Friday Funday

This meme isn’t really very funny as it has gotten to triple digits here in my corner of Texas. High humidity, too, which makes the heat as heavy as an old quilt with feather ticking.

Meme that shows a sign over a highway with cars below it. Wordage on sign: 100 is the temperature, not the speed limit.

While I sit with ice on my hip, I browse the Internet and recently read an interesting story about termites at Nice News. As the name of the site suggests, the stories there are upbeat, positive, and often shed light on fascinating little-known facts. I subscribe to their newsletter when I want to get away from the downers in the regular news.

It appears that the nasty, er, interesting bug has some benefits. Read on to see what I mean:

Image showing the life cycle of a termite, as well as the place they hold in the colony. From Egg, to Worker, to Soldier, to Reproductive, to Winged Reproductive, to King, to Queen, to Secondary Queen.

Evidence of termites in your house or on your deck is the stuff of nightmares, but along the Buffels River in South Africa, thousands of mounds belonging to the insects hold precious insight into our past. The hills were recently determined to be the world’s oldest inhabited termite mounds, thought to date as far back as between 13,000 and 34,000 years ago.

“This is more than just an interesting scientific find or historical curiosity,” researcher Michele Francis wrote for The Conversation. “It offers a window into what our planet looked like tens of thousands of years ago, providing a living archive of environmental conditions that shaped our world.”

One of the most important findings is the further confirmation that termites play a significant role in Earth’s carbon cycle. Francis and her colleagues, who began researching groundwater in the area in 2021, determined that the mounds have been accumulating carbon for millennia. And by studying them, scientists could learn more about mitigating climate change.

“This is a long-term carbon storage method that carbon storage companies are trying to replicate to reduce atmospheric carbon,” wrote Francis, adding that “integrating these findings into environmental policies can help promote practices that support natural carbon sinks.”

More about the beneficial role termites play in saving carbon can be found in the full article by Michele Francis, World’s Oldest Termite Mounds in South Africa.


The following is an excerpt from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant and a Paycheck. The book is made up of stories from the weekly humor column I used to write for a Dallas suburban newspaper, The Plano Star Courier. An agent once suggested I compile the columns into a book, so eventually that happened.

Enjoy this part of the chapter on Summertime Blues.

This was when I got hit with a summertime problem much worse than grubs in my lawn, army worms devouring my garden, or the challenge of how we would pay our latest electric bill. Although the latter did have a direct impact on this problem I called The Summertime Blues, more commonly known as, Would I Ever Make It Through The Next Six Weeks Until The Kids Go Back To School?

Six more weeks of carting them all over town to different activities to ward off the wave of boredom that threatened to overcome us. And with their unerring instinct of gratefulness, they threw a fit when I asked them to take their dirty socks off the kitchen table.

Six more weeks of, “It’s too hot to mow the lawn.” But they were willing to risk a heat stroke to ride their bikes up to the local supermarket for candy, or go to the park to play a game of baseball.

And somehow, I always got elected to serve refreshments to the whole team.

Six more weeks of stupid, senseless, sibling in-fighting:

“Get your stinky foot out of my face!”

“You threw my shorts on the floor so you can just go pick them up.”

“You always throw my clothes on the floor. So I don t have to pick your stupid shorts up.”

“If you change that channel, I’ll break your arm!”

“I want to watch something else.”

“You always get to watch what you want to.”

“Nuh-uh … cause you’re always watching your stupid shows.”

“If you don’t leave me alone, I’m going to punch your face in.”

“Mom! He’s going to punch my face in.”

“Move over, you’re bumping me.”

“If you touch me again, I’ll break your finger.”

“You don’t scare me.”

“Quit looking at me.”

“Mom make him quit looking at me!”

Sometimes they covered all that in one morning, which left five weeks and six and a half days to think of new things to moan and complain about.

“There’s nothing to do.”?

“Why don’t you play a game with your brother?”

“With David?”

“Okay, then, why don’t you help me clean the house, then I’ll play a game with you.”

“I guess I’ll just watch T.V.”

“We never have any fun.”

“All we ever do is work. Don’t you ever work?”

“I always do my chores and David never does his.”

“Why is it always so hot? Why can’t we have a pool?”

“Why do I have to go to bed? I’m not even tired.”


It’s been a long time since I’ve shared jokes on the blog, so that’s about to be remedied. The following bits of humor come from The Laugh Factory Enjoy!

President Lincoln was approached by a woman after a political speech… If you were my husband I would poison your tea. Lincoln replied…if you are my wife I’ll gladly drink it.

So a man dies, goes to Heaven, and sees St. Peter. There are many clocks surrounding him so the man asks, “What are these clocks for?”

St. Peter replies, “These are lie clocks, they tick once for every lie you tell. Here we have Mother Teresa’s clock. She has never lied so the clock has not moved. Honest Abe has only lied twice in his life, so it has only ticked twice.”

The man then asks, “So where is George Bush’s clock?”

St. Peter replies, “Oh, that is in Jesus’ office, he is using it as a ceiling fan!”

I told my girlfriend she drew her eyebrows too high. She seemed surprised.

What time is it when the clock strikes 13?

Time to get a new clock.

That’s all from me for now folks. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Mine is going to be quiet and much of the same routine trying to recover from surgery. It’s a slow process.

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