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Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Breaking News: 1-15-2024 Weather Alert, Tomorrow, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (published 1-14-2024; article #451)

Introduction

This is M. Fearghail, your breaking news reporter, coming to you live, again, from my home studio office, on Sunday, January 14th, 2024. The time is 3:47 PM, as I type this sentence.

The report, last Friday, broke the same day news, about the wind advisory that was fake news. That article was updated, earlier today, to report the relatively minor power outages and wind damage. This is the 111th article, under the “humor” topic section.

This article reports the weather alert, for tomorrow, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Please remain calm. The conclusion will encourage calm.

Weather Alert, for Tomorrow

This section begins, with the media alert. My weather observation follows.

Media Alert

Local news media have been sensationalizing the weather alert, since at least last Friday. Once source is “Winter weather and deep cold coming for the holiday Monday,” on WBIR-TV, by Tevian Whitehurst, WBIR Weather, published 1/13/2024; updated 1/14/2024. The byline states, “Temperatures fall throughout the week, allowing for snow to accumulate from a passing system beginning late Sunday through MLK Jr. Monday.” The seven-day forecast, in the article, shows the daily low and high temperatures (in Fahrenheit), including daily weather predictions. The forecast predicts lows, from seven degrees (Wednesday) to 25 degrees (tomorrow and Friday). The predicted highs range, from 28 (Tuesday) to 37 (Friday). Snow is predicted, tomorrow (90%) and Friday (40%).

This breaking news report focuses on "Weather Alerts - Corryton, TN: Winter Storm Warning (from 1/15/2024, Monday, 1 AM, until 1/16/2024, Tuesday, 7 AM EST)," on Weather.com. The alert states:

Action Recommended: make preparations per the instructions.
Issued by: Knoxville/Tri-Cities - TN, US, National Weather Service.
Affected Area: Portions of East Tennessee and southwest Virginia.
Description: WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT, FROM 1 AM EST MONDAY TO 7 AM EST TUESDAY.
WHAT: heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches. Locally higher amounts possible.
WHERE: portions of East Tennessee and southwest Virginia.
WHEN: from 1 AM EST Monday to 7 AM EST Tuesday.
IMPACTS: plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: if you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 511.

This is a winter storm warning, for areas of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia, from 1 AM tomorrow, until 7 AM Tuesday, in the eastern standard time zone. The area could see at least three to six inches of snow. The temperature (overnight low and daytime high) will be lower, so the precipitation will be in the form of snow, not rain.

My Weather Observation

This morning's low was 24 degrees Fahrenheit. The late afternoon high was 41 degrees. Sunrise showed hints of orange, which indicate precipitation coming. The wind blew mildly, usually from the northwest, most of the day.

While outside, enjoying the sun and wind, this afternoon, with Molly (our age 8 “puppy”), the sky was mostly sunny. I didn't smell snow, in the air. (Yes, it is possible to smell either rain or snow, in the air.) Approaching 5 PM, as I now type, a line of clouds is coming in, from the west. The wind is blowing, gently, from the west.

Overnight, the temperature should drop below freezing. Tomorrow may bring snow, snow mixed with rain, or rain only. We could have morning snow that turns to rain, if the temperature rises above freezing, tomorrow afternoon.

The weather prognosticators predict three to six inches of snow tomorrow. I hope that they are right! If the roads are passable, then I might be able to hike House Mountain, in the snow, tomorrow! We will see.

Conclusion

Please remain calm, dear reader. Yesterday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I attended the Cherokee High School Lady Chiefs' basketball game, in my hometown. Our niece, the eldest daughter of my youngest brother and his wife, is a starter, on the team. The roads had already been treated, with salt and brine! We were amazed! The roads should have been treated today, in anticipation of a little snow tomorrow. Treating the roads yesterday provided ample time, for vehicles to clear the treatment, from the roads!

The local weather forecasters are, as usual, sensationalizing the possibility of a little snow tomorrow. Anyone, who has common sense, should already be prepared. Be calm. We have seen little snows, in winter, around here before.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Breaking News: The 1-12-2024 Wind Advisory that was Fake News! (published 1-12-2024; article #450)

Update, 1/15/2024, Sunday: Blount County and Sevier County had some strong gusts. First source: “Blount Co. dispatchers receive over 50 calls for downed trees Friday due to high winds, and are preparing for snow in the forecast,” on WBIR-TV, by Aaron Velasquez, 1/12/2024, 10:28 PM. The article states that, on Friday, 1/12/2024, Blount County dispatchers received over 50 calls, about fallen trees and damage. Wind gusts, of about 50 miles per hour, were reported, in some areas of that county. Lance Coleman, the Blount County Emergency Management Agency director, stated, “It wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.” Second source: “Thousands without power across East TN and damage reported at Greene Co. school as high winds sweep through region,” on WBIR-TV, by Chris Salvemini, 1/12/2024, 5:51 PM. The article reports the number of homes that were without electricity, in Blount, Greene, Loudon, Monroe, and Sevier Counties, as of about 5 PM, on Friday, 1/12/2024. By adding the numbers, reported in the article, I tallied a total of 13,118 homes that were without power, at that time. (The Alcoa Electric Department provides power to Blount County. The Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative provides electricity to Blount, Loudon, and Monroe Counties.) The article also reports that a wind gust “blew an awning off a modular classroom at South Greene Middle School, in Greene County.” The Blount County Emergency Management Agency director's statement, in the first source, was about right! I would say that it wasn't as bad as the weather news had sensationalized that it would be!

Introduction

This is M. Fearghail, your factual news reporter, live, in my home office studio. This news desk is delivering you breaking news. The time, at the typing of this sentence, is 3:32 PM. The date is Friday, January 12, 2024.

The breaking news, even as I write, is about the wind advisory that has become fake news. Area school systems closed today, as a result of the fake news. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is enjoying her “fake weather news” day off work. Her county public school employer is one of several school systems that is closed.

