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Is pizza James Madison’s favorite food? October 15, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Once again, a group of unwitting or unwary folks from across the web and across the world have stumbled onto our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, via wacky blog search phrases (aka “search engine terms”). Here are our favorites from this batch. As always, original phrase in bold, our response following. Enjoy!

is pizza james madison’s favorite food: No, he always went for the Big Mac. Dolley, who had a heartier appetite, was known to call for take-out every once in awhile, but unfortunately, by the time the Domino’s delivery horse reached the White House, the pizza was always cold.

what make is precious ramotswes van: We’re sure fans of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency would love to know, but Alexander McCall Smith has yet to reveal this vital piece of trivia. Mr. McCall Smith, we are waiting!

Pinched Richard’s: We beg your pardon!

scooping hyacinths: Er. This one has us stumped: two words we’d never have expected to see together. Readers, your thoughts?

orange peel under finger nail: In this case, we don’t think major surgery is required, unless it’s a brain transplant.

can yogurt grow: Well, yes, and quite colorfully, too! But unless you’re doing a lab experiment, we’d strongly advise against it.  

not responsible for typographical error: Tell your boss, not us.

when do stink bugs die: “When you step on them” would be a good bet.

how stinky citronella trees: That depends on how many stinkbugs live in them.

what is a peregrine parrot: We don’t know, but we’ll bet Baron Frankenstein had something to do with its creation.

is kleenex an invention or an innovation: We found this one intriguing. An invention is generally defined as a new creation, while an innovation is a change to or improvement on an existing creation. So we’d say that Kleenex is an innovation, a convenient disposable version of the cloth handkerchief.

That’s it for this batch! But no doubt we’ll soon be back with more…

         Your faithful bloggers,

                        Our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders


Poor alberts almanac. August 21, 2011

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Poor Albert. We don’t know who he is, but we do know that the wacky blog post searches have continued to pour in to Poor Richard’s Almanac as the summer progresses. Maybe it’s the heat?! Anyway, it’s time for another “best of” roundup. As always, search phrase in bold, our comment following. We hope you enjoy the latest batch as much as we have!

napoleon richard’s almanac, poor alberts almanac, poor richard almanac for texas: Um, whatever.

old blue and deer poem: “There once was a deer that was old and blue/If you were old and people were taking pot shots at you/You’d be blue too.” Does that work for you?

what to do if you don’t have a microwave: God help you. Clearly survival is not an option.

can you eat blight on tomatoes: Please let us know, but let’s just say we’re not planning to follow your example even if you survive.

Dutch recipes poor: We’ll refrain from passing judgement, since Dutch cuisine falls outside our ken. Guess it’s high time Silence Dogood looked into Dutch cuisine so we could see for ourselves.  

eat a james madison: Comment suppressed. Let’s just say we don’t think Mr. Madison would have been to our taste, tiny, bony thing that he was.

side effects of bourbon:  Trust us, they’re all good.

got sprayed by a stink bug on the hand, how long will stink bugs be around: Sprayed by a stink bug?! Maybe it was a mutant skunk. We hope your hand survives, or if not, that you donate it to science. As for how long stink bugs will be around, like kudzu, cockroaches, Japanese beetles, fleas, bedbugs, mosquitos, ticks, and poison ivy, however long it takes to torture human beings and take them to the edge.

blackened brie: Er. Is this for real? Sometimes we just don’t know. We’ve never heard of blackened Brie, but following the era of blackened everything, perhaps chefs are trying to expand. Please let us know if you know of or have tried it!

throw pennies at paul revere grave: This strikes us as disrespectful in the extreme. If you want to voluntarily part with your spare change, please throw it at us.

what cancels out garlic breath: Gas masks work. Or how about murder, or at least a good gag? Chewing fresh mint, cilantro, or ginger might also do the trick.

things to do with ripe tomatoes: Launching them on unsuspecting passersby is our favorite. (Who needs paintball?!) But whipping one out and splatting it in the face of the next petty official who demands ID is definitely an option. Who do they think they are?!

refrigerator pickles using ranch dressing: No, oh no. Silence says that pickles are great, ranch dressing is great, fresh cuke slices dipped in ranch dressing are great, but cukes pickled in ranch dressing are not just gross, how could they possibly be pickled?! She promises to write a post promoting the many benefits of fresh cukes soon. Meanwhile, please refrain from eating pickled cukes in ranch dressing.

red wine margarita recipe named after a car: Uh-huh. We’re not familiar with this drink. We doubt even Jimmy Buffett has ever heard of this one. To avoid a quality vacation in the hospital and/or jail, we suggest that you make sangria with your red wine, enjoy your margaritas straight up, and refrain from driving any car whatever after indulging in any of the above.  

