Western Bluebird in Mesquite

Western Bluebirds Basking in the Morning Sunlight

Quotation MarksWestern Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) are transitory visitors in the Sonoran Desert, so I am avidly “stalking” these flighty birds before they abandon us for cooler environs. Not an easy proposition with these mercurial and wary little guys. This photo is from my second day’s attempt, but I am determined to get close enough to fill the frame with a bluebird using my 300mm lens.

Still, I like the pattern of this little cluster of birds perched in a tall Mesquite tree (Prosopis) basking in the igneous morning light. They were waiting for the gale force (well, it felt gale force in the cold morning temperatures) winds to die down before they began the hunt for an insectivore breakfast. Yum. I pursued the coterie from tree to tree, and ground to tree, but they eluded me each time a genial logorrheic person would stop to visit.

I contend, though, that I will, doggone it (!), get a close shot! Prayer would be appreciated. ;-)

—AdL

(To purchase any of my photos, visit my photography site: on the 5th Day Photography)

Written on January 6th, 2012 , Mid-Week Giggle, Photo of the Week
Kangaroo Nerds

Hey! Nerds rule!

Quotation MarksWe are coming into nature photography season here in the Sonoran Desert, (thank You, God, finally) so the Mid-Week Giggle is going on hiatus for at least a few months. In the mean time, here is one last giggle.
I love the Far Side, and Gary Larson’s wacky sense of humor. Here are just a few of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
—AdL

Bumper Sticker

My Honor Roll standing just doesn’t seem that impressive anymore.

Curiosity

Kiwi is giggling hysterically to herself right now.

Reindeer Games

When reindeer games transition to reindeer as game.

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Written on October 13th, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle

Movie Error Page 093011

Did we pay $14 to see this?! (Actual photo of movie screen)

Quotation Marks(Based on a true story.) This past weekend the spouse-unit and I, Mr. and Mrs. Decisive, thought we might like to see a movie. Looked up the schedule online and narrowed it down to two choices: Transformers: Dark of the Moon or Captain America. (Yes, I am talking about the first weekend of October 2011.)

“Which one do you want to see?”
“I’m not sure. What’s your preference?”
“I don’t know. Don’t you know what you want to see?”
“I’m undecided.”
“What about Captain America?”
“I was leaning toward that, but wasn’t sure. Is that what you want to see?”
“I guess. Is that okay with you?”
“Y-e-a-h, I guess we can see that. Do we have time?”
“An hour and a half. Is that enough time?”
“It takes us 15 minutes to get there. Maybe.”
“Let try it.”
A DECISION!

Mr. & Mrs. Decisive have no problem choosing a parking spot at the mall; it is the only one in the shade. You understand if you live in the Sonoran Desert. (See JUST FOR FUN: You May Live in the Sonoran Desert If… to learn more.)

Once inside…

“Do we have time to go look in that store before the movie?”
“Uh…I’m not sure. What time is it? We have an hour and a quarter.”
“What do you think?”
“It’s cutting it a little short.” (I kid you not.)
“I think we have time.”
“Okay.”
We have CONSENSUS!

Finally at the cashier buying tickets…

“Two tickets for Captain America.”
Cashier: “Two for Captain Amer…Captain America?” The cashier gawped at Mr. & Mrs. D (the obviously obtuse antediluvian elderly folks). “That movie’s been gone for awhile.”
“What?”
“But we just looked at the schedule online, and it was on there.”
Cashier: …
“What do you want to see instead?”
“Uh…” Stare at board. No Transformers either. Great. No idea what to watch.
“We’ll be back.”
Cashier: “Whatever.”

Mr. & Mrs. D slink abashedly toward an ultra-comfortable acrylic (sarcasm intended) bench, and stare at a board of completely unrecognizable movie titles. Now what?
“Do you have any ideas?”
“No. Do you?”
“Do you recognize any of those movies?”
“No. Do you?”
“I know about Dolphin Tale.”
“Oh.”
“I wouldn’t mind seeing that. It looked okay.”
“I’d rather not.”
“Okay. What do you want to see?
“I don’t know.”

"Dialogue" condensed out of pity for my readers.