This article will be filed, as the 110th article, under the “humor” topic section. Despite the humor, this breaking news report will conclude, with a serious question.

The Fake News

The fake news started yesterday. Several local media outlets were reporting the same weather line (or lie). “Sophisticated” computer weather models -- which can't be trusted, obviously -- were predicting that strong winds, with some rain, would impact the region today. Of the various media outlets, this article picks on WBIR-TV, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The following are two articles, which this breaking news reporter has selected.

The first article is “Several East Tennessee schools closing Friday ahead of strong winds and rain,” on WBIR-TV, by Chris Salvemini, 1/11/2024. The byline states, “Another strong, low-pressure system is expected to move through the Southeast on Friday and could bring damaging winds and strong storms to East Tennessee.” The article lists the 24 schools and school systems that closed today. The list includes 13 area county school systems.

The other article is “More wind and rain expected today in East Tennessee,” on WBIR-TV, by Cassie Nall, published 1/10/2024, updated 1/12/2024. The article states that our area is under a “wind advisory.” Wind gusts, up to 55 miles per hour, are predicted, between noon and 6 PM. Showers and storms, up to a half inch of rain, were also predicted.

As of this date, 1/12/2023, Weather Alerts, on WBIR-TV, shows the following.

Wind Advisory until SAT 7:00 AM EST Knox County, Tennessee. Start: 1/12/2024 9:59:00 AM. End: 1/13/2024 7:00:00 AM. WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 AM EST SATURDAY. WHAT: South winds 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph possible. WHERE: Portions of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. WHEN: From 7 AM Friday to 7 AM EST Saturday. IMPACTS: Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

Well, all that is turning out to be fake news. The truth is what follows next.

The Truth

This morning, about 6:15 AM, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, enjoying her paid day off work, started making my morning coffee, once she heard that I was awake. It was still dark outside. There was no wind or rain.

As dawn started to break, about 7:20 AM, the sky was mostly clear. Red sky predicted that rain was coming. The morning low was 26 degrees Fahrenheit. At sunrise, the sky was mostly sunny. There was no wind or rain. The morning was mostly sunny, with no wind or rain.

After our morning showers, my wife decided to join me, bravely, for the weekly errands. We hauled off the trash and recycling. Afterward, we shopped for groceries. A sporadic light rain fell, at times. There was no wind. Our grocery store checkout time was 12:05 PM.

Back home, having put away the groceries, my wife decided to go visit her father and sister, who live nearby. Shortly after she left, a heavier rain fell, for a few minutes. The wind blew lightly. I saw and heard a brief gust. I couldn't determine the speed. The heavy rain changed to intermittent showers. The wind continued to blow lightly and briefly, at times.

I took the following photograph, at 3:01 PM. I was standing at the threshold, to the deck. The view looks southwest.

The cedar tree verifies that no wind was blowing. A light rain was falling. The temperature was 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Looking out my home studio office windows, I am monitoring the wind, by watching the movements, if any, of our yard flag. At 4:22 PM, while typing this sentence, the yard flag is barely moving. A light wind is blowing gently.

After a brief writing pause, the time is now 5:24 PM, as I type now. Our yard flag is fluttering, just a little, in the wind.

These are just the facts, dear reader. This reporter does not sensationalize his news stories. There is no exaggeration. I don't use “sophisticated” computer weather models.

Conclusion

I hope that you have enjoyed the humor, in this breaking news report! What is the serious question? I'll ask it, after the next paragraph.

Local weather forecasters use “sophisticated” computer weather models, to predict the weather, for the next day and up to six farther days out. Sometimes, they get it right. Sometimes, they don't.

If local weather forecasters can predict the weather inaccurately, such as today's example, then why should we believe the global weather forecasters, when their long-range forecasts -- which are based on their “man-made” global climate change models -- predict planetary gloom and doom?

The time, at dusk, is now 5:28 PM, as I type this sentence. The sun will be setting soon. We still have only intermittent light wind and rain.

If we get a wind gust, of up to 55 miles per hour, as predicted, then I'll update this breaking news story. I don't predict the need to update this story!

This is M. Fearghail, your breaking news reporter, signing off. Have a good evening!

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

No TN Sales Tax on Food, August - October, 2023: My Analysis & Commentary (published 11-1-2022; article #440)

Photograph by M. Fearghail, 10/28/2023, 3:00 PM -- before the 3:30 PM Georgia-Florida game and the 7 PM Tennessee-Kentucky game. Georgia and Tennessee both won!
 
Introduction

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, in particular, and I may have to stop eating so much peanut butter. The analysis and conclusion will explain!

Greetings, fellow diners, and welcome to the 109th article, under the “humor” topic section! Are you hungry for another article? Well, here it is! I'd thought about creating a new topic section, called “economy” or “money tree,” but let's just stick with “humor.” Peanut butter is sticky, after all!

This article recalls one that I'd published last year. You may wish to go back, through the mists of time, to read “August 2022 - No TN Sales Tax on Food Month (published 9-2-2022; article #352).” This year, the Tennessee government granted another sales tax holiday on food. It was from August through October.

This article jells together our August through October record, on food cost and sales tax saved. It then smooths the “butter and jelly” together, in my analysis. The conclusion looks for something cheaper than peanut butter!

I hope that you enjoy this “peanut butter and jelly sandwich” article! You may need some milk, at $4.99 a gallon, to wash it down!

Our August - October Record

How did my wife and I fair, for the three months, this year? Let's see. The following is my record. I recorded by month, date, location, grocery cost, sales tax saved, and number of grocery items purchased.

