- More Adventures in Space and Time in the Joe-ma-Tron
- More Bite-Size Joe-Pourri Morsels
You're traveling through a wondrous dimension of humor and shadow, of imagination and mist. Welcome to my website! Wander around a bit and see what’s up. If the mists get too thick, well, some things look better in the fog anyway. So come back often to The Joe Zone – and bring your friends. That way, if you get lost, or marooned here, at least you’re together. Not that people get marooned here. Very often. For very long. Signpost up ahead, your next stop – The Joe Zone!
The Games of the XXV Vacation Olympiad began with the carrying of the mythical Vacation Torch up Interstate 79 in the Joe Zone officially licensed SUV. My wife and I, along with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, were elated to finally be beach-bound. As we approached Erie, we saw ominous storm clouds brewing. Upon arrival at Presque Isle, we used the Torch, with an appropriate dose of pomp and dignity (but mostly pomp – can’t get enough of that pomp), to light the Vacation Flame on Beach 7. A downpour from a mean-spirited thunderstorm immediately extinguished the Flame, but not our spirits. Though I must confess it made them a bit soggy.
Upon relighting the Flame, we launched the first Vacation Olympics event. The entire family sprinted the 100 meter dash across the beach to the safety of a changing station, as a second, even more mean-spirited storm hurled lightning bolts from the sky, and drenched us with apocalyptic amounts of rain. Our fleet and resourceful daughter won the gold medal, for carrying her infant in a protective crouch, while crossing the tape in record time. My wife was unfortunately disqualified, for stubbing her toe on driftwood buried in the sand, and hopping the final 25 meters. Although sand-hopping is a difficult maneuver, it is, unfortunately, not a sanctioned event.
Joe-Pourri is back with the latest news that we see fit, so pull up a digital chair. Whenever news breaks, or at least bends, Joe-Pourri will boogie down the internet runway, to take off and bring you the latest sizzle on events that may or may not actually be happening – just like the major news sources.
In our latest edition of Startling Science News, the Joe Zone Bureau of Science (JZ – BS) has exclusively learned that Dairy Queen is close to unleashing a major advancement in frozen treat technology: they will be able to beam ice cream cakes directly into customers’ freezers. Joe Zone reporters have been working tirelessly (well, maybe they get a little tired when they miss their naps) to out-flank SEE-NN, Fawkes News, and The Bunion, and bring you the straight scoop on this ice cream breaking news. I mean BREAKING NEWS!
The leader in subzero snacks has been working closely with NASA and Disney Studios to perfect teleportation technology, for the benefit of soft serve aficionados. Dairy Queen is conducting a major test program, which has had its misadventures.
Early in the test phase, DQ experienced a recurring problem of missing the freezer, with the cake materializing in the oven. In one instance, the ice cream cake landed in the breadbox, ruining a loaf of rye bread and six hot dog buns. Fortunately, no doughnuts were harmed.
The Millennial Generation has finally overtaken the Baby Boomers as the largest segment of the population. Various press sources reported this, including SEE-NN and The Bunion (including its Midwest affiliate The Bunyan). They seemed barely able to contain their glee. I think they were casting lots to throw the first shovelful of dirt on Boomer caskets.
As a Baby Boomer, though, I’m ecstatic over this development. I’m tired of the BB generation being blamed for humanity’s ills, just because it’s an incredibly bloated, self-centered segment of society that dominated for half a century. Millennials have shown themselves to be worthy heirs to that crown, and I, for one, can’t give it to them fast enough.
As many Baby Boomers discovered, the easy part of life is whining about being mistreated and misunderstood, and proclaiming, “when our generation takes over, look out.” Yes, that previous generation was a bunch of screw-ups who demolished the planet and our country and anything else they could get their avaricious mitts on.
Hard as it is to believe, the Joe-Pourri news feature of the Joe Zone is now one year old. Like most one-year-olds, it can’t speak coherently, but that doesn’t stop it. So here’s your news told straight and true, like no other source will do:
Luckily, that’s all we have time for, as Joe is obviously overdue for a nap. Join us the next time the hands on the Joe Zone digital clock are pointing straight up, for our straight-up news. And remember the Joe-Pourri motto: A half-truth is twice as good as a quarter-truth.
