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World weather.

Tuesday 30th August, Madrid, Spain

Phew! After a long month and a twenty-five hour trip back from France, I'm finally back in my beautiful Madrid. Tomorrow I begin preparations for my new career as an English teacher. I'll be taking a much needed break from keeping an online journal; it has consumed a great deal of my time and energy over the last two years, and I need some time to organize the coming months...

the Royal Palace, Madrid

Of course many of you have been very supportive, and a lot of my readers have become my friends; I won't be able to resist sharing some of my experiences from time to time, particularly our upcoming trips to Italy and Australia. In the meantime, there are hundreds of archived journal updates just a click away ... and I bet you haven't read them all!!

boats at a lake outside Madrid

As I start to wade through the ocean of unanswered emails that is clogging my inbox after a month away from my computer, I'll also share with you a few of the most interesting/funny snippets that readers have sent. (see below) And I've added new photos to both the funny photos and funny signs slideshows. Enjoy!

this is what the US War Veterans are wearing to George W's speeches.

It's not an easy life for rabbits, you know. Sometimes being a bunny can just be too much. Click here to see what some sad bunnies have been resorting to lately.

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An elderly man in Queensland had owned a large property for several years. He had a pond in the next paddock, fixed up nice - picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some mango and avocado trees. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built. One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit.

As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee.As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

The old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked."

Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm here to feed the crocodile."

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Tony Blair started jogging near his home in Chequers. Every day, he'd jog past a hooker standing on the same street corner. He learned to brace himself as he approached her for what was almost certain to follow.

"Fifty pounds!" she'd shout from the curb.

"No! Five pounds!" Tony would fire back.

This ritual between Tony and the hooker became a daily occurrence. He'd run by and she'd yell, "Fifty pounds!" He'd yell back, "Five pounds!"

One day, Cherie decided that she wanted to accompany her husband on his jog. As the jogging couple neared the working woman's street corner,Tony realized she'd bark her 50 offer and Cherie would wonder what he'd really been doing on all his past outings. He figured he'd better have a darn good explanation for the 'Boss'. As they jogged into the turn that would take them past the corner, Tony became even more apprehensive than usual. Sure enough, there was the hooker. Tony tried to avoid the prostitute's eyes as she watched the pair jog past.

Then, from the sidewalk, the hooker yelled, "See what you get for five quid?!"

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STATE MOTTOS

Alabama
Hell Yes, We Have Electricity.

Alaska
11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!

Arizona
But It's A Dry Heat.

Arkansas
Literacy Ain't Everything.

California
By 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda!

Colorado
If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother.

Connecticut
Like Massachusetts, Only The Kennedy's Don't Own It Yet.

Delaware
We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water.

Florida
Ask Us About Our Grandkids.

Georgia
We Put The Fun In Fundamentalist Extremism.

Hawaii
Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death To Mainland Scum,Leave Your Money)

Idaho
More Than Just Potatoes... Well, Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good

Illinois
Please, Don't Pronounce the "S"

Indiana
2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free

Iowa
We Do Amazing Things With Corn

Kansas
First Of The Rectangle States

Kentucky
Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names

Louisiana
We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, But That's Our Tourism Campaign.

Maine
We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster

Maryland
If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It

Massachusetts
Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's

Michigan
First Line Of Defense From The Canadians

Minnesota
10,000 Lakes...And 10,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes

Mississippi
Come And Feel Better About Your Own State

Missouri
Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work

Montana
Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, Right-wing Crazies, and Very Little Else.

Nebraska
Ask About Our State Motto Contest

Nevada
Hookers and Poker!

New Hampshire
Go Away And Leave Us Alone

New Jersey
You Want A ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto! Right here!

New Mexico
Lizards Make Excellent Pets

New York
You Have The Right To Remain Silent, You Have The Right To An Attorney...

North Carolina
Tobacco Is A Vegetable

North Dakota
We Really Are One Of The 50 States!

Ohio
At Least We're Not Michigan

Oklahoma
Like The Play, But No Singing

Oregon
Spotted Owl...It's What's For Dinner

Pennsylvania
Cook With Coal

Rhode Island
We're Not REALLY An Island

South Carolina
Remember The Civil War? Well, We Didn't Actually Surrender Yet

South Dakota
Closer Than North Dakota

Tennessee
The Edyoocashun State

Texas
Se Hablo Ingles

Utah
Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus

Vermont
Ay, Yep

Virginia
Who Says Government Stiffs And Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?

Washington
We have more rain than you do

West Virginia
One Big Happy Family...Really!

Wisconsin
Come Cut The Cheese!

Wyoming
Where Men Are Men... And The Sheep Are Scared

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At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question.

"When not interfered with by outside influences,everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. "I believe, that when a child like Shay comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child."

Then he told the following story: Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.

Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?"

Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging. Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play.

The boy looked around for guidance and, getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and turned and threw the ball on a high arc to right field, far beyond the reach of the first baseman.

Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!"

Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base.He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"

By the time Shay rounded first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions and intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home.

Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!"

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay, run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up that opportunity, and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?