August

Date/location                               Cost         Saved   # Items
08/02/2023: IGA, Knox                $13.65      $0.85        3
08/04/2023: IGA, Knox                $78.22      $4.89      19
08/11/2023: IGA, Knox               $112.40      $7.03      21
08/17/2023: IGA, Knox              $104.84      $6.55      25
08/24/2023: Food City, Kodak     $11.68      $0.32        2
08/25/2023: IGA, Knox              $115.18      $7.20      24
August total:                            $435.97    $26.84      94


September

Date/location                               Cost         Saved   # Items
09/01/2023: IGA, Knox              $117.41      $7.34      24
09/02/2023: IGA, Knox                $11.15      $0.70        4
09/04/2023: IGA, Knox                $36.97      $2.31      11
09/08/2023: IGA, Knox              $102.92      $6.43      25
09/15/2023: IGA, Knox              $124.10      $7.76      25
09/22/2023: IGA, Knox              $120.41      $7.53      26
09/29/2023: IGA, Knox              $110.64      $6.92      25
09/29/2023: IGA, Knox                $20.84      $1.30        6
September total:                      $644.44    $40.29    146


October

Date/location                               Cost         Saved   # Items
10/06/2023: IGA, Knox              $123.65      $7.73     27
10/13/2023: IGA, Knox                $73.61      $4.60     14
10/19/2023: IGA, Knox              $105.30      $6.58     21
10/27/2023: IGA, Knox              $115.00      $7.19     28
October total:                           $417.56    $26.10     90

For the three months, we spent $1,497.97 on groceries. We saved $93.23 in sales tax. We bought 330 food items.

Analysis

The previous section “spread the peanut butter on the bread.” This section “adds the jelly,” by my analysis. Let's check the state budget then our household budget.

Tennessee Budget

So, how much sales tax revenue did Tennessee lose? It's uncertain. I decided, for fun, to tell and then ask Microsoft's “Bing” (so-called artificial intelligence) the following: “The TN sales tax on food is 4%. TN county sales taxes vary, from 1.5% to 2.75%. Factoring those, from 8/1/2023 to 10/31/2023, how much sales tax revenue did TN lose, during the 8/1/2023 to 10/31/2023 TN sales tax holiday?” Bing's answer stated, in part, “. . . we can estimate the amount of sales tax revenue that Tennessee lost during the holiday period . . . $330 million.” (I don't know who the “we” are, in Bing's answer, unless that robot has a multiple personality disorder! You may get a different answer, if you ask “Bing” the same question.)

From “The Budget, Fiscal Year 2023-2024,” on TN Department of Finance & Administration (a 571-page online PDF document), I see that the 2024 fiscal year budget is $55.6 billion. The budget is balanced, unlike the USSA budget, unfortunately.

Bing's estimated sales tax loss, during the August through October tax holiday on food, divided by the 2024 fiscal budget is a loss of only about 0.5935%. That's a chump loss of revenue.

Our Budget

As stated previously, the bottom line, for August through October, is that my wife and I spent $1,497.97 on groceries. We bought 330 grocery items. We saved $93.23 in sales tax. That's an average sales tax savings of 6.22%.

So, how did we do, on average? From “Tennessee General Assembly Passes Tennessee Works Tax Act: Legislation Among Largest Tax Cuts in Tennessee History,” on TN Department of Revenue, 4/27/2023, I read the following: “From August through October 2023, Tennesseans will not pay tax on food and food ingredients sold in grocery stores. On average, each Tennessee family will save over $100 in taxes.” (The tax act, aside from the sales tax holiday on food, includes reductions on franchise and excise tax and on business tax.) We saved $6.77 less than the base estimate. We tried! Of course, I don't fall for the sales gimmick fallacy of “the more you spend, the more you save!”

The article of 9/2/2022, cited previously, states that our two-person annual food cost, in 2001, was $2,387.60, or $198.96 a month. In 2010, it was $3,149.59, or $261.80 monthly. Last year, in August, the cost, as stated in that article, was:

Total 08/2022 human food items: 123.
Total 08/2022 human food cost: $459.87. ($3.74 / human food item.)
Total 08/2022 TN sales tax not charged/”saved:” $29.38 (6.38%).

For all of 2022, our grocery cost totaled $5,825.36. That's $485.44 each month.

Calculations, from this August through October, indicate the following. The grocery cost, for my wife and me, averaged $499.32 a month. We were not charged a monthly average of $31.07 in sales tax. On a monthly basis, we bought 110 grocery items. The mean cost, of each grocery item, was $4.54.

A reader asks, “Are y'all buying too much of that costly and overly processed junk food?” My reply is: “Thanks for the question. We buy fruit, vegetables, lean meat, juice, bread, and so forth. We buy very little, if any, overly processed or junk food. It's not healthy.”

If you can enlarge the following photograph, it shows the IGA receipt, on 10/27/2023, when I got the groceries. The receipt includes two items, $8.57 total, for Molly, our ol' puppy, and three household items, $21.26 total. (We paid $2.76 sales tax, on those items.) The cost, for 28 human food items, was $115.00. We did not pay $7.19 in sales tax.

Aside from the eight-pack of 12-ounce bottled Cokes, at $6.50, I don't see any junk. I drink about a half bottle of Coke every day. Eight bottles lasts me a while. A 12-ounce bottle of Coke costs about 81 cents? Really? I can remember when a 12-ounce bottle of Coke costed 15 cents!

Can you see, on the receipt, the cost of the Jif peanut butter? I highlighted around it, in yellow. Two pounds and eight ounces (40 ounces) of peanut butter cost $8.99! That's about 22 cents an ounce! How could an ounce of peanut butter cost almost a quarter?

If a tablespoon is half an ounce, then two tablespoons are one ounce. If I use two tablespoons of peanut butter, to make a sandwich, then I've spent almost 25 cents! I didn't realize it, before writing this article!

Conclusion

A reader asks, “Yes, your annual cost of groceries has been increasing, but hasn't your household income increased, to match that?” The answer is, “Yes, it has, fortunately, by God's blessings and our hard work. I've done the math, however. I know that our annual cost of groceries has been increasing faster than our income.”

