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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


1500 posts, 7 wacky blog searches, 1 inspiring quote. September 14, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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Today marks a milestone of sorts here at Poor Richard’s Almanac: This is our 1500th post. Blog contributors our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders apparently just can’t shut up.

To celebrate, we’re giving you the best of our recent batch of wacky blog search phrases (the search engine terms that somehow land folks on our blog), plus, of course, words of wisdom from our hero and blog mentor, the great Benjamin Franklin. First the fun part! As always, search phrase in bold, our comments following:

peeling garlic cloves with hose pipe: We’d call that overkill. Silence prefers to just smash them with a wooden pestle. But no doubt a hammer or tire iron would also work in a pinch.

pressure canned tomatoes look bad: We recommend plastic surgery or, say, water-bath canning.

other names for buff orpington chicken: See if it answers to Jemima.

ben light green eyes/i want my mama: We’re really hoping these are song lyrics. And that we never have to hear the song they’re part of.

why did god create stink bugs: No doubt for the same reason He created rats, fleas, bedbugs, mildew, and bubonic plague. We don’t know what that reason is, but we’re going to have plenty to say to Him about it when the time comes.

what is college for: Clearly it’s the last chance to get the kids out of the house before they settle in and live off you for good. Go for it!

any amish recipes for funeral potatoes: We’ve certainly had our share of potato funerals around here—usually when we’ve left the potatoes for too long in our unairconditioned mudroom in high summer—but have never heard of funeral potatoes, Amish or otherwise. Silence promises to look into this in a future post. 

Moving on from the ridiculous to the sublime, would Ben Franklin have something to say to us, and to you, on this occasion? Well, Old Ben was certainly never at a loss for words! We three wordsmiths will give you one gem  from Ben, a fellow wordsmith as well as a man of action, to put our writing in its place:

“Well done is better than well said.”

So true! Yet well said may inspire future readers to do well, as Ben well knew. For all you past, present, and future readers of our Poor Richard’s Almanac blog, thank you for bringing us to post #1500. We love you!

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…

Yummy pizza droppings. July 29, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Yes, it’s already time for another compendium of wacky blog searches (aka “search engine terms”) here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. So many classics have been pouring in over our virtual transom that we just had to share the best of the best with all of you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did! As always, query in bold, our response following:

poor elmer’s almanac: We’re sure his readers are glued to every post.

yummy pizza droppings: Those damned pigeons are everywhere.

trying to save old somewhat dried corn of cob: The pigeons would probably enjoy it more than you. Or, wait, maybe you could boil it down to make glue!

do i have bad manners quiz: We love this one, and we’ll be getting back to you with a quiz of our own very soon. But meanwhile, if you can answer these two questions in the affirmative, you’re probably okay: Do I treat everyone with patience, kindness, and consideration? Do I make a special effort to be polite to and brighten the day of people less fortunate than myself?

old richard’s almanac: Please refer to the previous query. Harrumph!!!

coke bottle wartering: We don’t know about you, but we’re never touching a Coke bottle again.

little richards almanac on weening horses: We don’t think Little Richard ever tackled this one.

how can i keep the purple color on the string bean: Easy! Set guards around it so the color doesn’t try to run off.

That’s it for this batch! But we’re sure there’ll be more any moment now…

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…

Ben Franklin, nudist?! March 12, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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Yes, folks, it’s once again wacky blog search time here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. Sadly, the barrage of wild and woolly search engine terms that often pour in over our virtual transom have given way, now that spring approaches, to more practical queries, as if our readers had put whimsy away in the shed with their snow shovels and padlocked the door. True, we’re still getting a few good ones, such as “cotation on butterflies” (would that be the powdery wing pigments?) and “finding olive seeds good luck” (only for dentists, we’re thinking). But then we received this classic: “Why did Benjamin Franklin dress.”