That’s it for this batch! But we’re sure more are on the way…

Those horrid ratcoons. July 18, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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It’s once again time for wacky blog post searches (aka “search engine phrases”) here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. Some priceless examples have poured in over our virtual transom, and it’s time to clean house and make way for the inevitable next batch. We hope you enjoy these as much as we did! As always, search phrase in bold, our response following.

are ratcoons harmful: Yes. Along with their cousins, batcoons and catcoons, they’re some of the scariest critters found in nature. That, or they’re about to become recurring characters in the “Dilbert” cartoon strip. Watch this space for further updates.

nicknames for benjamin franklin’s poor richard almanac: Actually, we’ve never considered giving a nickname to Poor Richard’s Almanac. We have, however, considered adding a motto. Contenders include “All the news that interests us,” “Ben says it best,” “Where stinkbugs fear to tread,” and “Please send money.” Feel free to vote for your favorite. Or send money.

cranium game pirate true false: We realize that pirates in general have always been obsessed with skulls, especially when combined with crossbones or cutlasses. But this is ridiculous.

kill friendship bread: Looks like violence is everywhere these days. No place to run, no place to hide, even if you’re a harmless loaf of bread. Whatever happened to extending the hand of friendship? Guess there’s always somebody just waiting to chop it off.

is happiness more than a lack of tragedy??: We suddenly understand why plays like “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” have retained their popularity down through the years.

how can you tell if popcorn kernels are ole?: Get out a magnifying glass and look for the tiny ponchos and sombreros.

the most scariest disease: Grammatakemia, where grammar and spelling are inexorably destroyed by that greatest of cancers, ignorance.

danger pudding: This sounds like another attack on our culinary sensibilities, but Silence Dogood points out that it’s actually a recipe in one of the Sweet Potato Queens’ books. And that it sounds every bit as toxic as its name.

found a stray dog with rabies: Um, you can’t actually find our house on MapQuest, can you?

irt friend adult finder: We don’t know, we don’t want to know, lalala, we can’t hear you…

squash casserole served in texas prison: Having never personally been in a Texas prison, we can only say that, if the squash casserole is made from zucchini, inmates are definitely paying for their crimes…

Do buffaloes have wings? June 15, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, our virtual inbox is suddenly overflowing with those wild, wacky blog search phrases that cheer us all up so much. We often wonder what the searchers think when they find themselves on our blog, but we’re always grateful to them for brightening our day. Now it’s time to clear out the inbox and share the most priceless searches with all of you. As always, search phrase in bold, our comment following:

where did the stink bug go: Don’t look now, but it’s probably in your hair. Or your salad.

how to get flies at picnic: Try setting out some food.

opposites don’t attract: We flunked physics, too.

what to do if you eat poison ivy: We believe the Darwin Awards are still being awarded; maybe you should consider applying.

ten kitten names with brown eyes: We hadn’t realized that names had eyes, much less specific eye colors. Now we’re starting to get afraid.

do buffaloes have wings?: Yes, and fangs, tentacles, scales, antennae, claws, and six heads. You’d know this if you’d bothered to look at a photograph.

desserts for poor: Uh, for those hardworking bloggers at Poor Richard’s Almanac, you were trying to say? We’ll take as many chess and pecan pies, Goo-Goo Cluster Supremes, sheets of baklava, soft peppermint sticks, boxes of homemade fudge, and Symphony bars as you care to send us. Plus dental insurance, if you have a policy to spare.

could an olive seed give a tree: A contagious disease, you were wondering? We don’t think so, but from now on, we’ll keep our olive seeds away from our trees, just in case.

why did god create stink bugs: We have a feeling that God’s opposite number actually had a role in this one.