Based on analysis of our financial records, from 2001 through October 2023, I know how much our household income has increased. I also know how much our grocery bill has increased. I did the calculations. From 2001 through October 2023, our grocery bill has increased 19.39% faster than our income. That's an increasingly larger slice of the budget.

Groceries are only one example of inflation. I haven't even calculated the increases in, for example, gasoline, electricity, propane, all other utilities, insurance (automobile, health, homeowners), medical care, and major purchases (e.g., deck replacement, automobile, appliances, etc.). All these expenses continue to take bigger bites out of our total income.

What could we do with the $93.23 that we didn't spend, on sales tax? Should we stock up on peanut butter? No! My wife and I need to stop eating so much peanut butter! It's too expensive!

What could we stock up on that's cheaper than peanut butter? Do you have any suggestions?

Sunday, October 22, 2023

RATMAN LIVES! (published 10-22-2023; article #436)

Preliminary Greetings (with notes on hiking & the game yesterday)

Greetings, dear reader, on a seasonably warm and clear Sunday afternoon. I'd started writing this article yesterday.

Yesterday, in the early afternoon, as I'd begun to write, the crisp, blue autumn sky was calling me into the woods, for another hike! The light breeze would have been natural air conditioning. It's doing so, again today. Yesterday, I'd set aside the call to hike, for a couple of days, to tend to household chores, watch college football, and start writing this article. Today, the article is finished and published.

Georgia was off yesterday. Yesterday, I'd written, “Will Tennessee (#17 AP) beat Alabama (#11 AP), in Tuscaloosa? Writing this introduction, before the 3:30 PM kickoff, I predict, sadly, Tennessee 17, Alabama 24. Go Vols! Beat Bama!” Unfortunately, the loss was 20 - 34.

At halftime, the Vols were ahead, 20 - 7. I'd told Mrs. Appalachian Irishman that, if Tennessee wins, I'll put on an orange Vols T-shirt and walk around the subdivision. She could video record me, interacting with neighbors. I wish that I would have had to do that! In the second half, the Vols were scoreless, but Alabama awakened and scored 27 points. In the third quarter, Coach Heupel chose to go for fourth and a yard, on the Vols' 47-yard line. They could not get one yard. The turnover on downs led to an Alabama touchdown. Midway into the fourth quarter, the Tennessee quarterback fumbled, while being sacked. Alabama recovered and ran 24 yards, for a touchdown. That was the nail in the Vols' coffin! Without mistakes by the head coach and the quarterback, the score would have been 20 - 20.

Alas, this is not the 14th article, under the “sports” topic section. Let's move on, to Ratman!

Introduction

Welcome to the 108th article, under the "humor” topic section! The most recent article and podcast -- on 10/18/2023, about my Bigfoot story -- recalled a few memories, from my senior year in high school. This is the story of Ratman. He originated, as far as I know, in 1978, during my senior year in high school. Ratman returned, sometime in the late 1980s. He re-appeared, on 4/11/2023. Ratman still lives!

Ratman, originated in 1978

My senior year was from the fall of 1977 to the spring of 1978, graduating that year. About 25 or 30 classmates and I were in Mrs. Minor's Advanced Math class. I believe that it was the spring of 1978. Mrs. Minor was a dear soul. We students, however, could get away with many shenanigans.

For example, once, during class, we seniors wove thin lines of wire around our desk and chair legs. Mrs. Minor didn't notice our stealth mischief. At the end of our class, while leaving, we stepped carefully over the wire web that we had set, to trap the next class of juniors. As those juniors started entering the classroom, we saw and heard quite of bit of tripping and carrying on, as the wires that they were stumbling into kept pulling desks around them! That was fun!

Student desks were set up in rows that ran horizontally to Mrs. Minor's desk. The row that I was in was next to the farthest from Mrs. Minor. My desk was at the front of the row, near the door. Behind me sat Larry. Behind him sat Phillip. The three of us involved ourselves in a good bit of non-mathematical mischief. (I'd overcome my grade school shyness.)

Ratman originated, as far as I know, in Mrs. Minor's advanced math class, at the Rogersville High School, in the spring of 1978. Phillip and Larry were artists. One of them invented Ratman. They drew his image several times, often like cartoon strips. They shared their Ratman drawings with me. I did my best to copy Ratman.

Several of us seniors had started an underground newspaper, which we distributed at the high school. We wrote under pseudonyms. Mine was I.M. Pitts. Ratman was in most every edition, as drawn by Larry or Phillip.

Ratman became a legend. He went into a prolonged sabbatical, for about a decade.

Ratman returned, in the late 1980s!

Skipping forward about a decade, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I were living in Charleston, Missouri. (See the 8/5/2023 short story, for more details.) Sam (short for Samantha) was a female barber, whose shop was on Main Street. Sam, several years older than me, and I shared a similar sense of humor, as she cut my hair. One conversation brought Ratman back to the forefront of my memories.

Ratman returned! One day, probably in the late 1980s, I drew the following image of Ratman.

I.M Pitts' late 1980's original drawing (scanned on 4/11/2023).

The caption, by I.M. Pitts, my high school pseudonym, reads, “Revived from Mrs. Minor's Advanced Math class, Rogersville High School, 1978 -- RATMAN® lives!”

Ratman himself states, simply and profoundly, “I have returned!” I was glad to have brought him back, from his sabbatical, which had lasted about a decade.

Back in late 1982 or early 1983, I'd bought an new Bible, in the King James Version. (It's The Open Bible, by Thomas Nelson, publishers.) I still have that Bible, along with newer ones. I'd placed my Ratman drawing, in between two front pages of that Bible, for safe keeping.

Ratman re-appeared, on 4/11/2023!

I still have that Bible. It has been with me and used -- in Tennessee, Missouri, India, and Russia. Page edges are somewhat worn. I've written many notes, along the edges of pages and on blank pages. That Bible has been an excellent tool, for study, evangelism, ministry, teaching, and preaching. I've used silver duct tape, to strengthen the worn binder. My Ratman drawing was secured, in that Bible, where ever it was with me. Ratman, thus, became an international traveler!