“Well, what do you want to do then?”
“We could go see what store went in to the old Borders store.”
“Sounds exciting, but you know how I hate shopping.”
“Then what do you want to do?”
“I’d like to see a movie.”
“But there’s nothing we want to see.”
“Do you have a better idea?”
“Not really. Isn’t there anything else you want to do?”
“No ideas come to mind. Do you have any suggestions?”
“No.”
“Okay.”

"Dialogue" condensed out of pity for my readers.

Silence. Minutes pass. Big sighs.
“There must be something you’re willing to see?”
“Not really.”
“How bad can Dolphin Tale be?”
“I don’t know.”
“We’re here already, and I would hate to waste all that effort.”
“Y-e-a-h, I guess that makes sense. We can try it.”
“Okay.”
A FINAL DECISION!

During the movie…

Mr. & Mrs. D enjoy the movie more than expected, and the spouse-unit especially appreciates the Ride of the Valkyrie.

During a scene about a hurricane that hits Florida, a six-year-old pipes up from behind the Ds.
Six-year-old: Why does it look like that?
Grandfather: That’s what happens after a hurricane.
Six-year-old: Why don’t they just go someplace else?
Stunned silence.
Six-year-old: Why is everything broken?
Grandfather: The hurricane blew everything down?
Six-year-old: They should fix it.
From the mouth of babes.

After the movie…

“Where do you want to go now?”
“I don’t know.”
“Me either.”

With mercy and consideration for my readers, we will fade out here. Just think, if it is tedious and painful to read, imagine living it. The upside is that same equanimity is the reason we never argue. ;-)

—AdL

Written on October 5th, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle
Full_Book_of_Isaiah_2006-06-06

Word of God

Quotation MarksHaving perused the Bible cover to cover, lived it completely and intimately, and become a doctrinal sage, I’ve discovered some fundamental Godly principles to building devout relationships. I, myself, have perfected these ten commandments, and I’m confident that you too, as sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, can apply these commandments with great success and rich rewards.

Commandment #1 Rebuke any flaws you see in others
It’s your Spiritual gift to exhort those around you, especially other brothers and sisters in Christ, and because you’re a quintessential Christian you are consummately qualified to do so. Don’t worry if you have the same flaw—that’s different; you are sanctified.

Commandment #2 If you covet, name it and claim it—for yourself
In His Tenth Commandment, God only specified coveting your neighbor’s belongings, so excluding your immediate neighbors, you may covet all you want. (You can trust me; I have direct revelation.) If you can’t acquire what they have, at least sabotage them so they can’t either. They need to rededicate their lives to Christ anyway.

Commandment #3 Never observe with, or relate to, different perspectives.
There is only one perspective. Yours. In fact, insist that others adopt your perspective. It’s the only perfect and legitimate one, and after all, you are building unity in the body of Christ.

Commandment #4 Apply bigotry and stereotypes preemptively
Be sure to form opinions before you meet others; it’s too easy to perceive others as children of God, and thus fall into the trap of approval and respect, unless you take time to prejudge. Then you might just find yourself in the awkward position of admiring one of “them.” That could ruin your whole testimony.

Commandment #5 Confess to others that you bear the formidable burden of infallibility
When you’re right, (What am I saying? You are always right.) apprise others ad infinitum. There is no sunset clause on this commandment. Regards of the incident’s antiquity, remind others of your accuracy; don’t forget to point out their fallibility. In fact, if anyone accuses you of error, mention their previous blasphemous errata, and their obvious need to repent.

Commandment #6 Administer rumors and gossip unceasingly
You are called to edify others with your discernment, and to demolish Satan’s strongholds in the lives of others. Moreover people are flattered by all the attention they receive in the form of stares and whispers. The best source is your church’s prayer chain; use it extensively.

Commandment #7 Never accommodate the temperament or preference of others
It is their duty to follow your headship in the body of Christ, for the head does not answer to the armpit. If they prefer a straightforward delivery, be circuitous and devious. If they live for a lighthearted manner, be morose and intense. If they are sensitive, and require a gentle approach, be harsh and punitive. And if they are introverted and self-driven, bully and correct them every day—multitudinously, if you can manage it; never surrender to weariness.

Commandment #8 Never admit you are wrong
It is your viewpoint, and you have a right to persevere in it, despite how silly you may look afterward. You are never wrong anyway. It’s God’s anointing in your life. Let everyone know that.