how do they print the m on m&ms: Clearly, they bribe those Keebler elves to work after hours for double pay. They might offer Swiss bank accounts, too.

the comment on the human condition could be what?: We’re not sure how we rated this one, but “confusion” is clearly the answer. Or maybe it’s “cluelessness.”

coat hanger in peehole: Please, this blog is G-rated, so we try to refrain from going into graphic anatomical detail, unlike certain overexposed members of Congress. But you might consider applying for the Darwin Awards along with the person who’s been eating poison ivy, above, or the other poison ivy victim, below.

poison ivy in your nose: Better stop snorting those poison ivy berries trying to get high. 

That’s it for this batch! But doubtless we’ll soon be back with more…

When Isaac Newton met Chicken Little. May 26, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in chickens, wit and wisdom.
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It’s once again wacky blog search time here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. Wild, weird, and wonderful search engine phrases have been pouring in over the virtual transom, so we decided to take a few moments to share the “best of the worst” with you. This batch was pretty chicken-intensive. As always, query in bold, our comments following. Enjoy!

did an apple fall on chicken littles head: We’ll admit it, we loved this one. Just picture it, the shortest story ever told: “An apple fell on Chicken Little’s head. The end.” That would have been an acorn. An apple fell on Sir Isaac Newton’s head, leading him to propose the existence of gravity. Or so the story goes.

lazy slob: Our friend Ben cannot imagine why this particular query ended up on our blog, but I resemble that remark.

reviving old popcorn: If CPR doesn’t do the trick, you’d better just give up and make the funeral arrangements.

untrue facts about pirates: We get versions of this one all the time. Could we just point out that “untrue” and “facts” are not words that go together!

poor fried rice: Awww. Let’s hope it didn’t feel a thing.

quinoa for chicken feed: At the going price for quinoa, might as well just feed ’em steak and get it over with.

101 uses for kudzu: Well, you can eat it, you can make baskets out of it, and you can turn it into paper. That’s three. Your turn to come up with the remaining 98.

free range house chickens with diapers: Again, we’re faced with colliding concepts: “free range” and “house chickens.” As for the diapers, we’d recommend litterbox-training them instead, a tidier option for all concerned. If bunnies can be litterbox-trained (which they can), it should be doable for chickens. But we’re ignoring the proverbial elephant here: Why are chickens running all over your house?! 

what do elderly people teach us: That plastic surgery can only take you so far? God preserve Grandpa and Grandma from people who find it necessary to ask questions like this!

do chickens get poison ivy: Um, we don’t think so. But we’re not planning to feed ours any just in case.

good luck charms for your yard: For some reason, diaperless, poison-ivy-free chickens spring to mind. Or maybe a talisman to ward off kudzu and poison ivy. We’ve heard for an untrue fact that pieces of eight touched by pirates will work all sorts of landscape miracles if you bury them on your property. Just be sure to make a treasure map and send us a copy.

obscure plants: This one’s so classic, we’ve bruised our brains trying to come up with the line of reasoning that would have caused someone to pose such a totally vague (not to say obscure) query. Kudzu and poison ivy clearly don’t qualify, but after reviewing every plant we know, we’ve decided that the winner is Paphiopedilum ‘Dragon Bronze Elly’. To our knowledge, only one specimen exists, and that’s assuming it’s still alive. Happy now?

Why did God create stinkbugs? April 13, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Yes, folks, it’s wacky blog search time once again here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. Here’s the latest crop of search-engine phrases that desperate readers have used to find our blog, may God preserve them. As always, the search phrase in bold, our comments following. Enjoy!

why did god create stinkbugs: To punish people who don’t capitalize His name.

use spoon to dish out: Frankly, we find words or fists more effective. But there was that scene in “Robin Hood” where the Sheriff of Nottingham threatened to cut out someone’s heart with a spoon…

no pain no gain silas dogood: That would be “Silence” Dogood. And no doubt she’d be happy to inflict plenty of pain on anyone who says otherwise.

when did Hans Sloane invent chocolate: Um, that would have been the Aztecs. Sir Hans invented hot chocolate with milk, setting the stage for the milk chocolate bars we know and love today.

gouvenor morris urinary: Spare us the details, please. And that’s “Gouvernor” Morris.

frisee how to prounance in french: Free-ZAY. But before you tackle another language, you might want to learn how to spell English words like “pronounce.”

worms coming in sliding glass door: Sounds like you have the makings of the greatest critter-based horror movie since “The Birds.” Too bad Hitchcock and Ed Wood are dead.

