude? How about confronting him about his irate lack of vocabulary? There are, indeed, only so many irate profanities one can express. Oh, also, how do I get a $5 donation at the door of a bar party as a tax writeoff?
Edward Rise Burrows
Dear Mr. Burrows,
In order to take any donation off of your taxes you must first get a receipt for said donation. Receipts can be obtained simply through a request to the Charitable Donation Department of the US Rooms and Regulations Commission’s Office of Special Sundry Expense Parameter Guideline Over-site Committee Intramural Field Hockey Team Logo Design. Simply go down to your local Post Office and pick up a copy of Form 1298-009 (EZ) and, after filling it out and placing it in the attached envelope, affix a proper stamp and drop it in the mail box. Within six to eight weeks you should receive a reply giving you further instructions on how to obtain a receipt for your donation. And by the way, I was not being “irate,” merely forceful in my convictions.
Why can’t I hit the bullseye when it really counts?
Dear Mr. Phillip,
Perhaps you should stop trying to hit the bullseye when it really counts. Perhaps instead you should try to make it really count when you do happen to hit the bullseye.
Dear Mr. Zuma,
I once heard tell that Archibald Butt never married, but was on a trip to Europe with his friend Mr. Millet before he died on the Titanic. Was Archibald Butt gay?
Mortimer Ignatius Lloyd Lawrence Easley Thompson
Yes, yes, I have heard this accusation leveled several times at the renowned Major. So quick are some to apply intrigue and hidden secrets, soap-opera shenanigans and indecent indiscretions to the Giants of Old. The only reason this is done is because these sad individuals believe history to be a boring subject. This could not be further placed from the purest truth. Just as math is more than plusses and minuses, history is far more than dates and figures. History is a living non-fiction which dwells about us like a friendly ghost. Each time we see an upturned stone, peer into the barrel of a cannonade, or take in the still splendor of our neighborhood castle ruins we walk through the force of history; a barrel-chested, mustachioed force that lives with us and dines with us and waters the petunias if we forget about it.
with regular commentator
By Permanent Guest-Commentator Marcia Spatzelberg
THE DOG BIRTHDAY PARTY
Marcia Spatzelberg is author of several books including Feline Soiree and Wine, Cheese and Cattle: Your Guide to a Bovine Get-together.
So your dog is turning 10 years old (we’re not going to go into dog years versus human years here) and you’d like to throw him a special birthday bash for all that wagging loyalty given to you by your pup over the years. Maybe it’s just a special thank-you for not vomiting behind the couch for the last year or not mauling your slippers. In this article you will find everything you need to make the perfect doggie birthday party.
Once you’ve set the day, you must make preparations. Dogs cannot read, obviously, but their owners can. When inviting Rover’s little friends over, you should pick up a container of dried pig’s ears and write the party information on them in non-toxic ink (or imitation smoke flavoring). Your best friend’s best friends will take the chewy pig’s ear home, where their owners will see the party information. Expect not to see a few canine friends. Some dogs are hungrier than others.
While you’re thinking of invitations, remember that your dog and his friends will certainly enjoy a surprise. Pet stores often carry large white rats for consumption by pet snakes. It’s a poorly-known fact that felines also enjoy the taste of rodent. So pick one up and write the party information on it in non-toxic ink (no imitation smoke flavor). Cats can read, so make it look like a cat birthday party. Make the time about an hour after the party actually starts. Your surprise for the pups will be just as surprised as they are.
Dogs are quite easy to please, so don’t worry too much about the hors d’oeuvres. A dog-food cake is quite simple to make. Take a can of dog food, put the contents on a plate and decorate with bacon strips and kibble. You can also flatten the dog food and put more on top of it to make a layer cake.
It’s a party and dogs are going to want more than just water to drink. If you take a bottle of store-brand soda and put a half can of dog food in it and let it sit for a week, you’ll almost have the perfect doggie birthday beverage. Don’t forget to strain the food bits out before serving.
The dogs might also like snacks and here’s your chance to put the ultimate coat shine into your guests. Take a rawhide stick and roll it in egg-yolk. Then crumble some dog biscuits in a bowl and coat the rawhide stick in the crumbs. Preheat the oven to 350 and let bake for 12 minutes. These are perhaps the biggest hits of the season for doggie birthdays.