Now, it’s undeniable that Ben was what we’d call a health nut, at least in his youth. He swam in the mighty Delaware River for pleasure and exercise. He was a vegetarian. He was a teetotaler (possibly the only one at the time), advocating drinking nothing but water, and plenty of it. Dr. Oz would have been proud. Unfortunately, eventually all these good habits fell by the wayside, as his latter-day portraits amply (sorry, couldn’t resist that) attest.

It’s also probably fair to say that old Ben was somewhat more uninhibited than most (well, all) of his contemporaries, at least in the Colonies. (The court of Louis XVI was another matter.) Call it another quirk of genius.

But there would have been some definite drawbacks to roaming around in the buff, and not just the total lack of nudist colonies in Colonial times. We imagine that Ben’s appearance at the Continental Congress in his birthday suit might have proven distracting to his fellow legislators, who were somewhat preoccupied with a few trifling matters like drafting the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. 

However, the real reason why Ben Franklin dressed was because of a little climatic quirk that would doubtless have made his contemporaries long for global warming: He was living during a mini-ice age. You’ll recall that brutally cold winter at Valley Forge that almost brought his ally General Washington and co. to a literal standstill. (It’s hard to walk on frozen feet.)

This is the same mini-ice age that brought us the French Revolution, since it was so cold the grain crops failed in France, leaving the peasants, who depended on bread as their chief dietary staple, with nothing to eat. No wonder they became so enraged by that quasi-apocryphal comment of Marie Antoinette’s, “Let them eat cake!” (She actually said, when told that the people had no bread, “Then let them eat brioche,” basically high-end dinner rolls.) Starvation, it turns out, sharpens swords (or in Marie Antoinette’s case, guillotines) as well as tempers.

When Ben Franklin was sent to France as America’s ambassador, he famously wore a fur cap and fur-collared coat everywhere in public, basically the era’s equivalent of a Fess Parker costume. The sophisticated silk- and velvet-clad French courtiers found the outfit quaint and romantic—the spirit of the frontier!—and Dr. Franklin has been praised down through the centuries for the shrewdness of his stagecraft. But given the frigid weather and the lack of Franklin stoves at Versailles—not to mention a notable lack of hair on top—old Ben might just have been determined to stay warm.

Readers, thanks for cheering us up on a cold, muddy day! We’re sure our hero and blog mentor, the great Benjamin Franklin himself, is winking down at you from Heaven.

Do Catholicism and Buddhists have anything in common? February 1, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben apologizes in advance to anyone who thought they were about to read a profound commentary on world religions. (Hint: We would have said “Catholicism and Buddhism” had that been the case.) Instead, it’s once again wacky blog search time here at Poor Richard’s Almanac!

It’s been a while since we last presented a compendium of the wild and wacky search engine terms that bring people here to our blog, because winter apparently brings out the practical in people, and most of the searches over the past few months have been pretty straightforward. But we’ve finally accumulated enough gems to give you another glimpse into the minds lurking out there in the blogosphere. They are out there, people! As always, blog search in bold, our comments following. Enjoy!

kudzu boiling fog food: Rats, we’ve just run out.

do catholicism and buddhists have anything in common: They share the letters “i” and “s.”

oh dear, what a dreary day: This combination of profundity and alliteration puts us to shame.

homely dog names: Buster, Meatball, Hulk, Sweetums, Sluggo, Blackie…

frozen current [sic] nan and cacti graph: Is this a dish, or a trends report? 

plants with the name richard: We don’t actually give our plants names, but now that you mention it, we might be partial to “Richard III” for an especially awkward, troublesome plant that’s always overstepping its boundaries. We’ll keep it in mind.

how to strike olive seeds: Well, you take a hammer…

weird poor richards almandack [sic]: Was that the one that they turned up in King Tut’s tomb? Those hieroglyphics made it so hard to decipher, no wonder people thought it was weird. 

most protective talisman in the world: For our money, a Glock or Smith & Wesson.

can you bring poinsettas [sic] back to life: Not personally, no. Sounds like a job for a Higher Power.

could einstein do maps: We suppose so, but on the whole, think it was probably better that he did physics instead. 

 That’s it for this batch! Stay tuned, we’re sure more wacky blog searches are coming this way!