On 4/11/2023, I had noticed my late 1980s drawing of Ratman, still in between two front pages, in my old Bible. I'd been using that Bible, while studying and interacting online, in the context of my then upcoming article that debunked the binitarian doctrine (4/18/2023 article). I scanned my Ratman drawing, as in the above image, to preserve it electronically.

Ratman lives!

Early yesterday afternoon, when I'd started writing this article, I took the photograph, below, of my late 1980's drawing of Ratman, resting on the Bible, which I'd purchased in 1982 or 1983. Unlike me, Ratman still looks the same, as he did in the late 1980s.

Photograph by M. Fearghail, 10/21/2023, 1:27 PM

Yes, Ratman still lives! He's resting, as usual, back between two front pages of my old Bible. That Bible, along with newer ones, is readily available, in my home office.

Conclusion

I see that a reader has asked, “Who is Ratman?” The creator(s) of Ratman, back in 1978, explained to me that Ratman is a benevolent and good superhero. He uses his superpowers, to do good and to stop evil. As I recall, his creator(s) drew several cartoon strip episodes, in which Ratman, in his witty manner, took down various supervillains.

Yesterday, my youngest brother attained the milestone age of fifty. He had to work, doing inventory, on his birthday. I'd called him, late in the afternoon, when I knew that he'd be home from work. His wife and two teenage daughters were preparing his regular (pardon the pun) birthday cake. He likes a prune cake, on his birthday. The tradition started, when Mom, at his request, made him prune birthday cakes. It became a regular tradition. (Again, pardon the pun.)

Brother, I'd planned to publish this article, on you birthday. Here's your birthday present, a day late!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Hilary Catastrophic Disaster: Clickbait Warning! (published 8-20-2023; article #427)

6/23/2020 photograph, by Anne Nygård, on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

Introduction

The title warned you! Did you click anyhow? Apparently so, since you are reading this sentence. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “clickbait” as something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink, especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”

Don't worry! This article contains no malware or malicious intent. The title is clickbait, in that it may be of “dubious value or interest,” unless you share my sense of humor! Welcome to the 107th article on the topic of “Humor,” dear reader!

Recent television news is responsible for this article. Some news captions brought out my sense of humor!

Hilary

Recently, news segments, on various television stations, were captioned along the lines of the two website articles, below, which I have selected for this commentary. I couldn't find the website versions of the televised segments that I saw.

The first is “Flooding disaster threatens Southern California as Hilary takes aim” (on AccuWeather, by Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist, published 8/16/2023, updated 8/20/2023). Hilary aims to cause disastrous floods in Southern California? I wish that Hilary wouldn't do that. Why would she want to do so? Thankfully, we don't live in that neck of the woods. I hope that no one is injured or killed.

The other is “Hilary expected to bring catastrophic, life-threatening flooding to US Southwest” (on ABC News, by Nadine El-Bawab, Kenton Gewecke, Dan Peck, and Meredith Deliso, 8/19/2023). Again, why does Hilary want to threaten the southwest, with catastrophic and life-threatening floods? What did that area, of this once great nation, ever do to her, to deserve her anger? I hope that Hilary doesn't injure or take life.

Did the writers and editors of those two columns, among others, forget to add a word to the titles? By not adding “hurricane” to those titles, this Appalachian Irishman's sense of humor was sparked!

Hillary

Y'all may remember the former first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. She still makes the rounds, on certain media outlets.

As well as I can tell, she has online platforms, on at least a couple of websites: The Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Onward Together. Listing those websites does not connote agreement with their content.

To converse with the former first lady -- twelve years older than me and far more well known than I am -- on the topic of worldviews, would be interesting. She could define and present arguments in favor of her worldview. We might have some general points of agreement, as most folks do. I would have to ask questions, to unpack the shaded layers of her insinuations. She could ask me questions. I would use sound and valid logic, to disagree with her overarching worldview and to affirm the biblical worldview. Yes, it would be interesting.

Conclusion

I disdain clickbait, which is on so many websites. This 427th article is my first and only use of clickbait. I apologize. I won't do it again.

The clickbait is that there is only one “l' in Hilary, the name of the current hurricane. There are two “l”s in Hillary, the first name of the former first lady.

This article hopes that, in God's providence, hurricane Hilary causes no deaths or serious injuries. Some property damage may occur.

This article also encourages the former first lady, Hillary, not to cause further catastrophic disasters, to this once great nation. It asks her to please follow the biblical worldview, in its entirety, without twisting certain aspects of it into her unbiblical agenda. I can unpack this concluding paragraph, if any commentator wishes to ask me to do so.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Two-Year-Old Birthday [Cake] Pie (published 8-7-2023; article #424)

Introduction

Whew! The manuscript that published on 8/5/2023 -- about our family reunion in Charleston, Missouri, and our Mission Moscow reunion -- took a long time to finish writing! Two articles, which have been on my mind, had to wait. This is the first article that was waiting its turn.

Can a man eat a two-year-old birthday cake pie? This article proves that he can -- without becoming ill or dying! The proof is in the embedded podcast and in the fact that I'm still alive, to publish this article.

The article also mentions Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's age xx birthday. I apologize, dear reader. My wife has edited in the “xx” strike-throughs on her age. Despite being the publisher and editor of this website, I could not stop or remove her redaction!

I hope that you enjoy this brief article. By topic sections, it's the 116th under “Family” and the 106th under “Humor.”

I Ate the Cake Pie!

Let him eat cake! No, I mean pie!

The article of 11/26/2021 has a section titled, “My 7/17/2021 Birthday Pie,” which includes a photograph of the pie, taken on that date. I need to go back and read what I've written more often!