I stumbled onto the curious world of “super grain” snack bars the other day (I often do things like that). I’ve been eating various grains, as we all have, for most of my life. I must admit, however, that I had no idea which grains, if any, qualified as super grains. I’m also not sure what a grain has to do to meet the requirements. Are we talking saving Metropolis, or will getting a kitten down from a tree suffice?
The wrapper claimed the bar had lots of protein and fiber, and no bad stuff like trans-fats, GMO’s, or lead, and only government-approved levels of arsenic. What the heck, I thought, let’s go healthy. Once I ate the snack bar, I was guessing “super grain” had more to do with the amount of damage it did to your teeth. I mean, this thing had some serious CRUNCH to it. It wasn’t the bar, but rather my teeth, that were going snap, crackle, pop.
After reading the ingredients, and scheduling a dental appointment, I came to the conclusion that the main super grains are oats, millet, quinoa, and gravel. I mean, this alleged treat technically isn’t a snack bar – it’s more like a snack brick.
I recall that some reptiles and birds eat rocks to aid digestion. My personal experience is that gravel does NOT aid human digestion. I suppose it might help clear out some things – if you’re worried about that small Lego piece you accidentally ingested some years ago, for example. But I don’t believe gravel aids anything except making a proper mixture for concrete. In a pinch, you could make a pretty fair house foundation with these super grain bars.
For those who haven’t tried a super grain bar, I believe you could approximate the experience with a 50/50 mixture of unshelled pistachios and buckshot.
Run, take cover, for the scariest reason,
We’re under assault from the meanest season.
One day we freeze, the next we swelter.
God help us, it’s spring, gimme shelter!
Happy first day of spring! Can I join you in your bomb shelter? Seriously, I have no idea why spring has such a wonderful reputation. If you like tornados, severe thunderstorms, blizzards, and hail the size of cannon balls, then spring is your thing. If none of those suit you, wait till next week. Spring probably has a tsunami or volcano eruption up its sinister sleeve. Or maybe some good old-fashioned Biblical flaming hailstones.
Yet millions anticipate spring’s arrival as if she’s the Easter bunny, your fairy godmother, and the good witch of the north all wrapped into one. I say more like Attila the Hun, Hitler, and Jack the Ripper. She rips us almost daily with some of the foulest weather this side of Saturn. When she gives us a beautiful, soft, warm day, that’s what it usually is – one day. Then – WHACK! A vicious smack in the side of the head with a cold front, ice pellets, and fifty mile-an-hour winds.
My wife and I recently had an epiphany. No, we weren’t visited by three Wise Men, though I imagine that would be an enlightening experience. A shadowy menace that had been sneaking around suddenly smacked us squarely in the face, and we knew we had more to deal with than the twilight years and Medicare. As we gingerly weaved about the basement paraphernalia one day, we realized that forty-plus years of marriage and twenty-five years of living in the same house had transformed us into hoarders. We were precariously close to having a reality show on A&E.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating to say that we had not only voluminous stacks of bric-a-brac, but every useless piece of flotsam, jetsam, and then some, we had ever come upon. We shelved and stored this load of junk as if every piece was a national treasure, and our home was a branch office of the Smithsonian Institution. But we had actually created our own private landfill.
Joe-Pourri is ready to rock you with the latest news that we see fit, so pull up a digital chair and sip on our latest slushee of news and views sure to confuse.
Today, February 29th, is Leap Day. Leap Day is the extra day inserted into the year to keep our calendar from getting out of whack with the seasons. Without Leap Day, Christmas and Groundhog Day would soon be crashing into each other. And I really don’t think Santa and Punxsutawney Phil are compatible.
The trouble started soon after the Big Bang, when the planets didn’t get into their correct orbits around the sun. Pesky Venus was its usual pushy self, shoving its way past Earth so it would be second instead of third. This caused orbital perturbations of such magnitude that Earth’s year was no longer an even multiple of its day. What a pain! (For more on this spacey topic, pre-order your personal copy of “Joe’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, and Other Fairy Tales.”)
These solar system shenanigans meant that at the end of a year, there was some day left over that no one knew what to do with. Julius Caesar solved this enigma in 45 BC, by realizing he could keep the partial day in his pocket each year until he had saved one complete day. He could then insert it into the new calendar he had invented, which he somewhat self-centeredly called the Julian Calendar. This was right after he had invented Caesar salad.
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