The Tale Spinner

Vol. XXIII, No. 4

January 28, 2017


  • Barbara Wear describes a visit to Washington State and B.C.
  • Burke Dykes forwards a story about a king’s highway
  • Carol Shoemaker tells of an infuriating experience
  • Irene Harvalias sends this story about rocket science
  • Catherine Green shares questions to Dear Abby
  • Bruce Galway sends examples of children's finishes to proverbs
  • Sites are suggested by Barbara Wear, Don Henderson, Tom Telfer, and Tom Williamson

Barbara Wear recalls a trip she and a friend made in August, 1997, to


Once we got over the disappointment that we were not going on a planned Alaskan cruise, my friend Clara Boyle (who was to lecture on board the Celebrity Cruise Ship “Galaxy,”) got bumped at the last minute, we went to “Plan B,” which was to tour Washington State and British Columbia, Canada.

Day 1: Clara’s daughter, Victoria, drove us to Logan Airport in Boston. We flew non-stop from Boston to Vancouver, BC, on American/Canadian Airlines. Our trip took six hours. We left at 9:00 a.m. and arrived in Vancouver at noon (three hours difference in time). The skies were sunny throughout most of the trip and we were able to see below. I remember the excitement of flying over the Rocky Mountains and seeing the tall, rocky peaks as they protruded upward. I thought of the pioneers who once climbed over those mountains on their quest to reach the Pacific Ocean. How brave they were!

Once in Vancouver, we rented a 1997 bright shiny red Plymouth Neon, and as we drove out of the Hertz garage, we knew we were on our way to an exciting nine-day excursion in the Pacific Northwest and the southeast corner of British Columbia. Once on the road, we checked our map for Route 99, which would take us out of Vancouver and south to the United States border. As we drove, we noticed how clean the area was, and we soon found out that the number plate “Beautiful British Columbia” was indeed quite true.

As we approached the border of B.C. and Washington State, we drove through the “Peace Arch,” which was beautifully landscaped. At the entrance to the area there are many shrubs and trees, and to the traveller heading south, the view of the American flag made of flowers was a sign of “Welcome Home.” We showed our passports at the border and drove back into the States.

As we headed south on I-5 towards Seattle, the traffic was heavy as we approached Everett, due to construction. We decided to by-pass Seattle and turned onto I-405. As we drove towards Kirkland, Washington, I thought about calling Cheri Metteer, a tape pal of mine. We pulled off the freeway and dropped a quarter into the telephone. Cheri answered, and I told her where we were, and she was immediately on her way to meet us. About 20 minutes passed and she pulled her car in next to ours.  After a few hugs, we stood and talked; took a few pictures and talked about her coming to the TRACC (Tape Recording and Conversation Club) reunion in Springfield, Missouri, in September. It was certainly great to meet her, even if only for about a half hour.

Once back in the car, we drove south on I-405 until it joined with I-5 and stayed on that road until we saw the sign for Rte. 18 towards Federal Way, where Clara’s son, Christian, and his wife Becky live. Chris was home when we pulled into their driveway. It was a wonderful greeting between mother and son, who had not seen each other in quite some time.

Chris helped us take our luggage into the house, and then took us out to dinner at the Red Robin Restaurant. I had never been to a Red Robin before and enjoyed the food. Our conversation during our meal was to buy some salmon, so when we left the restaurant we drove to a supermarket and bought some king salmon, which Chris cooked for us on Saturday night. On walking to the car, looming ahead of us like a “mother watching her child” was Mt. Rainer. It was such a clear night and the volcano stood above the city in her dress of black and white.

Day 2: Chris and Becky did not have to work on Friday and had a great day planned for us. First we drove over to Allyn, Washington, by way of Tacoma, to have lunch with Becky’s parents. Her mom prepared a delicious lunch for the six of us, and afterwards we all took naps. I was surprised to wake up a couple of hours later … I guess I needed the sleep.

Later we drove up to Bremerton, which is where Chris was stationed on a submarine in the U.S. Navy.  We passed several naval ships at the docks. Chris took us to visit some friends he had met while stationed there. Peggy’s 97-year-old grandmother lived with her and her family and she was wonderful to meet. Up until a few years before, she had made beautiful cards using flowers. Alongside her chair were boxes and boxes of cards she had made. She still continued to send them to her family on special occasions. She gave me one of her cards and it is truly lovely.