Your dogs will need some entertainment, too. Your cat friend should be arriving just about now. When the doorbell rings, make all the dogs hide in the closet and invite cat in for the party. When the door is shut, open up the closet. This should entertain your pack of partygoers for at least ten minutes. If you’re up for it, you might want to invite two or even three cats over at half-hour intervals.
Once the cat fun has been exhausted, you might want to let the canine companions play pin the tail on the dog. Hopefully you remembered to invite over a boxer or Doberman pinscher. Get a length of fabric or an actual dog tail from a veterinarian. Put nose plugs on the first player and give him the fabric or tail. He should now try to pin the tail on the dog. If any fighting occurs, provide more rawhide sticks.
Dogs don’t respond to television very much, so you might want to forgo the usual party movie afforded at the birthdays of human children. Your canine child and his friends will probably enjoy the neighborhood bitch in heat more, just don’t let them get too close. You don’t have enough rawhide sticks to break up that fight! (You can also invite the bitch over later in the day after the party as a special treat for Rover.)
If you want to have some great fun, before the dogs leave, give them all a hit from the helium balloons. They’ll all feel like puppies again. Send them on their way with some noisemakers and people masks. They’ll have a lot of fun being “human” on the way home.
When all the guests have left, make sure to give Rover a special something for his birthday. His very own toilet to drink from or a “Because I Can Reach There” doggie shirt are two common presents. If you’re trying to be original, perhaps you can get a doggie bed for him with his favorite garbage smell on it. Personalized pooper-scoopers and crap baggies are all the rage this year.
These are the main ingredients for a successful doggie birthday bash. You may also include a card game for the party, but keep in mind that only herding and fighting dogs really enjoy cards. (Reference C.M. Coolidge to get the details straight.) Other than that, just use common sense and keep your wits about you. Being the host can be trying, but remember: Have fun!
Sub-Aquatic Boats Make Good
Dr. Scott Birdseye is an educator, Doctor of Philosphy and nutcracker collector. He even has a nutcracker from Rhode Island. It’s very neat.
Submarines have shown themselves to be one of the most effective weapon platforms ever devised and their crews to be the best in the navies of the world. This effectiveness was fully illustrated in the Second World War, when American submarines operating in the Pacific theatre were able surmount incredible difficulties to achieve a total victory in their war of attrition against the Japanese Navy and Merchant Fleet. The valor, courage and skill of the men of the American Navy’s submarine force proved the capability of their ships, and finally reversed the long negative history of the submarine.
In the aftermath of WWI, international conferences worked to ban the use of submarines in war. In the United States, President Harding, seeking his “Return to Normalcy”, shelved any attempt by the Navy to increase the size of the submarine force. The 1922 Washington Naval Conference backed this policy by limiting the size of the U.S. Navy, especially in the Pacific.
Despite these limitations, the U.S. Navy, in the 1920s, did build a new series of submarines, the V-Class, the design of which was based on German U-boats. These ships, with their large size and armament, would form the basis of the U.S. submarine fleet until the pre-war build up of the late 1930s.
In 1936, after the expiration of the terms of the Washington Naval Conference, the United States began its submarine building program anew. The P, S, and T Class ships were built during this period, and ranked among the best submarines in the world. However, strategic commanders did not consider submarines to be an important part of the navy.
Thus, as Japanese expansion increased in the Pacific and war threatened to break out in Europe, the United States submarine force was woefully inadequate. The United States Navy’s submersible strength in the Far East was based in two groups: The Pacific Fleet, stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the Asiatic Fleet, stationed at the Philippines. The Pacific Fleet Sub-Force, or SubPac, consisted of twenty-eight modern S-Class submarines, while the Asiatic Fleet Sub-Force had only six modern subs out of their total eighteen. Their remaining ships were from the First World War, and were obsolete. Fortunately for the U.S. Navy, the inferior ships of the Asiatic Fleet were destroyed or rendered unusable in the Japanese conquest of the Philippine Islands. When the U.S. entered the war in December of 1941, there were 112 subs total in the U.S. force and seventy-three under construction.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into the Second World War, left much of the Pacific surface fleet destroyed. The Pearl Harbor disaster, coupled with the loss of the Asiatic Fleet in the Philippines, left the Pacific Fleet’s submarines to bear the brunt of the fighting in the earliest part of the war. Admiral Chester Nimitz would later describe the situation the U.S. faced immediately following the outbreak of the war: “When I assumed command of the Pacific Fleet on 31 December 1941 our submarines were already operating against the enemy, the only units of the fleet that could come to grips with the Japanese for many months to come.”