Christmas Gift Selection # 9 For 2017 – 5 lb. Ham

ham   5 lb. Ham

Note: This is a repost of one of our Top Ten Gifts for the discerning buyer originally published in December of 2013, a year that will live in infamy. In what has become a half-assed tradition here at The Institute we have been irregularly reposting these now famous gift selections when we remember to do so in a lame attempt to create a Holiday Tradition and mostly because we suddenly realize it’s Christmas time and we don’t have squat done. It’s fun and we don’t have to spend the time making new stuff up. Enjoy.

The Original One Of A Kind, Never before offered to the American Public, still in its original metal wrapper, It’s *The Institutes very own

5 lb. Ham

This is a very special item for the next to last gift choosing day. You’ve all heard the old joke about the guy who comes to his boss and says “I have to attend a ( Polish**) wedding and I need the weekend off.”

The boss says sure and two weeks later the guy comes into the office and the boss says “hey, you asked for the weekend off to got to a wedding and it’s two weeks later. Where you been?”

The guy says “They had a drawing and I won 2nd place, which was two weeks in Hawaii with the bride.” The boss says “Two weeks with the bride! Geez! What was first place?”

The guy says “A 5lb ham.”

Well, this is that ham! This is the original 5lb. ham awarded to that 1st place winner at that Polish wedding way back then and we got it! What are the odds? It was never opened because the winner knew that this was going to be history. That ham, that 5 lb. ham, would eventually be enshrined in the halls of legendary humor. Our gift researchers found it on eBay and bought it just for this round of gifts. This makes Monet’s Bridge look like a stocking stuffer. There is only one of these and it’s only available here.

Now each of has that one joke that we heard, probably way back in the pre-sexist, pre-politically correct era of humor, before every knee-jerk, thin skinned, I need my fifteen minutes of fame even if it costs you your right to free speech, humor regulator started whining about their feelings getting hurt. Some were about people, some were about sex, some were political or religious things, some were rights of passage things that taught you about life in general even if they were offensive to someone. They were funny, shocking, stick in your mind jokes that etched themselves indelibly into your humor center. Ever been somewhere people watching and you see someone start laughing for no reason at all, then look around guiltily to see if anyone was watching, they’re remembering a joke exactly like this. We all have them. So if you laughed at this one just before your politically correct monitor kicked in, you’re not a bad person. You’re just normal.

Man! You got to be excited about this one. That joke has had to have been told for 50 years. I remember snorting milk out of my nose the first time I heard it. It was in the mess hall at the Naval hospital on Guam. We were fighting one of those wars that wasn’t that funny and needed anything that would make us laugh to take away the days horrors. This is like one of those moments when someone asks you where were you when Kennedy got shot. You remember. If we seem a little excited about this gift choice it’s because we get a lot of stuff in here that is one of a kind, or really special, or unique even fancy, but this, the original 5lb. ham from that wedding, well it’s priceless. In fact you know what? I’m not even going to sell it to you. I’m keeping it. I just wanted to show it to you so you tell your grandkids you saw the original 5lb. ham.

So there you are. NO gift today, just history.

Original Legendary 5lb Ham   NFS    because it’s priceless.

Note from the Director: I would like to take this moment to let you all know that we here at The Institute, and that of course includes me the Director, the head PooBah, do not condone any Politically Incorrect humor at all. We realize that what may be funny to the majority of Americans may cause some individuals with a limited sense of humor to feel uncomfortable. If Polock jokes make you feel kind of weird like you might want to laugh when you hear them, but you think you really shouldn’t, we want you to know that we feel your pain. Just know that in some parts of the country like “Wisconsin” the Pollock’s tell Belgian jokes, but they’re not nearly as funny as Polock jokes. In fact in Chicago and other parts of Illinois they tell “Cheesehead” jokes but those, those are really not funny and should be stopped at once. As an ex-Wisconsonian I can tell you those are mean, humorless jokes and should be banned. The joke related above is simply a reporting of humorous fact as it was presented back in the heyday of humor, like when we were kids, when you could laugh at whatever you wanted to and it wasn’t meant in a mean-spirited way, which reminds me of another story about when A Rabbi, A Priest and a Duck walk into a bar….. but then that’s a story for another day.


** Insert the nationality of your choice here that you’d like to slander, I like Polish because I’m part Polish on my sister’s side and proud of it, but you can use any nationality you think is funny.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

Ninth Annual National Get Outdoors Day


Well, don’t we feel silly. Today, as no doubt all of you know, is the 9th Annual National Get Outdoors Day. That’s right. Snuck right up on you didn’t it. To be honest I didn’t know about the other 8 annual ones that have passed already. I must have been outdoors doing something.