Codicil to Commandment #8
If you are proven wrong, deny it vehemently, and inundate your accuser with excuses and justifications. No excuse or justification is too lame. The objective is to prove the other person wrong, heedless of any perceived injury. You are building a hedge of thorns about them to bring those stray sheep back to the Lord (as exemplified in Hosea 2:6).

Commandment #9 Reveal no humility
Humility is for the weak, and, need I remind you, for lesser mortals than such as yourself. You are justified in the blood of Christ. There’s no reason to get legalistic now.

Commandment #10 Show no mercy
Mercy is also for the weak. What are you, a doormat? Remember to always follow Jesus’ example. Never mind that adulteress He saved from stoning, or that despicable tax collector upon whom He took pity, or even that He died for our sins, which need I remind you, weren’t even His. Just meditate on that time He chastised people with names like, “white-washed sepulchers,” or “hypocrites,” or that time He assailed the temple with a whip. Work yourself up into a righteous fervor whenever you are opposed, never you mind that you aren’t righteous; you’re living victoriously. Furthermore, see Commandment #8.

These precepts may feel awkward at first, but persevere, and soon you will discover that you like and respect yourself more, even if others do not.

If you want to know more about building great relationships, go directly to the Source yourself, and these are good passages with which to begin:

  • Romans 3:22
  • Romans 12:3-21
  • I Corinthians 12:12-31
  • Philippians 2:1-11
  • 1 John 3:11-24

May God be with you on your exciting and fulfilling crusade!

©2007 A. deLeeuw
Written on September 28th, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle

Redneck Duck Hunters

Quotation MarksKnowing my ridiculous love of animals, and especially birds, you might wonder why I have a Mid-Week Giggle about duck hunting. Well, these “ducks” are completely unharmed, and actually volunteer for huntee-duty. This video was forwarded to me by my friend Nancy (thanks Nancy!), and I had to watch it several times…and laughed each time. I had never heard of the Jackass (No, it is not a profanity. Look it up.) franchise, but I have to admit that after looking over their videos on You Tube, I wholeheartedly concur with their choice of names.

The video really needs no commentary, as it is silly enough on its own, but I must point out the flippers and feather-covered underwear for special note. Is that to add to the realism? I shall let you decide. The full-length version is below, and obviously video recorded from the TV. (Please note, there is some profanity in this video, so you can either skip this version, or if you prefer, watch it without audio; you won’t miss much other than the, “Quack quack, quack,” and, “Pull.”) Giggle on.

—AdL

Only guys would come up with this!

Written on September 21st, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle
ABC Distributing 091111

Merry Capitamas(?)

Quotation MarksI know I’m not the first to gripe about Capitalism Christmas (or Capitamas), but September 9th is just crazy early to receive my first Christmas catalog. In addition to the ridiculous date, though, this tome contained some priceless gems too good to pass up for a Mid-Week Giggle. I hope you laugh as much as I did! :-)

Elvis Potato Head 090811

Is this meant to be flattering?

Mood Polish 090811

The husbands out there might appreciate this, but the wives are all saying, “But he should already know what I’m thinking.”

Friend Cutting Board 091111

Are knives supposed to be a part of friendship?

Flavored Lip Balm 090811

Wait…I was supposed to do what with them? I thought they were for dessert.

Love Plaque 091111

Does anyone else see an argument brewing?

Written on September 14th, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle
Nothing New Under the Sun

Under the Sun

Quotation MarksSolomon once said, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new?’” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10) And I thought, Really? Pshaw. That can’t be true. He never saw HMOs, Spam®, pet rocks, fly paper, Rock’em Sock’em®, Velcro®, disco,…Oreos®(!). All sorts of new things. With some contemplation, though, I began to discern that he is speaking rhetorically about humanity’s tendencies and habits. As an example, I cite Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey as witness of just how immutable male and female traits remain, even two centuries later.

First, a little background about Jane Austen and her work. Jane Austen is a much beloved British novelist from the turn of the 18th century, who is known for her ready wit and acid tongue. Of her six novels, I find her at her sarcastic best in Northanger Abbey, her satire of Gothic romance novels, which always leaves me giggling to myself. She has a running commentary throughout the novel about society, etiquette and the duplicity sometimes concealed therein. What I couldn’t overlook, though, was her portrayal of the characteristics of men and women of that period, because they are almost identical to modern stereotypes these more than two hundred years later.