Our trip to Seattle started out by us waiting for the ferry in Bremerton. We bought the tickets but had to wait for the ferry to return, so we parked the car and walked over to where a band was playing. Some kind of fund raiser was going on because one of the ships was leaving the area. We sat for about a half hour listening to the music before the ferry arrived.

Once on board the ferry, we parked the car and climbed the stairs to the outside deck. It was a lovely, but breezy, late afternoon as we rode the ferry around several islands in Puget Sound. The sun was beginning to set as we approached Seattle. The city came into view and loomed out as us as we continued to approach it.

We drove through the main street looking at all the stores and people strolling the street. At the end of the main street is the Seattle Needle, built for the World’s Fair in 1962. We stopped to eat in a food court and had some Vietnamese food. I had a plate of garlic chicken over rice which was really delicious. Clara had a spicy meal. Just as dusk was nearly over, we took the elevator to the top of the Space Needle just in time to see the sun go down over the Olympic Mountains to the west - what a beautiful sight!

By the time we got back to Federal Way, we were all tired. It had been a great day.

Day 3: Clara and I left around 10:00 a.m. for a tour of Mt. Rainier National Park. It took us quite a while driving Rte. 7 to get to the entrance to the park. The entrance fee was $10. We drove for quite some time before we started to get glimpses of the glacier. Mt. Rainier would loom up, and then disappear. We drove for a while and then stopped to have our lunch. There was a cool stream running across from us and we had a slight view of the volcano. We ate our picnic lunch and then took a walk into the woods for a short ways. The stream was bubbling as it swayed along some rocks and boulders as if running away from the glacier. We took a few pictures and then drove on. 

At each opening the volcano was emerging more and more, and suddenly we were in a clearing where the whole mountain could be seen. The glacier stretched down for many hundreds of feet - the top could be seen just below some clouds. We were amazed at how clear the day was and how much we were able to see. Later we were told that we had lucked out and had the most prefect sighting … sometimes it is days and days before the rim is visible.

We decided not to stop at the gift shop and as we drove on, we were fortunate to tune into the radio station provided by the park which told us about the events of the day. We continued on through Paradise, which gave us a clear view of the volcano. Clara and I both now can say “We have now been to Paradise.”

The road gave way to beautiful pine trees which enhanced the beauty of the road as we left Mt. Rainier National Park.

Once back at Chris and Becky’s, we sat down to a meal of king salmon, baked potato with broccoli and cheese, and a glass of sparkling apple cider (we are all teetotalers.) Chris cooked the meal and it was really delicious … a perfect way to end a perfect day.

Day 4: Chris and Becky took us to their church on Sunday morning. It was a hand-clapping, praising and singing service like none I have ever attended. There were many people singing and praising the Lord, and the sermon was awesome.

After services, we went to a breakfast buffet and enjoyed our meal. Then we went to Becky’s sister’s home to see her new son, born just a few days before our arrival. . Our next adventure took us up through the Cascade Mountains and over Snoqualmie Pass to the town of Leavenworth, Washington. Leavenworth grew into an alpine village several years ago, and has become a main tourist attraction. All the stores and homes are designed in alpine décor. We walked around and went into many of the little shops along the way. We bought some post cards and a few souvenirs. I took a picture of a whole wall of beer steins. I bought a tape called “When It's Springtime in the Rockies” sung by a German family, and there was lots of yodeling on the tape.

At 5:00 p.m. we stopped to eat at King Ludwig’s Restaurant. Outside there was a mural on the wall of the famous castle in Germany that was used by Walt Disney to create his famous castle in Disneyworld. We stopped and had our picture taken by the mural. Inside it was quite rustic. Our waiter recommended we try the $49.95 dinner for four. It consisted of a half chicken, pork hock, wiener schnitzel (slices of breaded veal), bratwurst (sausage), sauerkraut, red cabbage, sliced tangy potatoes, and spätzle (dumplings) and warm bread. It was fit for a king - and we couldn’t finish it all! Our dessert was warm apple strudel with a vanilla sauce and Black Forest cake.

When we left Leavenworth we drove over Stevens Pass, which is over 5,000 ft. (1,524 meters) and the highway took us back to Seattle. After arriving back at Chris and Becky’s, we all went straight to bed. It had been a long, tiring, but wonderful day.

Day 5: No telephones now for five days, and the weather had been sunny every day.

To be continued.

Burke Dykes forwards this story:


Once a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to have a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their challenge was to see who could travel the highway the best.