A very good friend clued me in this morning about it so I quick jumped on Google and found out she wasn’t lying. There really is a National Get Outdoors Day, and it seems everybody is quite proud of it. This is what they say, “Participants from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry are again teaming up to host the 9th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation. On Saturday, June 11, 2016, these diverse partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching currently under served populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors.”

Gob-smacked, that’s what I was. And as the leader of one of America’s greatest learning, teaching, researching, exploring, and publishing organizations, more better known as *The Institute, I feel like we have let down a huge portion of the American Public that looks to us for guidance and up-to-date  announcements of worthwhile things that are happening.

So we did what we always do when we feel the need for some expert counseling and guidance, not to mention therapy to assuage some of the guilt we feel for letting down our readers. Above is our ‘go to’ specialist in the world of therapy, Dr. Kai Ote. A Jungian and recent graduate of “Become a Therapist for Fun and Profit” online college and Snack shop. We cannot begin to remember the number of hours spent in his office telling him our tales of woe, and of the staggering numbers of problems we have running a worldwide organization like ours. The staff problems, about which we go into excruciating detail, and how it takes all of our energy to keep the interns from revolting. Not to mention the disappointment and frustration from being turned down by the government for yet one more grant to do our valuable work. All of this and more we tell him until you would think a normal therapist would lose interest and strangle you from sheer boredom.

But as you can tell by the expression on his face, he revels in helping us, hanging on our every word, showing you by his expression how he feels about you. We don’t know what we’d do without him.

After droning on and on about how we forgot about National Get Outdoors Day we asked him for some advice, “What should we do, Doc?” and as always his response was dead on. “Uhmm”, he replied, “Get Outdoors.”

See what I mean, he’s worth every penny. So we can only pass on this invaluable advice and hope that you follow it. “Get Outdoors, you’ll feel better, and the feds won’t come down on you.” That’s always a plus.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind.


Color Dump


click to enlarge

Any one who has been to Bryce National Park can tell you about the incredible colors available to the viewing public. It’s as if every color that has ever been thought of has been used here just to impress the viewer. It would take years just to identify the shades of red used, not to mention the purples and magentas and blues and on and on and on. This random appearing vista known as Bryce National Park isn’t just left to nature to construct, this is a carefully choreographed production by many, many people who work in the color trades.

It takes a tremendous amount of effort to keep a place like Bryce looking fresh and vibrant all the time. We here at the Institute commend the National Park service for spending the time and money to keep a full staff of colorist’s working to constantly present to you, the American public, new and updated views of your national parks. It’s not easy creating the new looks the public demands, many of which are driven by the constant barrage of photos and articles in the trendy fashion magazines available now. The constant need to change and create the new looks the public demands from their national parks are powered by the advertising combines that fuel the publics’ demand for new fresh colors and textures. And that effort doesn’t even include the maintenance required in a place that has constant erosion problems from wind and rain, freeze and thaw that are a constant force here in the park. The repairs alone take a crew of seven just to keep the colors that have fallen off the rock spires swept up and carefully disposed of.

Yes it is a huge expense to keep the constant repairs and upkeep and the semi-annual color change that takes place each year up to the standards we’ve come to expect. The expense of creating and applying a new color in a national park is absolutely huge and quite frankly in the present economy not sustainable. Which is why the park has had to resort to repurposing materials that normally would be disposed of or sent to another park in a complex color exchange program. There have been cutbacks and re-budgeting that have cost the jobs of at least one colorist and two of the maintenance people that we know of and who knows what the future holds. It’s possible that if these reductions in budget continue we may be forced to resort to leaving this entire process in Mother Nature’s hands, and that is a terrifying prospect.

On a recent trip our staff photographer found some unsettling evidence of some of these new programs already in place. The image above, which was obtained under very dangerous conditions, our photographer had to walk down a hill and look behind some big rocks to be able to get a photo of this carefully hidden away site that clearly shows a color dump in use as a storage facility. It seems the material will be used to replace some of the other colors instead of manufacturing the new colors that were scheduled to be applied. We have learned that this has caused massive layoffs in not only the color manufacturing sector but in related industries as well, such as trucking, scaffolding building and erection, color application tools and devices, the list goes on. And this was only one site! Apparently there are dozens of these sites scattered around in the back areas of the park that are off-limits to the general public.

The end result of course, is that you the American public will not get to see the newest most carefully designed color schemes when you make your next visit to Bryce National park. Instead you will see the same somewhat tired, but tried and true, colors that have been used for ages, although admittedly they are perfectly adequate and the average tourist will notice little or no change but we know what the difference is. So if you want to see the latest colors displayed you better hurry and see them now, they’re already a season old and it looks like they won’t be replenished this year or for many years to come. You better jump in the old microbus and head to Bryce before Mother Nature has her way and you’re stuck with seeing the old colors for ever. P.S. bring your camera it’s still pretty.