This article today, on 8/7/2023, corrects my podcast, of 7/26/2023, in that it was a two-year-old pie, not three years old! I won't change the title of that podcast, but I will enter a comment, to correct the year! A writer must correct his errors! I'd been thinking incorrectly -- until I reread the 11/26/2021 article yesterday -- that the pie was three years old. No one, except the Good Lord, is perfect. I, however, disdain my mistakes, especially when speaking publicly or in a published article.

Also, this article has been striking through “Cake,” in red font, since, for some strange reason, I kept wanting to say “cake” -- instead of “pie” -- in the podcast. Yes, I hear you, dear reader. You are saying, “Let's see what's left of that two-year-old pie and watch you eat it!”

Photograph by M. Fearghail, on Monday, 7/17/2023, at 12:49 PM, before finishing his two-year-old birthday pie.

As the caption below the photograph explains, I photographed my birthday pie, placed on a corner of our kitchen cabinet top, before I ate the last two pieces. It was on my 63rd birthday, on Monday, 7/17/2023.

The Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (on YouTube) episode is: Eating the Last Two Slices of Birthday Pie, Made Three Years Ago! (published 7-26-2023; episode 16). Again, it was a pie, not cake, and two, not three, years old, y'all!

Yes, well, I have to interject a little humor into “life, such as it is!” The second part of the podcast should refute any detractors! I ate all two slices of the pie. You have my word on it. It didn't kill me. I didn't even get sick. A lemon pie, stored in a freezer for two years, is as good as it was when it was made! Will Mom laugh about this, once I tell her? I imagine that she will. I look forward to telling her!

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's Age XX Birthday

The day after I attained the young age of 63, Mrs. Appalachian attained the landmark age of xx. (There she goes, editing my article behind my back again!)

For several days, I'd been asking my wife what she wanted to do on her birthday. She decided that we should have a dinner date at the Texas Roadhouse. (Yankees call the noon meal lunch.) I should have taken a photograph or two of my young and lovely bride!

We enjoyed out dinner date, despite the rather loud “country music” videos that were blaring. “Country music” is in quotations for a reason. What we heard did not sound like the classic country music that we both like. In almost every video, dudes and dudettes wore cowboy hats. Almost every song sounded like the last one. This “rap-a-country-billy-rock” stuff ain't country! Real country music was by, among others, the Carter Family, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Bill Monroe, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Conway Twitty, Glen Campbell, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, and John Denver -- just to name a few. That list isn't ranked by preference. Those true classic country artists simply came to my mind. Well, enough of this soapbox!

After our dinner date, we visited with her father and sister, who live about three miles away. They didn't give my wife too much grief, about attaining her milestone age. After we returned home, the surprise calls and emails began! (I'd stealthily arranged phone call and email surprises, for Mrs Appalachian Irishman!) My wife was pleasantly surprised by, among others, calls from my sister, Carol Sue, and our great niece, Addy. Travis and Kelly called, and we reconnected further. An email came in from Kilimanjaro Missions, in Tanzania, East Africa! Jessica, the adult daughter of Joe Paul and Lynn, and her family are missionaries there! Y'all will enjoy reading their June 2023 Kilimanjaro Missions newsletter. (Each of these fine folks were mentioned in the short story of 8/5/2023.)

See, dear, turning age xx wasn't so bad after all, was it? (I can't get her to stop striking through her age, folks!)

Conclusion

I hope that y'all enjoyed a laugh and a smile or two, while reading this article. As we age, we reflect on life -- the good and the bad. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I have had our share. Haven't we all? I reckon that I picked a good wife, who puts up with me. Thanks, dear, for living the good and bad in life, by my side. I think that I'll keep you.

Well, I'll get off here for now. Those weather prognosticators predicted that we could all die or face serious harm, by that little pop up storm that is waning, as I finish this article. Come on, weather folks! Quit trying to scare people, just to boost your ratings!

The next article, Lord willing, will be about a visit by a first cousin of mine.

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

UFO or UAP? What's the Difference? Who Cares? (published 8-1-2023; article #422)

“A frisbee flying through the air with a blue sky in the background: Flying UFO in the blue sky,” photo by Gianluca Carenza, on Unsplash, 2/22/2022. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

Introduction

Rest assured, dear reader. Neither this Appalachian Irishman nor his wife (the “long-suffering” Mrs. Appalachian Irishman) has been abducted by aliens! Only one article published last month, on 7/5/2023. Usually, six or so articles are published each month.

You ask, “What's been going on?” Well, I'll tell you. We enjoyed a family reunion, in Charleston, Missouri! We were in Missouri, from 7/11-14/2023, Tuesday to Friday. On the Friday of our our return to Tennessee, a family -- with whom we served, on the Mission Moscow team -- and we had a reunion! We met in Lebanon, Tennessee. I've been working, on and off, on an article about those reunions. It will be a long article. Otherwise, aside from the usual “life, such as it is,” stuff, we had birthdays. I attained age 63. The next day, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman attained the landmark age of <deleted by Mrs. Appalachian Irishman>. I plan to publish an article, about our birthdays. The article will include, on Appalachian Irishman - podcasts, the episode: “Eating the Last Two Slices of Birthday Pie, Made Three Years Ago! (published 7-26-2023; episode 16).” This article presents that sneak preview! On Monday, 7/24/2023, a first cousin, whom I'd not seen, since 2012, drove down from Kingsport, to visit a grade school friend. Afterward, he visited and had supper with us! We had a fine time together! I plan to publish an article, about his visit.

Now, let's return to the topic of this article. Are they called UFOs or UAPs? What's the difference? Who cares? This is the 105th article, on this website's “Humor” topic section. I hope that you enjoy a good laugh. The motivation for this article is the “August Newsletter Update” that US Representative Tim Burchett sent by email this morning. The first topic, in “Tim's Top Three,” for July 2023, is on his involvement in the “UAP Hearing,” in the Committee on Oversight and Accountability. (If you want to be bored, see the rather wordily titled article: “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency,” on Committee on Oversight and Accountability, 7/26/2023.) At least the 24/7/365 news media are adding this topic to their ad nauseam dribble, about either the Bidens or Trump.

