the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

Filtering by Tag: humor

Entertaining Video

I needed an entertaining video to use for my test as we make the switch over from Google Video to YouTube for our Video Hosting needs. I understand some of you have been having troubles with our old videos. I am assured by Google that Google Video will still be supported, so be patient when viewing our old posts, but here's the way new videos will be posted.

OK GO - Here it Goes Again (Treadmill Video)

We really enjoyed this wonderfully choreographed video from Swedish band OK GO's hit project Oh, No where four guys, eight treadmills and one remote control add up to a lot of fun. Some time ago, Lori was reading through some of our favorite missionary blogs and came across this light hearted post from RelevantGirl (Mary DeMuth).

Upbeat sounds, radio mix distortions and beautifully unmatched clothes are reminiscent of bands gone by (where have you gone Room Full of Walters?) and this video should get your feet tapping and your eyes smiling. Apparently, this song was also featured on the Scrubs season six premiere, so you will probably hear more of it soon. (AND, while I'm thinking about it, thanks again Andy Engdahl for Scrubs season three!) Hope you all enjoy...

Funny :: Beware of things made in October

October! The greatest month of sports is upon us. Football, basketball, hockey and baseball's fall classic. How sweet it is. I want to commemorate the kickoff of this month (and the launch of the newest addition to The Vernon Journal media suite) with a commercial that has had a special place in my heart for many years now (yes, it's because it celebrates a Yankees champoinship). Enjoy!

More Fun with Language

I'm always whining about how difficult it is to learn a tonal language, especially a tribal one without classes, books or cds. (See, don't you feel sorry for me?!) Tonal languages are notoriously difficult to learn for ....well, anyone who's native language is not tonal.

Anyway, my last post reminded me about another funny language compilation. I say "funny", but I'm sure that if I were learning English I would call it "infuriating!" All these homonyms make me wonder how the English language has made it all these years without tones to differentiate between them. See for your self...

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  • Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
  • I was proven right that I had the right of way

(Click here to read more "Reasons why the English language is hard to learn.")

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Fun with language

In my recent desperation to overcome a serious case of writer's block, I did a google search on "tips for writing". Somewhere amidst the flurry of clicks, I ran across this silly page about How to Write Good. While it didn't automatically cure my writer's block, it did give me a needed break from the somber post I was writing. Just "follow these tips, and you'll be writing gooder in no time!"

A few of my favorite are:

  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  • Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  • Parenthentical words however must be enclosed in commas.
  • It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake
  • Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors - even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  • Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

Finally, in honor of my high school writing teacher, Mrs. Trow, who made us write excruciating papers without a single "to be" verb....

  • The passive voice should not be used.

I love these things! Does that make me a total nerd? Oh well!

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Down a Slippery Slope...

We've just returned from several great weeks in the village! It seems like every trip to the village yields some great stories and this trip was no exception to the rule. As you may know, it is currently rainy season in Thailand. It rains almost everyday for at least an hour or two, but sometimes it seems to drizzle or rain all day & night. (Which by the way, makes it very difficult to hang your laundry out to dry... but that's beside the point!) Well, one of those especially rainy days we were invited to visit a another village in our area. Now, our language is progressing, but often we don't quite understand all the details of what is being told to us. So, we were somewhat surprised to learn that the village we were visiting would take an hour & a half on foot over muddy paths down the side of a mountain. Paul & I consider ourselves to be somewhat athletic & coordinated people. Unfortunately, it seems that any coordination we ever possessed was left behind in America! As we progressed down the mountain we were slipping & sliding all over the place! The combination of a muddy path & slippery, wet sandals was just too much for us to navigate. To add insult to injury, our guides were two older Akha women (who couldn't have weighed more than 100 pounds each) and neither one of them mis-stepped once!

At one point, both Paul & I went clumsily careening down a certain section of path to find ourselves muddy and wet at the bottom. Our Akha traveling companions thought that we were the funniest thing they had ever seen and we all had good laugh! I'm sure we were quite a sight!

Well, long story short, we ended up abandoning our sandals and taking most of the trip in our bare feet. (Quite fun!) We had a great visit at the village and the trip back up the mountain was much less eventful. Apparently, “going up” takes much less skill than “going down.”

After a long, wet, adventurous day we could only be grateful for the experience. This is why we are living in the village after all, to learn & understand all the nuances of Akha culture.... like their uncanny ability to maintain their footing on a slippery slope!

Arachnophobia

All of you now know that we are living in a bamboo house (see our pictures). There are, of course, many gaps and openings for any number of things to get into our home but generally we do not have problems with bugs or lizards or anything bothering us. The great thing about the open air environment is that little critters can get out as easily as they can get in. And, as the saying goes, they're more scared of us than we are of them. While that old saying is generally true, it becomes irrelevant if the intruder is a spider, for there Lori and I share a common phobia. In Colorado, especially in Golden, we came across a number of Black Widows in our time and quite honestly the idea that something so small can be that dangerous was enough to set a pretty permanent fear in us. It was really the only thing we hoped to avoid when were moving to Thailand (well, that and Lori had this thing about leeches, which by the way is another story you should ask me about sometime).

So the other day we were cleaning the sawdust left from all the insects who are slowly eating our home from our containers (we keep everything in containers for cleanliness, dust and bugs) when Lori very animantly called me over with a "Oh my goodness there is a huge spider". I had heard this statement before and my common response question of "how big?" was caught in my throat as I saw an enormous spider on our shelf, almost eye-level to Lori. It probably would have fit very comfortably in the palm of my hand, although I don't believe I ever could survive such and experience.

