Posts Tagged With: humor


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In our quest to view the Olympic Peninsula, we landed at Bogachial State Park, about seven miles  from the town of Forks, situated on the forks of four rivers, the Bogachial, Quillayute, Callawah and Sol Duc.

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Town was jumping. A drag race across the highway from the museum, a small flea market right next to the museum, a fundraiser in town next to the VFW, and a lot of friendly people around having a good time.

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Those rivers are filled by the rains, a common source of jokes about the area.

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This is a small museum and what I liked about it is the human stories.

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There are some great artifacts, like this camp stove. The docent told us that the surface would fit 50 plate sized flapjacks on it. The “bullcook” must have been a very adept man to work with a wood stove like this monster and keep those huge appetites well fed and happy.

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Some of the first chain saws look complicated and were dangerous to use. Some early saws were steam driven, some gas driven. Seems impossible that two mean could lift and run this saw.

Which made me think, how did the Indians cut those huge red cedars down to make their boats. Here is the answer below:

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The people who settled here were resourceful and hard-working. They had to be strong and tough. This is Ole Boe and his family.

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John Huelsdonk doesn’t look like a big man. His story reminds me of our own “Mountain man” Monte Wolfe, who packed a stove down into the canyons of Calaveras County. Monte was not a big man but he had legs like fence posts. John is older in this photo but look at the size of his left hand.

Women were no stranger to hard work, either.  Sarah ?, (I missed her picture)  raised her six children and when they left home, she started a pack train of horses and took people into the depths of the rain forest through mud and snow and showed them the beauty of the country. She started this business in her 50’s.

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I love the stories of the  loggers, trappers, hunters, farmers, homesteaders. This old logging truck carrying a full load, no jake brakes, no massive chains to hold the load.

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It had to take guts to drive this thing across this log bridge over a river canyon. I quail at the thought.

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A tree damaged by a hungry bear. They would come out of hibernation and damage trees, so hunters were employed to kill bears, and paid by the pelt.. They were successful and no bear range their former lands. Wolves too, have been obliterated. Re-introducing predators has been very successful and healthy in other states. I wonder if Washington will ever try?

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Early homesteaders made water pipes out of bound and tarred cedar boards.

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I enjoyed this museum, the people it represents, some of the fun lingo of the loggers and the equipment used to fall the huge red cedar that provided everyone a living. The area at one time was the logging capital of the world. Logging practices today, clear cutting in particular, are to me offensive.






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The Book Barn in Niantic, Connecticut, looks like a garden when you drive up. That’s because it IS a garden, and a quaint place where book lovers hang out, trade and buy books. And, yes, there is a barn, and many other sheds and shacks and benches and…well it is different by all accounts. So follow me for an abbreviated look.

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Your first stop is a buy and sell counter with the above sign. You grab a number if you have books loaded in your car. When the counter is clear of book sorting, and your number is called, you can unload your books on the counter. If you have bags full you can carry in one hand, you don’t need a number. That was us, we turned in about 30 books.

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Now its time to go shopping. You have to choose from roughly 350,000 volumes, mostly paper back. I chuckle at their designations. Perhaps you like books that bite?

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Or maybe chick lit? A little building I love to browse. In one mystery barn, the alphabet stopped at G and was continued on over to another barn. Despite the widespread collections, everything is pretty easy to find with good signage and able helpers.

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I have no clue what Paranormal Romance is but others must. I was after books by a new for me author, Iris Johansen. I found one in the latest arrivals kiosk, right out front at the entrance. Is she mystery or adventure thriller?  Hard to tell, maybe a little of both.

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I followed the garden path.

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Beauty in bloom.

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A gargoyle overlooks a quiet pond. A person could easily spend a quiet day here in the garden reading.

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And, they make it easy to shop with children. Besides the Peanut Butter Shanty, there are rideable and pushable toys at various wide sections of walkway, wagons to sit in and places to read for kids.  A penned goat to pet and many cats.

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Then there are the graveyards.

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Hey, fell victim to a dangling participle. What a hoot.

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And cookbook Ken whose love of food did him in. You may have to double-click the photos to read the inscriptions.

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Hovering over the graveyards, two skeletons with the sign, Death By Kindle. I expect they are writer’s skeletons.

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It was at the haunted book shop building that I found 14 Iris Johansen books I hadn’t read. That’s because I’ve only read one and she’s  written about 40 books. I can see I’m going to have fun for weeks for my fourteen dollars.DSC08136 (Copy)

Many cats sleep among the shade plants, but this one would be my choice. It was a fun day. The barn has two more stores in town and between the three, they have an average total of 500,000 books. Today, we were supposed to go raspberry and blueberry picking with Jim’s grand-daughter, Jaime, but it is raining and looks to continue for the rest of the day. Iris Johansen will keep me entertained.