UFO or UAP? What's the Difference?

They had been called UFOs -- unidentified flying objects! Apparently, the Air Force coined that acronym, in 1952, five years after a pilot reported unidentified flying objects, in June 1947.

My research indicates that, in 2021, federal “guvrmint” agencies started using the acronym UAPs, instead of UFOs. The bureaucrats wanted to down play various UFO conspiracies, which are “out there,” and to remove the “baggage” that the UFO acronym carries.

The “guvrmint” likes to rename things, use euphemisms, and create strange acronyms. For example, I've know, for decades, that soldiers carry “entrenching tools,” not “shovels.” Don't call them “shovels,” unless you want to use an “entrenching tool,” to dig a deep hole and then cover it back up! I've heard the stories. Also, the bureaucrats prefer to call a “tax increase” an “investment” -- which is a euphemism for a tax increase or for borrowing and printing more Monopoly money, so that future generations will pay the bill. Finally, when I worked for the state, I enjoyed making fun of their acronym PUN (for Process Update Notification). It's not just a memo. It's a PUN! Well, that was always punny to me! Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines “punny,” as “constituting or involving a pun.” I can't make up this stuff, folks!

So, the “guvrmint” now says that UFOs (unidentified flying objects) are UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena). What's the difference? There is none. Just ask the next little, green man, whom you meet. Why didn't the bureaucrats figure out, ahead of time, that some sarcastically humored person would ask, “Doesn't UAP sound too much like 'you ape'?” Well, I just did!

Who Cares?

Let's see a show of hands. How many care that a UFO is now a UAP? I don't see any hands raised. Who cares about the acronym change or about little, green men, from outer space?

Why your “guvrmint” cares! A Representative from Tennessee, Tim Burchett, cares, apparently. Aside from my previous reference to his email, you might find interesting: “Tim Burchett: Americans should know what the government knows about UFOs,” on Politico, by Andrew Zhang, 07/22/2023.

Conclusion

This article pokes a little fun at Tim Burchett. I do not doubt his conservative positions. I know that he is trying his best to slow down, at least, the downward spiral of this once great nation, into “Socialist Utopian Oblivion,” as I call it. Tim is a good man and a fine representative. “Hey, Tim, you are welcome to comment on this article, if you read it.”

For the life of me, I don't know or care why the “guvrmint” is interested in little, green men, from outer space. Knock. Knock.

Hey, anyone in 'guvrmint' listening? If so, please act like you have some common sense! Please follow the values, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution! Those values are based on biblical values. Do you need more guidance? If so, then please use my “Contact Form,” to send me a private and confidential email. I will help you, with no charge. My help will be free. That means free. That does not mean “free,” in that tax dollars are used to give folks stuff.

Wake up, America! The Appalachian Irishman has spoken.

Monday, June 05, 2023

Alien News Desk: Reaction to the 6-1-2023 Report by Phobos and Deimos (published 6-5-2023; article #417)

2/20/2020 photo, by Brooke Denevan on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

Introduction

Imagine, in the above image, that Phobos is driving, Deimos is sitting behind him, and their camera man is also in the back seat. Don't worry. I'll explain!

Welcome to this thirteenth article in the “Worldviews in Conflict” topic section, dear reader! It's also the 105th entry under the “Humor” topic.

This article, combining humor with solemnness, presents the 6/1/2023 “Alien Newscast,” by Phobos and Deimos. Then, it elaborates on the alien worldview. The conclusion encourages those, who follow the alien worldview, to follow the biblical worldview.

As an aside, I didn't know, until deciding on the title for this article, that “Alien News Desk” was a twelve-part, animated series! I came across “Alien News Desk,” on SYFY Media, LLC. It is described as “. . . a weekly, half-hour topical animated series set in an extraterrestrial newsroom. . . . [T]he 12-episode series will cover up-to-the-minute news and commentary about the universe’s most baffling species - the inscrutable Humans of Planet Earth.” The series aired from 2/27/2019 to 5/4/2019.

Well, hang on! This “space trip” starts off funny, but it ends on a sobering note. Please enjoy the ride. Thank you for riding along with me, dear reader.

The “Alien Newscast,” of 6/1/2023, and My Reaction

Brother Jim Richardson's website, From My Brain to Yours, is one of the four listed, under the “Folks, to Whom I Subscribe” section of this website. The 10/28/2022 introductory article, to the ongoing Christian Evidences series, referenced two articles by Jim Richardson that had inspired the series.

Well, brother Jim's article of 6/1/2023 has inspired this article! Please pause, to read his article: “Alien Newscast: Aliens reporting on Earthly events this week (not so fake news),” on From My Brain to Yours, by Jim Richardson, 6/1/2023. (You can click “continue reading,” to read his article, without cost and without the need to create an account.)

Writing as Deimos and Phobos -- the names of the two Martian moons -- Jim comments on six recent events, which include: (1) Canada wants to label each individual cigarette, in a pack, with warnings! Cigarette packs already have warnings. Amazing! (2) Four young Connecticut women are suing, since men, who think that they are women, beat them in track races. Insanity! (3) A mayor in a New Hampshire town is using federal “Monopoly money,” to pay a drag queen, to perform at a high school! Sickening! (4) Artificial Intelligence (AI) may kill us humans. Really? (5) Old predictions of global disasters, due to so-called man-made climate change, were fake news and didn't come true. Of course they didn't! (6) A twenty-two page article, filled with scientific mumbo-jumbo, warns folks, who took the new cold virus injection (or series of injections, with booster injections), that their health could be in danger. I'm glad that I never took a “Corony” shot! I'm not worried!

Jim's sarcastic article is very funny! It ends, however, with a sobering theme. Writing in the third person, as alien newscasters, Jim exposes, masterfully, the inscrutable and alien human worldviews of the majority. I hope that his article forces the majority to view themselves from a different perspective, as they think outside themselves.