But worst of all, worse than the giant spider, was the fact that it was holding beneath its body a sac of eggs about the size of an old 50-cent piece. We went about talking how to kill it but it was very fast and after a number of attempts to smash it and trap it, it ended up on one of the posts that supports our house. We swung at it but it circled the post and ended up on a bamboo beam that goes over our bed. An interesting thing about bamboo. Because it is hollow you can tap on it like a drum, and as that spider raced across the beam over our bed we could hear every step it took clicking on the bamboo. Of course it was a brave moment for us, Lori began screaming and I ducked away as the spider crossed into our living room.

It was at this point Lori decided we needed help. She ran out to the village and told the first woman she saw that there was a large something (we don't know the word for spider) in our home that needed to be killed. The woman asked "How Big?" and Lori put her hands in a circle. The woman screamed to the men in the village and four of them jumped up, grabbed huge sticks and came racing to our house. Lori was very impressed at their exuberance.

However, when they arrived in our home to find me threatening a spider their excitement faded. You see, they thought we had a four-inch diameter snake in our home. They knocked the spider down and killed it with their sticks (see it really was that big) and left quite humored by the "Pa La"s.

Now we're just scared of enormous snakes.

Oooops!

Did you know that they drive on the left side of the road in Thailand? It was for this reason that I was rather surprised when Nancy asked me if I was ready for to try my hand at it this afternoon. Apparently everyone was away or busy and I was the only person available to pick up her two sons, Zion & Silas, from school. So, being the adventurous gal that I am, I agreed. And after finding a suitable co-pilot and some quick directions, we were on our way. Now, there are a few main differences aside from the obvious. For one, the driver sits on the right side. So, you must change gears with the left hand instead of the right (which requires extra attention if it's a stick shift.) Another difference, I figured out as we were pulling out of the driveway. I flipped on my turn signal on and my windshield wipers started going full speed. You guessed it, the turn signal and windshield wipers are opposite, too.

brokenmirror Other than those small adjustments everything seemed to be going well. After about 10 km on the same road it was time to make my first turn (really more of a "veer"). As I turned, I was really focusing on NOT hitting the cars on my right (it's quite an adjustment to have oncoming traffic to the right) and apparently I didn't pay enough attention to my left and well... I hit a pole on the side of the road! Now before you get scared, let me clarify. I really only nicked the pole with my side view mirror. But unfortunately, it was just hard enough to shatter the mirror! You'll be happy to know that the rest of the trip was quite uneventful. After we arrived at the school to pick up the boys, they thought my little mishap was quite funny and couldn't wait to tell on me. I ended up bribing them with candy to keep quiet until I had a chance to tell Nancy myself.

Everyone here had been very understanding and they all say, "Don't worry, it happens to everyone!" It doesn't seem to be a big deal, especially since the repair costs are so cheap out here. (It will probably only cost $25-50 to repair the damage). All in all, We've had some pretty good laughs about it and it's a great story, One that we'll tell for years to come.

Mmmmmmmm... Illiteracy!

Oh, the joys of illiteracy! Take our experiences yesterday. We were looking for breakfast and ended up in a 7-11 (finding this to be the least "risky" of the available options... we're still pretty new at all of this). We settled on two strawberry yogurts and a bag of plain white dinner rolls. But I digress. Back to the joys of illiteracy. What is it like not being able to read anything around us? Sometimes it makes life fun, just guess and hope that what you get looks like the picture.

muffinsOther times it can be rather humbling, like today when we went cell phone shopping. The best and cheapest way to communicate here seems to be with a cell phone, but the cell phone system is totally different than the one we have in the states. We were completely lost and surely would have been ripped off if not for the help of our friend Neng. He taught us everything we needed to know about buying a cell phone... and we taught him a little about the importance of communication in marriage (example: when Lori wants the pretty phone and Paul wants the phone with all the gadgets).

We have met a number of Thai and Farang (the Thai call western foreigners "Farang") friends here at the Good News Study Center in just a few days time. This area is teeming with the young adults that we seem to click with. While we have enjoyed our time in Bangkok (which is a first for us), we look forward to getting out of the city and up to the North. So now, armed with a cell phone that does not work (we have to buy a "little microchip card with a telephone number" when we get to Chiang Rai) and all 300 pounds of our luggage, we're on the move again.

We leave for Chiang Rai this afternoon and hope to settle in a little before guests begin to arrive for graduation on March 12th. Please continue to pray for us - as we know that these first few weeks will be crucial to our adjustment to life here. Pray that we would be especially attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit – especially in what we say. Continue to pray also for our marriage and devotional lives as these next few weeks will be especially busy.

A Day at the Races

Paul losing his DirtbikeLori honed her motorcycle skills. Paul, on the other hand, got his introduction to the wild world of dirtbikes. And let me say - it is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like riding a bike. On Paul's first attempt (after several hundred kickstarts) the dirtbike went for a merry little ride without him. Eventually, however, he got the idea of what he was supposed to be doing. Now he'll really be thrown into the fire - riding scooters around Chiang Rai on the Left side of the street.

Lori and her DirtbikeAll in all we had a great day with Gary and Jan and got a little bit of our nervous energy out. Yes, we are nervous. More and more so as Tuesday approaches.

Well, we're off to begin the packing process. Please remember us in your prayers as we go through one more round of tough decisions.

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