That’s it for this batch! Stay tuned for more atrocities and amusements, coming soon to a blog near you…

Stinkbug essential oil. October 12, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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Here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, we’ve once again been inundated with wacky blog searches pouring over the virtual transom. Time to clean house and share more of these search engine gems with all of you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did! As always, original search phrase in bold, our comment following:

einstein’s mathematical pie: Uh, Eggwhite = meringue chocolate squares?!

can i smother myself with a plastic bag: Why not just drive while texting like everyone else?

almanac signs in the foot: Well, as our hero and blog mentor, the great Benjamin Franklin, once said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” So if you wear stinky sneakers or only change socks every three days, we guess you must be a Pisces.

eek a mouse nobody owns me: Who’d want to own you?!

appeal of poor richard’s almanac: No need to get insulting.

how is mayonnaise good for our health: Are you a Darwin Award contender by any chance?  

poor richard being on time: Another of Ben Franklin’s sayings, “Haste makes waste,” is definitely a favorite with PRA blog contributor Richard Saunders. Keep that in mind before inviting him to your next dinner party.

the fall of ben and jerry: First Adam and Eve, then Rome, now Ben and Jerry. Where will it all end?!

what is poor richard’s almanac about: Whatever we feel like ranting about on any given day. Isn’t it obvious?

how to fix overcooked macaroni: Just cook it an hour longer than recommended.

poor richard’s puzzler: Why didn’t the chicken cross the road after a train leaving at 4:15 p.m. travelled 341 miles at 40 mph while a cyclist was travelling 5 mph in the opposite direction along the hypotenuse of a triangle starting at 1:33 p.m., except for a half-hour stop for pizza?

recipe for poo pets: We hope we’re not on your Christmas list.

can you grow a olive from a olive: No, you need a orange for that.

stinkbug essential oil: At last, the ultimate self-defense weapon! Forget pepper spray. Where can we get a few cans?

That’s it for this batch! But just wait, we know more will be arriving any minute now…

Scary blog searches. September 16, 2010

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We here at Poor Richard’s Almanac are back with the latest crop of wacky blog searches to have come over our virtual transom. This batch is scarier than most, as we think you’ll see. Too bad it’s not Hallowe’en! As always, query in bold, our comments following. Enjoy!

can you give your dog tin cat food:  No, and don’t try it on your cat, either. We know minerals are supposed to be good for you, but eating tin is an idea only an alchemist could love.

cure for garlic breath in your fridge: Please tell your fridge to brush its teeth and tongue daily, preferably with baking soda. If it doesn’t notice an improvement in five days, it should give up garlic and take up mint instead.

what is colege for: Um, we think you’ve answered that better than we ever could. But no worries, we hear Wal-Mart has openings for greeters.

ping pong grow “brain cell” 2010: Oh, dear. And here we love ping-pong. It’s going to be much harder to hit those ping-pong balls knowing that they’ve somehow managed to grow brains…

when do stink bugs go away: Try telling them you’ve heard there’s a Miss Stinkbug contest going on at some casino in Atlantic City and that every stinkbug gets free food and $250 in gambling money. That should do the trick.

history of scrotch tape: Thank God for that “s”!!!!

That’s it for this batch. See you next time!

Where do violet seeds come from? August 14, 2010

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It’s once again time to share the latest round of wacky blog searches, those wild and crazy search engine phrases that pour in over the virtual transom here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. As always, search phrase in bold, our response following. Enjoy!

pictures of blithe on tomatoes: Afraid we don’t do pictures here at PRA. But we do feel pretty blithe after eating vine-ripe, sunwarmed tomatoes!

thai seasoning substitute: Why stop with a substitute seasoning? Go for a substitute for Thai food while you’re at it! We suggest Kentucky Fried Chicken with a Dunkin’ Donuts chaser.