On the day of the contest the people came. Some of them had fine chariots, some had fine clothing, fine hairdos, or great food. Some young men came in their track clothes and ran along the highway. People travelled the highway all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king that there was a large pile of rocks and debris left on the road at one spot, and this got in their way and hindered their travel.

At the end of the day, a lone traveller crossed the finish line wearily and walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king with great respect and handed him a bag of gold. He explained, "I stopped along the way to clear a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This bag of gold was under it all. I want you to return it to its rightful owner."

The king replied, "You are the rightful owner."

The traveller replied, "Oh no, this is not mine. I've never known such money."

"Oh yes," said the king, "you've earned this gold, for you won my contest. He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those who will follow."


Carol Shoemaker sends this account of  a


Windows: Please enter your new password.

User: cabbage

Windows: Sorry, the password must be more than eight characters.

User: boiled cabbage

WINDOWS : Sorry, the password must contain one numerical character.

User: 1 boiled cabbage

Windows: Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.

User: 50damnboiledcabbages

Windows: Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character

User: 50DAMNboiledcabbages

Windows:  Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.

User: 50damnBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIf YouDon'tGiveMeAccessNow!

Windows: Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.

User: ReallyPissedOff50DamnBoiledCabbagesShoved UpYourAssIfYouDontGiveMeAccess Now

Windows: Sorry, that password is already in use.

Irene Harvalias says that sometimes it does take


Scientists at NASA built a gun specifically to launch standard four-pound dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets, and the space shuttle, all travelling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the British engineers.

When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's backrest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot from a bow.

The horrified Brits sent NASA the disastrous results of their experiment, along with the designs of the windshield, and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA responded with a one-line memo: "Defrost the chicken."

ED. NOTE: This story is supposed to be true, but Snopes calls it a legend.


Catherine Green shares these questions that stumped


Dear Abby, A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid-twenties. These two women go everywhere together, and I've never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese? 

Dear Abby, What can I do about all the sex, nudity, foul language and violence on my VCR?

Dear Abby, I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much, I'm not even sure if the baby I'm carrying is his.

Dear Abby, I am a twenty-three-year-old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It's getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him. 

Dear Abby, I've suspected that my husband has been fooling around, but when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby, Our son writes that he is learning judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby, I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby, My forty-year-old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years. He must be crazy. 

Dear Abby, I was married to Bill for three months and I didn't know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby, My mother is mean and short tempered. I think she is going through mental pause.

Dear Abby, You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband has lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?

Bruce Galway forwards these


A first grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom with the first half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb:

      Don't change horses
      until they stop running.

      Strike while the
      bug is close.

      It's always darkest before
      Daylight Saving Time.

      Never underestimate the power of

      You can lead a horse to water but

      Don't bite the hand that
      looks dirty.

      No news is

      A miss is as good as a

      You can't teach an old dog new

      If you lie down with dogs, you'll
      stink in the morning.

      Love all, trust

      The pen is mightier than the

      An idle mind is
      the best way to relax.

      Where there's smoke there's

      Happy the bride who
      gets all the presents.

      A penny saved is
      not much.

      Two's company, three's
      the Musketeers.

      Don't put off till tomorrow what
      you put on to go to bed.

      Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and
      You have to blow your nose.

      There are none so blind as
      Stevie Wonder.

      Children should be seen and not
      spanked or grounded.

      If at first you don't succeed
      get new batteries.

      You get out of something only what you
      See in the picture on the box

      When the blind lead the blind
      get out of the way.

      A bird in the hand
      is going to poop on you.

      Better late than


Barbara Wear forwards the URL for a video of monkeys acting as waiters in Japan:

Don Henderson sends this link to a video touting the latest in golf accessories - the Golf Board. He says it would suit him just fine - it goes right and left, just like his drives:

Tom Telfer suggests this site, which describes the Deep Field images taken by the Hubble space telescope, which represent the farthest we've ever seen into the universe:

Tom also sends this link to a video of Denmark playing Japan in the finals of the World Superseries of badminton in Dubai. These players are amazing:

Tom Williamson forwards the URL for a magic trick will leave you stunned:

Tom also sends this link to a video of the Mesta Fusion, an automatic speed and red light enforcement device which will be very difficult to avoid:

Link is full screen

From the GoodNewsNetwork, here is the story of a shop owner who set up a “Take One, Leave One” coat rack for the homeless:

Much more info at link

In this TED talk, Caleb Barlow discusses cybercrime - where is it coming from, and what can we do about it:


"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."

- Albert Einstein

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