- More Adventures in Space and Time in the Joe-ma-Tron
- More News thru a Misty Lens
- Joe Interviews and Mesmerizes Charlize Theron – wait, that was just a dream.
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!
Evidently antibiotics don’t work on Joe-Pourri, so it’s back again. Here’s the latest Joe-stew of various happenings, goings-on, and shenanigans. If you’re trying to lose weight, then consider it a salad instead.
• The St. Louis Cardinals are being investigated by the FBI for possible cheating. The storied ballclub allegedly hacked into the Houston Astros’ computer network and stole information on players, possible trades, and bat corking techniques. If true, one might wonder why they would pick such a target. Perhaps the Cardinals’ spring training exercises might be expanded to include risk/reward analysis. At least we now understand why the redbirds depicted on the Cardinal uniforms are wearing masks.
• In related news, a recent study, performed in my head, found that the only sports team in America that is not cheating is a pre-school girls soccer team in Provo, Utah. And they are currently performing a risk/reward analysis.
• A recent study not performed in my head, but by the Indiana University Bloomington, found that watching cat videos is good for you. The study found that people who watch cat videos are more positive afterward, with fewer negative emotions. So go ahead, America, watch those cat videos guilt-free. And if you’re a cat owner, get the same calming effect by watching your cats as they shred your furniture and spew juicy furballs on your rugs.
• Here’s your Joe-to-Go, from the JZ Take-Out window: The lowlight for the day on the Western PA medical front is that spokesmen for both Highmark Insurance and UPMC have denied that their battle is to the death. “No,” said a clandestine figure representing UPMC. “Death will not end this.” “That’s one point we agree on,” said a Highmark furtive figure, on condition of anonymity. “We intend to continue this battle into the afterlife.”
Join us next time for an even more fragrant serving of Joe-Pourri, exclusively in the Joe Zone.
Unexpectedly, Joe-Pourri is back for another gallop down the runway. Let’s see what’s happening today:
• Internet historians are playing Sherlock to discover the day that the phrase “going viral” went viral. In related developments, Joe-Pourri appears to be number 23,345,765 in the “waiting to go viral” queue. Thinking of switching to the “catching a virus” line, which is much shorter.
• Are you aware that June is Brain Awareness month? Unfortunately, since I found out, I’ve been obsessively aware of my brain. I became aware that it itched a little, and I can’t reach it to scratch. Also, I don’t think my brain fits quite right in my skull. The right side seems to bump into my head bone, and the left side is too loose. Well, I’m sure next month, when it isn’t Brain Awareness month, I’ll forget all about it.
• Word from Capitol Hill is that Congress is considering opening a chic new breakfast bistro in the Capitol Rotunda, serving hot, fresh waffles. A final vote is expected by the end of the decade.
• Yesterday was the longest day of the year. Thank heaven that’s over. Of course, “longest day” means the most daylight hours. Vampires really hate that day, as it leave so little time for skulking and such.
Join us next time, when Joe-Pourri takes another ramble through the woods of the latest global happenings.
Today the Joe Zone is proud to present the maiden flight of a new feature: Joe-Pourri.
Those of you who are still reading may ask, “What the heck is Joe-Pourri?” It’s new, I tell you! It’s improved! (Wait – if it’s new, how can it be improved? I don’t know, but trust me, it is.) Joe-Pourri is a collection of bits of unrelated items, previously scattered about, that I’ve gathered in one place.
Hold on, you say. We already have a word for that: trash. Well, that’s true. But this is good trash. Cool trash. Interesting trash. Fragrant trash. In the grand tradition of the Joe Zone being an unacquired taste, Joe-Pourri will rumble down the runway, gain speed, tilt up its nose, and crash into a mosquito-infested marsh.
We’re hoping a lot of JZ fans live in that marsh.
How do we choose our friends? How do we choose a mate?
Recently, I heard someone express surprise that there was four-way compatibility with them and their spouse and another married couple. Friendships often do not mix well with spouses, they espoused. Does that say something bad about the way they chose a mate, they wondered.
In the Joe Zone, we’re all about delving into and resolving such issues. By which I mean, issues that are nebulous, incomprehensible, and unsolvable. Therefore, we immediately activated the JZ Bureau of Arcane Areas Ridiculously Diverse and Vaguely Aromatically Repugnant like Kerosene (AARDVARK), located in the fourth sub-basement of the JZ Intergalactic headquarters. The AARDVARKs are always happy to be unchained, and let loose on an innocent world, so while they’re out running amuck, I’ll tell you what I think about it, which carries all the weight of the feather that astronaut David Scott dropped onto the lunar surface.
The 2015 baseball season is off and running, as today we have the Boston Beaneaters taking on the St. Louis Maroons, and later the Worcester Ruby Legs try to derail the Brooklyn Superbas.