what color eyes do cats have: Once again, there’s a Darwin Awards candidate born every minute. We suggest that you find some cats and look. “What color eyes don’t cats have?” would be a better question.

why is mayonnaise so good: We suspect that this is a rhetorical question. At least, we hope so.

was scott nearing fake? This one brought to mind a picture of the venerated homesteader/author as a mannequin or Stepford man, but we do understand what the query was getting at, which is: Did the man who pretty much launched the Back to the Land Movement, documented in classic inspirational books like Living the Good Life, walk the talk? Or was he faking it? The answer is a qualified no: He wasn’t faking it, in the sense that he truly believed in the principles of self-sufficiency and hard work, and he did work hard on his homesteads in Vermont and Maine, starting back in the 1930s, long before it became trendy. But—and there are plenty of buts—Scott and Helen Nearing weren’t your typical Hippie homesteaders trying to scratch a living out of a barren piece of ground. Both came from privileged cosmopolitan backgrounds and had worldwide connections before they ever began their homesteading experiment. They spent 6 months a year working on their place and writing, and 6 months travelling through Europe, staying with friends. Even when they were on the home place, they had plenty of free labor in the form of worshipful admirers who’d drop by for a visit and stay to help out, sometimes for years, in return for food and a place to pitch their tents. Someone trying to make it in isolation, on his own, with nothing but his own hands to help him, might well have posed the question.

how do you spell aire? A-I-R-E. Next question?

pet names for ben: Our friend Ben’s own favorite appellations are Supreme Lord of the Universe, Arbiter of Taste, and Nobel Laureate/MacArthur Fellow. Unfortunately, even our worshipful dog, Shiloh, has yet to utter even one of these “pet names” in support of yours truly. As for Silence Dogood, her contributions to the “pet names for Ben” category have been ruthlessly deleted.

untrue facts about pirates: We think “untrue facts” has taken reporting to a whole new level.

where do violet seeds come from? As we understand it, a stork descends and sprinkles them around each violet plant.

baked brie plum jam puff pastry: Silence and our friend Ben would like to say that we don’t find this to be a wacky blog search at all, but have included it in the hope that someone will be inspired to send us one of these delicious creations posthaste. Baked brie with marmalade or chutney in puff pastry would also be much appreciated.

That’s it for this batch! We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.

Attila the Hun and other quandaries. July 29, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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Yes, it’s once again wacky blog search time here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. The search engine phrases that have brought searchers here to us have included some real gems since our last posting on the topic, and of course we’d like to share them with you. As always, original query in bold, our response following:

nobody doubted his genius: Our friend Ben thanks this perceptive person. Shut up, Silence.

do Africans tend to have flat feet: Sorry, we don’t deal in generalizations, unless we’re making them ourselves. We have no idea if Africans have flat feet, but we can say with confidence that our friend Ben has flat feet, and thinks flat feet are great. So what’s your point?!

how not to multiply Amish friendship bread: Hoo, higher math! We’d suggest dividing it, but suspect that simply subtracting it would probably work better.

making fertilization talismans: Please Google Biodynamics; they do it all the time. Otherwise, you might check out “fertility talismans” instead.

poor ben franklin blog: Harrumph! There was nothing poor about Ben Franklin.

how much fun are parakeets? Hey, they put that barrel of monkeys to shame.

see through sliding glasses: Do they come with a secret decoder ring?  

is poison ivy in your throat bad: There’s another Darwin Awards candidate born every minute.

do poinsettia leaves have glitter on them: Of course, and they grow in those delightful silver, white and ice-blue colors, too. We suggest that you buy yours at the Dollar Store; they’ll last a lot longer, too.

why are Irish men considered lucky: Why not ask some Irish women?

full recher almanac: Say what?

was attila the hun a monarch: This one sort of threw us for a loop. Attila has traditionally been known as King of the Scythian Hordes, not to mention Scourge of God (a title bestowed on him by his Roman enemies). But what’s the difference between a king and a monarch, anyway? We’d sort of assumed they were the same, until we were reading a definition that said “a king may or may not have monarchical powers.” Er. We don’t know what monarchical powers are, but given Attila’s long and successful reign of conquest and terror, we suspect that he had them.

That’s it for this batch! But we’re sure we’ll be back with more soon…