Let me here quote from Northanger Abbey: “…they all three set off in good time for the Pump-room, where the ordinary course of events and conversation took place: Mr. Allen, after drinking his glass of water, joined some gentlemen to talk over the politics of the day and compare the accounts of their newspapers; and the ladies walked about together, noticing every new face, and almost every new bonnet in the room.” That could be any mall or modern meeting place, if one simply substitutes “cup of coffee” for “glass of water,” and “outfit” for “bonnet.”

Which of you men out there haven’t rolled your eyes at a wife/girlfriend’s exchange that sounds something like this? “Compliments on good looks now passed; and, after observing how time had slipped away since they were last together, how little they had thought of meeting in Bath, and what a pleasure it was to see an old friend, they proceeded to make inquiries and give intelligence as to their families, sisters, and cousins, talking both together, far more ready to give than to receive information, and each hearing very little of what the other said.” Blah. Blah. Blah. “…Mrs. Allen had no similar information to give, no similar triumphs to press on the unwilling and unbelieving ear of her friend, and was forced to sit and appear to listen to all these maternal effusions, consoling herself, however, with the discovery, which her keen eye soon made, that the lace on Mrs. Thorpe’s pelisse was not half so handsome as that on her own.”

And which of you women out there wouldn’t recognize this discussion about a much-prized new vehicle? “Curricle-hung, you see; seat, trunk, sword-case, splashing-board, lamps, silver moulding,—all, you see, complete; the iron-work as good as new, or better. He asked fifty guineas. I closed with him directly, threw down the money, and the carriage was mine.” And the accompanying “engine”: “But look at his forehand; that horse cannot go less than ten miles an hour: tie his legs, and he will get on.”

As absurd as it sounds, perhaps Solomon was correct; there is nothing new under the sun! However, considering that the spouse-unit and I are interested in neither of these stereotypical colloquy topics, perhaps we are new under the sun! Or just a pair of fruit loops. ;-)

—AdL

Written on September 7th, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle
Mid-Week Giggle

You’re how old?

Quotation MarksAging…it hunts us all down eventually, so why not invite It in to have a cup of coffee, a pastry, and make friends with it. It’s sitting there on the doorstep anyway, so why ignore it? Here is my attempt at making friends…

  • the only one who thinks you’re cool is the HVAC serviceman
  • you begin to wear out your slippers faster than your gym shoes
  • you’re only 45, but you have a grandchild older than a nicely aged wine
  • the doctors begin calling you “Sir or Ma’am”
  • if you tried to pluck all your gray hairs you would look like a wombat with mange.
  • you discover your five-year-old niece knows how to use Facebook and you do not. (true story)
  • you have scars older than the recent Oscar winner
  • your neighbor sends their kids to ask you what a chalkboard is
  • your waistline is now longer than your inseam
  • you wonder why you ever thought it was fun to stay over night with a friend, eat candy and soda until you were sick, watch movies, listen to music and laugh until four in the morning, sleep on a hard floor, arise at eight in the morning and return home
  • you still whine about homework, but now you mean: weeding, laundry, shoveling, vacuuming, painting, scrubbing, etc.
  • when others exclaim about the rolls and muffins you brought to the potluck, they are referring to the ones around your waist
  • you think it endearing that so many young people seem to be ornitho-philes, and frequently “twitter” on about their hobby
  • your grandchild practices counting…using your age spots
  • the only “grass” you contemplate using is as a means to increase fiber in your diet
  • the only bottles you’re “hitting” are prescription bottles
  • you are astonished to learn that a “pad” no longer has margins and rule lines, and you can’t figure out any way to use a pencil with it
  • your coworkers child wants you to help them with their civil war history homework; they want a first-person account
  • you no longer choose what to eat based on what sounds good, but rather what won’t exacerbate your: heartburn, indigestion, cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, etc.
  • you’re flattered that hostesses begin to “card you” until you realize it’s for the senior discount
  • math finally begins to make sense: age is definitely inversely proportional to sex appeal

As long as your going to sit there and sag, wrinkle, and gray, you might as well laugh about it with the rest of us. :-)

—AdL

Written on August 31st, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle
Moo Means Moo

I would never have guessed that without the aside.