At least, that’s the scenario that could have taken place in the 1800’s, when team names were apparently much more imaginative. Those are actual names of professional ball teams of yore. St. Louis also had the Perfectos. Imagine a contest between the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and the Philadelphia Quakers. And what more deserving name can there be for a Cleveland team than the Spiders? I wonder if the Spider uniform had hairy legs. Or a venom sac.
While watching a vocabulary-building cartoon show with my grandson, I was fascinated by a segment where they asked kids for their favorite word. (These were real children, not the cartoon variety.) They all instantly fired back a favorite word. No hesitation. Ah, to be young, and live in an uncomplicated world, and not over-think everything.
Do you have a favorite word? Or is that like trying to pick a favorite child? I can’t choose a favorite word, any more than I can choose a favorite song or book or movie. There is a word, though, that I love, and quite a forlorn little vagabond it is. It mostly sits abandoned in a seldom-trod corner of the dictionary, where respectable people no longer wander. I’m taking this word by the hand now, dusting it off, scrubbing its face, putting fresh clothes on it, and presenting it to you for your edification and consideration. Submitted for your approval and adoption: rebuke.
I’m not sure why this word has fallen into disuse, though I have some theories. It’s not because there isn’t an abundant supply of idiots who desperately need a good rebuking. I know quite a collection of them myself; I’m sure you do, too. Right off the top of my head, I can think of 535 of them that go by the collective name of Congress. Why aren’t we rebuking those ne’er-do-wells, who so abundantly deserve it?
Getting a colonoscopy is a simple way to head off colon cancer at the pass, or possibly at the bend before the pass. Why aren’t they more popular, then? Why do people hesitate? I suppose colonoscopies have a bad reputation, but is that reputation worse than colon cancer’s?
I recently decided to forego a vacation to a soothing warm climate, and have a colonoscopy instead. Seemed like a no-brainer. A cost/benefit analysis revealed the truth: a colonoscopy’s potential benefits are much greater, and it’s a lot cheaper than a vacation, if you have medical insurance, and possibly if you don’t. Some may argue that it’s not as much fun. I say it depends on the vacation. I have had some miserable vacations that I gladly would have traded for a colonoscopy.
It would be interesting to ask the people on one of the recent “revolting stomach virus” cruises if, in retrospect, they would take what’s behind door number two instead. And I have no doubt that the Costa Concordia passengers would prefer many medical procedures to their ship hitting a reef, capsizing, and sinking.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the Joe Zone is taking the plunge into the treacherous but vital subject of male-female communication.
One of the most difficult and dangerous tasks in life is traversing the minefield of communication with members of the opposite sex. Given that the same language is being spoken, that there is a shared cultural environment, and the joint objective is clarification rather than obfuscation, one might think it would be as easy as falling off a cliff. Unfortunately, it is not, but the results are often the same.
My wife and I have worked at it for some years. Granted, for me it’s more work, since women are by nature the better communicators. And therein lies the heart of the problem. Women are so adept are packing dense meanings into compact phrases that the male often is in the dark as to the meaning of the conversation in which he has just participated. This female skill extends to wresting every color of meaning from the most brief and apparently simple male response. As an example, consider the following recent exchange:
We all have times when we begin to lose faith in our fellow man, and even in our felonious women. In my experience, though, whenever I’m about to give up on mankind, my opinion is changed by the act of a single individual. When my outlook is most dismal, someone will always step up and prove that I have not set the bar low enough.
An obliging boob made himself known the other day at a large multi-pump gas station. Let’s call him Clem.
The pumps all had cars waiting in line, and additional vehicles were buzzing around like 747’s stacked up waiting to land at Atlanta. So when I saw Clem move up to the pump as I drove into the station, I figured, “Great!” I pulled in behind him and thought I was one lucky jasper.
Clem’s car sat there for several minutes with no activity. I got a little worried. What if Clem was having a cardiac event? Would anyone notice? I was to eventually realize that your average person having a cardiac event moves much faster than Clem.
Phone: Ring! Ring!
Unfortunate Caller “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”
Joe: “Geeeeez!! My boring greeting put someone to sleep again.”
Phone: Ring! Ring!
Thrilled Caller “I’m tingling all over! Thank you!”
Joe: “All part of the service.”
Which scenario is more pulse-pounding? Do we need to change the way we answer the phone? And why do we answer with “hello” in the first place?
In 1877, inventor extraordinaire Thomas Edison wrote to the president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh. The CDPTC (in P) was preparing to introduce telephone service to the city. In his letter, Edison expressed the opinion that the word “hello” would be a more appropriate greeting than “ahoy” when answering the telephone. Evidently Thomas had some street cred, because the Telegraph Company president took his advice, Pittsburghers answered the phone with “hello,” and people have been following that lead ever since.
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