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I went yesterday to visit the Alameda County Archive and Museum. The Old Guard Tower  has been relocated and rebuilt, but not restored. Unfortunately, none of the original materials were saved. It is newly painted, bright and true to the original colors and basic design and, of course, the vast difference between the old and the new guard tower on the grounds is stark. The new one has electricity, heat, a telephone and its own toilet. The old was considered an “outdoor” assignment.

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Every time I visit the archive, I find something new. This picture was taken in 1913 of a deputy who worked for Alameda County along with his gun and badge. The acquisition was brought to the archive but the information about this gentleman’s service has yet to be researched and printed up. We wondered whether the hounds were used to aid the department in any way? Click on the picture to make it larger.

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Another new acquisition was a set of kilts. The department has a pipe band. They play at funerals and parades for the department. Years ago, underwater rescue, any aerial pictures taken for the department, the mounted posse, spotting planes during WWII,  search and rescue, were auxiliary activities done by volunteers. The pipe band falls into that category.

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Another acquisition is this newspaper story of the Mayor of Sunol, a dog named Bosco. Sunol is a sleepy little town between Niles and Pleasanton in the Niles Canyon. Bosco is no longer living, but his reputation lives on at the archive.  Bosco’s story reminds me of my blog from La Conner, WA. called “Dirty Biter”, a similar town dog honored with a statue on the Main St.

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Retired deputy Pat Higgins Jr. came to visit. His father retired from the department as well.

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Jim Knudsen with Al Ianarelli and Bill Rhodes, came to tell us his Uncle, Gene Davidson is the oldest living Deputy Sheriff from the department and will be feted at his 100th birthday later this month.  We have a manuscript of his remembrances of service from the early days with some amazing stories of bootlegging, wide open gambling, prostitution, and frontier justice.

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In the afternoon, we had a first time visitor to the archive, retired Deputy Glenn Moon. He is recovering from a bike accident and decided to come for a visit. He is now on my list to interview for the archive.

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We have quite a collection of inmate weapons, tatoo devices, drug paraphernalia and now, with this acquisition, lock picks. The ingenuity of an inmate intent on making something from whatever he can find, is ever fascinating. The tines of a leaf rake, a couple of them still show the green paint, used to open locks. I wish I had a set.




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We are parked next to the American Legion in Lake Arthur, Louisiana, waiting for good weather. The patrons here told us we have to stay through Thursday, because they cook jambalaya for everyone for lunch.  The cooks arrived about nine. Flys was cutting cabbage for the coleslaw.

Norman,Flys,&Mark getting dinner started

Norman was taking a break while Mark cut up the pork meat.


Most of the fat comes off, but not all of it. Then it is set to brown.


When it is almost browned, the sausage is added and it gets stirred some more.

fresh crowder peas

In another pot, fresh crowder peas cook. And still another pot holds rice.

Sally (Loretta)

Sally added water and seasoning and took her turn stirring.

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Norman gave it his approval and Sally began loading styrofoam trays with the free  lunch for everyone in the bar.


We bought a round of beers for the cooks and others did the same. Julia, the bartender is  very able and practically runs, she is so busy.


We finally met the Commander of Post 403, his name’s Don. He says he doesn’t like crawfish which is a sin in this part of the world. His father told him he wasn’t a true cajun. We laughed.DSC03230 (Copy)

The patrons here depend on the friendships they’ve developed. It is their social life and joy to get together, drink and eat. The bar always has peanuts, pork  rinds, or something to nibble on. Beer here is lite and only comes in 10 oz cans.  The man standing closest to Jim, is Shannoo. He owns the LA Bar downtown. Everyone has dictated that we HAVE to go to the LA Bar and after we had lunch and a beer, we did.

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It is in an old historic building and according to some of the pipeliners, it is well-known outside Louisiana.

An assemblage of memorabilia of old

It is one of those places that has jokes and stuff and a big horned deer head hanging on the walls; dollar bills pinned to the ceiling, and 75-year-old whiskey. Shannon, doing bartender duty,  is the owner’s wife. Her husband is also named Shannon, so he removed the n, added an o, and goes by Shannoo.

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We were told the LA Bar serves the very best bloody mary money can buy. It was different, spicy and delicious with a green bean, carrot stick and okra pickle, an olive and lemon slice.