Quotation MarksTranslating anything can be formidable, but witty dialog, colloquialisms and idioms are especially tricky. The spouse-unit, who has a Masters’ degree in German, can attest to the complexity of employing connotation versus denotation. The subtitle translations included here are nowhere near that subtle, or even lucid, for that matter. We must, of course, be charitable, and recognize that English is probably not their native language. And heck, they are doing a better job than I can, as I am functionally illiterate in all languages other than English. (We can debate my English literacy level later.) We can giggle (or guffaw, as the case may be) to ourselves, but we can overlook their (Dare I say it?) superfluity of, albeit unintentional, foe paws. (Uh, faux pas?)

The captioning blunders, however, are a different matter. After all, closed-captioning® is for the hearing-impaired, not by the hearing-impaired, the implication being, closed-caption-ers can indeed hear, and are captioning in their native language. Needless to say (though I shall anyway), they haven’t much in the way of an excuse, and yet they provide no shortage of giggles themselves. And thank goodness for that, as they can now (hopefully) provide all you working serfs out there a much-needed giggle. Enjoy!

—AdL

Silly Subtitles

Manly Dedication

Defending her honor, picking weeds and other yard work, or rearranging the furniture for the fourth time?

“I threat you! I challenge you meet me on the roof tonight for a duet!”

“A normal person wouldn’t steal pituitaries.”

“I got knife scars more than the number of your leg’s hair!”

Afro Nun

Would an Afro show underneath a wimple and veil? Never, never throw away common sense that it far too uncommon!

“Greetings, large black person. Let us not forget to form a team up together and go into the country to inflict the pain of our karate feats on some butt of the giant lizard person.”

“Yah-hah, evil spider woman! I have captured you by the short rabbits and can now deliver you violently to your doctor for a thorough extermination.”

“This will be of fine service for you, you bag of the scum. I am sure you will not mind that I remove your toenails and leave them out on the dessert floor for ants to eat.”
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Written on August 24th, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle

Learn How Scientists Discovered that Rats Laugh

Quotation MarksDo you ever have times when your inner-giggle gauge is stuck on empty? I have had a rough couple of weeks (perhaps you have, too), and my in-the-red giggle-gauge is showing the effects. I just could not find my inner-giggle this week, even with ideas I had previously set aside to post and had obviously found funny at the time.

Sunday I began trolling the Net for ideas…nothing funny, at least to a gray mood. On I went following a faint trail of sparks that led hither and yon with only an occasional hint of a Mona Lisa smile (How can I tell if she is smiling?) for all the hours wandering the dark alleyways and dead ends in the who-knows-where backwaters of the Net. Then yesterday I resorted to the Main Street environs, or its web counterpart, YouTube. (I know it has millions of entertaining videos, but I somehow feel like I’m “cheating” by resorting to well-known material.) Nonetheless, here I am “cheating” again this week.

Although I have no recollection of my original search, I happened upon an educational video regarding rats laughing. Yes, I know, how effective can an educational video be for inducing a mid-week giggle, however, it was the first mouse-click (rat-click?) that induced a smile.

Okay…confession time. I love rats. Yes, those ugly, creepy, dirty, destructive rodents. This will come as no shock to many of you who know me; after all, I fell in love with a gecko that lived under my cockatoo’s cage, made room for rock squirrels to live in my shed (alas, the spouse-unit wasn’t as thrilled as I about them destroying a broom to use for nesting material), and empathized with a frightened cockroach in the local mall. Thus, my initial interest in the video was the rats, but I chose the video because I was simply delighted to listen to the rats giggle whenever they were tickled, and I wanted to share that delight with you.

Then I realized I had this week’s Mid-Week Giggle. What better lesson in laughter than to watch and listen to some of God’s simplest creations express their delight with life. So…for your mid-week pleasure and edification, as well as mine, a lesson in laughter from God and His Creation. I hope you will join in with their laughter, as did I! Thank You, Lord, for renewing my inner-giggle! :-)

—AdL

Why does Darth Vader come to mind?

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Written on August 17th, 2011 , Just for Fun, Mid-Week Giggle

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Nature Photography and Stories from the Sonoran Desert