On Friday, 6/2/2023, my comment on Jim's article included, in part:

. . . I had to comment on this one! It's loaded with my style of sarcastic humor and imagination!

I did a little digging. Deimos and Phobos are the two moons of Mars. It's funny that I'd not known, unless I'd heard and forgotten, that Mars has moons. Deimos (from Greek, Δειμος) means “dread-fear, terror,” and Phobos (from Greek, Φοβος) means “panic-fear, rout.”

If ungodly earthlings could just see what they are doing, from an off-world view, then they might just realize how much dreadful panic that they are causing, by following their unbiblical worldviews. God, of course, sees all this much better, in a far more universal view, than Deimos and Phobos see it.

By the way, ask Deimos and Phobos if they could come on down here, to see if they can broadcast globally, to all ungodly earthlings! Those earthlings are not listening to godly earthlings or to God!

I had also asked Jim's permission to reference his article, in a future article that I'd planned to write. Graciously, he agreed. Thanks, brother Jim, for inspiring this article!

The Alien Worldview

The sarcastic and humorous purpose, as cited previously, of “Alien News Desk” (the SYFY animated series of 2019) was to report on “the universe’s most baffling species - the inscrutable Humans of Planet Earth.” Inscrutable is a good way to describe the alien worldviews of the majority of humans on this planet! Inscrutable means not easily understood.

Local, national, international, and, apparently, even extraterrestrial media are the daily, ad nauseam, sources of too many instances of “alien worldviews gone wild!” It's sickening, of course.

This article cites only one recent bilge, in my home state of Tennessee. The following is one, of several, articles that has the alien worldview news. The article is: “Federal judge tosses Tennessee's controversial anti-drag law, declares it unconstitutional,” on Memphis Commercial Appeal, by Micaela A Watts, 6/3/2023. (Content warning! The article includes a photograph of so-called “drag queens.”) Apparently, just after 12 AM, on Friday, 6/2/2023, Judge Thomas L. Parker (United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee) ruled, in a lawsuit filed by an ungodly and so-called non-profit organization, that "the Court finds that -- despite Tennessee’s compelling interest in protecting the psychological and physical wellbeing of children -- the Adult Entertainment Act ('AEA') is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL (sic) restriction on the freedom of speech." The ruling, apparently, affects only Shelby County.

The bill, which Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law, on 3/2/2023, is “SB0003, HB0009,” on Tennessee General Assembly. The “Bill History” tab lists the chronological history of the bill, which Governor Lee signed into law. The “Summary” tab states, at first:

This bill creates an offense for a person who engages in an adult cabaret performance on public property or in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a person who is not an adult. The bill defines an "adult cabaret performance" to mean a performance in a location other than an adult cabaret that features topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration.

Why the State of Tennessee even had to create such a law, only to have it stuck down, in Shelby County, is beyond my understanding. Common decency dictates that folks, especially young people, should not even go near such alien lifestyles.

For previous comments on this ungodly and alien worldview, see my 6/26/2022 article, under the “LGBTQ Pride Month” section. See also my 2/26/2023 article, “'Knox Pride' versus God's Pride.” Over 92% of the American population is heterosexual, as various recent studies show. (See, for example, “U.S. LGBT Identification Steady at 7.2%,” on Gallup, by Jeffrey M. Jones, 2/22/2023.) Once again, this month, biblical morality endures the ungodly and alien morality of the euphemistically named “Pride Month.” Don't worry. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman or I change channels or turn off the TV, when the media propagandizes the events. When that alien minority attempts to force my acceptance of their ungodly lifestyle, I stand, firmly on the solid rock, such as in this article, to affirm the biblical worldview!

Returning to the main point, however, what are these alien worldviews? Atheism, humanism, naturalism, socialism, environmentalism -- and all such “isms” -- are aspects on only one alien worldview. It is the ungodly worldview. Don't let all the various “isms” confuse you! They all march downhill, along the wrong path!

Conclusion

Jim's article, as cited previously, ends with the same verse, which begins this conclusion.

Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course. (Proverbs 15:21, NIV)

The inspired wisdom of Solomon also stated: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12, NIV).

The “Alien Newscast,” by Deimos and Phobos, presents the inscrutable nonsense of ungodly, human worldviews that lead to spiritual death. God, viewing this planet from His lofty location, sees the same ungodliness.

In His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 - 7), Jesus encourages:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Mt. 7:13-14, NIV)

In the words of this educated country boy, Jesus wants us “to turn right and go straight.” Why? The “ultimate acknowledgment of truth,” as I call it, is coming.

The atheist (who worships himself), the humanist (who worships humankind), the naturalist (who worships nature), the socialist (who worships his socio-economic system), and the environmentalist (who worships the environment, in contrast to the conservationist, who cares for the environment but worships God) will each face the “ultimate acknowledgment of truth.” Then, however, it will be too late to change their ungodly worldviews.

What is that ultimate acknowledgment of truth? The inspired apostle Paul described it, in his first century letter to the Corinthian church.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV)

See also the apostle Paul's words, in Romans 14:10-12, and Jesus' words, in Matthew 25:31-46. At the last judgment, the atheist has to acknowledge that God exists, as the ultimate acknowledgment of truth, but it will be too late.

True wisdom is to know and believe in Jesus, as the one true Son, of the one true God, as revealed in His inspired Bible. To believe is to follow His worldview.

I trust, dear reader, that you are already following the Lord. If you are not, but would like to, you are welcome to use the “Contact Form,” if you would like to converse. I'm just one formerly poor beggar, still imperfect, who found the Bread of Life. I'll be glad to share.

To any reader who considers this article to be “hate speech,” it is not. This article is written in loving and biblical guidance, to any reader, who follows alien worldviews. To those readers, please turn right and go straight, before it's too late! Judgment day, the ultimate acknowledgment of truth, is coming.