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When the previous owner died, the bar was closed for four years. The locals are appreciative that this young couple in their thirties rescued their famous icon. Shannon told me some of these bottles are 75 years old and have never been opened. They are no longer for sale.

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I enjoyed taking pictures of  humorous signs.

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Some are as old as that whiskey.

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Wry humor.

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This one is barely readable. It looks like politicians were just as popular 75 years ago as they are today.  Politicians and drunks not permitted on premises.

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We walked toward the boardwalk at the lake. A beautiful oak greeted us at the end of Main St. Then the winds and rain suddenly started up again, and we had to abandon our walk.


We read for most of the day. Then back in the American Legion bar for a nightcap. Mark and Marlene were back as well. Mark will take us out to net catfish in his boat this morning if the weather isn’t too wet and too windy. Everyone seems to like everyone in this community. You never hear them grumble and complain about their neighbors. Fine salt of the earth people who know how to have fun. Tonight there will be a dance with a DJ.

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Yesterday, the sun shined brightly and we soaked it up. Jim worked on the mal functioning auto lock on the passenger side door of the Bronco. I washed a couple of rugs and hung them out to drain and dry in the sun. It felt good to move about and feel the sun on our faces.

We did the laundry and bought home-made tamales from Rosa’s on the way home. Delicious late lunch. We  sort of melted into the cushions and read the rest of the  day and just snacked for dinner. On the way home I saw a sign for a frame shop, Hall Of Frames. I’m often impressed by the clever names people choose for their businesses. I don’t always get the picture, but I indulge in clever signs whenever I get a chance.

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Dog grooming.

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This sign is in old town Gallup, NM,  outside of a business near a park. I once had a small retail store and I understand this completely.

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Of course, strange but  serious signs are funny too,  like this one on a desert walking trail.IMG_2091 (Copy)

You don’t see one of these very often. It is part of General Patton’s Museum in California where they tested tanks and other war equipment at one time.

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Others are just fun. (The blur is my fault.)

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.In Tombstone Arizona where the waiters and waitresses wear guns, unloaded, I’m sure. The customers are not allowed to wear guns.

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An ad on a T-shirt.

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Stapled to a power pole in Bisbee, Arizona.

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A cookbook for sale in a motorcycle  museum.

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This curious statement on a business window in Harlingen, Texas,  intrigued me. Driving by it a second time, I found out the new business going in will be a bike shop. Can’t reason it out. Obviously something I don’t know about bikes and bikers.

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Well, this one is easy to understand. It is posted at my Italian neighbor’s house, and she is a hoot.

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We drove to Corpus Christi early enough in the day to find our parking spot and take a cruise downtown and visit an Art Gallery I wanted to see. Jim turned right instead of left and we saw an Eagles Club that wasn’t on Google Earth. We pulled in to say hello and found one of the friendliest guys you’d ever want to meet. And, funny, too.


His name is Larry Mills and we let him entertain us for the rest of the day. He is from Michigan, my home state, but he’s become a Texan since moving here in 1982.


He manages the Eagles Hall, here, and showed us around, though it was closed and we were the only ones in the place. It has a wooden dance floor. As a former square dancer, I nearly drooled.


A great hall, a great guy. We decided to alter our plans a stay a couple more days.

But, since we stayed in, I was remembering two  signs I saw the day we were in the Brownsville museum. Both kind of surprised me.

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This one is an old-time Mexican saying since the revolutionary days. With our intrusive policies, it still holds true.

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And this one was an excerpt from a priest’s prayer just  before a voyage. Cheerful, bugger wasn’t he? They should have fired him as their priest or burned him at stake, or whatever they did to people in 1596  when he wasn’t doing his job well.

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Being on the road as much as we are, we see signs of all types and they kind of amuse or boggle the brain or leave you wondering what they meant. Like this one. From the road you cannot read the small print on the bottom as you can (barely) in this cropped photo I took while driving by.

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This is the newspaper delivery guy’s sense of humor. Whoever takes the last paper is greeted with this message. The rack is located in Palm Desert, CA, a well-known vacation spot.

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The door is metal and the temperature in Palm Desert gets into triple digits, and yes, the door was hot. You’d think, they’d install a wooden door, now wouldn’t you? We were wintering there and the temperature was in the high seventies.

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This drive by photo needs no explanation. I knew immediately the sign maker was talking about Congress. Pathetic, isn’t it?

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Another little choice bit of wisdom. Hey, we roadies aren’t waiting in line either. It’s a great lifestyle. Life is short. Come join us. Retire early, hit the road. Enjoy life, not stuff.

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