Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Confiscated weapons

I don't know anything about guns. At all. Nada. They are used to shoot people, and there are some who hunt animals with them. That's all I know. The above weapons were confiscated in Abbotsford, British Columbia recently in raids on the usual drug houses. In all 22 weapons were confiscated. My question is regarding the two rifles in the lower third of the picture. The ends (or whatever that part of the rifle is called), which, if I understand things correctly, is where you put your shoulder in order to aim better, both look to have sharpened edges on them. It seems to me that if you rammed either of these weapons into your shoulder and fired, the recoil would take your arm off. Literally.

I could be wrong and if I am I appologize to all the drug-dealers and NRAers out there because, as I said before, I don't know anything about guns.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ex-planet Pluto

The word out of some shadowy east European country is that what has been known for over seventy years as the planet Pluto will from now on be known at ‘the sort-of-planet Pluto’, or as ‘the planetette Pluto’, or as ‘the sort-of-planet Pluto formerly known as the planet Pluto’. In any event, Pluto has been downgraded and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that this is just wrong.

Let’s think it through; way back in the early part of the Twentieth Century, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh had been searching for the supposed Planet X which had been theorized to exist by Percival Lowell some twenty-five years before. Irregularities had been noticed in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune and the search was on. A certain amount of time was spent searching through night sky photographs, and on February 18, 1930 Astronomer Tombaugh found what he was looking for.

Consider for a moment how impressive this is. At that time in history North America was almost as primitive as Eastern Europe is today. Broadband Internet service was not readily available and since the most advanced computer around was an abacus you couldn’t have accessed it anyway. Cell phones were the size of a small car and reception was terrible, and you don’t even want to think about what was on television. It was a harsh environment by any standards yet here was this astronomer pouring over photographs until he found what he was looking for. Good show.

Now, it has been decided by some arbitrary body in Europe, the vast majority of whom were too lazy or hungover to even bother to vote, that Pluto is too small, has a wobbly orbit, and sometimes comes within the orbit of Neptune. Well boo-hoo boys. Suck it up and get over it because you know what? If you don’t, that means that thousands of astronomy tests written over the past seventy years, world-wide, have been marked incorrectly! Now I hope this had been considered, although I doubt it had been, but anybody who answered ‘Pluto’ to the question, ‘name the furthest planet in our Solar System from the sun’ is now in the wrong and whoever answered either, ‘Neptune’ or ‘not Pluto’ is now correct.

Also, consider the feelings of anybody (or ‘anything’) which potentially lives on Pluto (Plutonarianites, as I like to call them). Last week there they are living on a planet, this week they’re living on a wobbly, poorly orbiting chunk of crud which isn’t quite big enough to be called a planet. How would we like it if giant, mega-intelligent balloon-beings living in the mid-atmosphere of Jupiter decided that Earth was kind of dinky, poorly maintained and the orbitee of only one moon so therefore it could no longer be considered a planet? Kind of sucks, right?

For the reasons above I really think that Pluto ought to be reconsidered as a planet in good standing. Thank-you.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Possibly a typical Plutonarianite before he has found out that he no longer lives on a planet, but rather on a sort-of-but-not-quite-a-planet.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


It’s a few years back now that my nephew, D****, showed up, bandaged, bruised and with his left arm secured in a spiffy plastic sling. I had heard that he had taken a tumble from his bike and busted himself up a bit, shoulder-wise. The visual evidence was backing up all I had heard but we were still a little shy on the why-fores and the what-the-hecks. “Zounds, D****,” I said, poking him in the broke part, “what’s up with this action, huh?”

“Coyotes,” he ground out between tightly clenched teeth before slouching off to the TV room to complain extravagantly about what a world class maroon I, his favorite uncle, was. Typical teenager.

Of course ‘coyotes’ was kind of a vague response, on one hand telling nothing while on the other hand leaving loads of leeway for unfounded speculation. I, of course, am completely ‘in’ to unfounded speculation, so here goes: My nephew was riding his bike home from some unidentified pal’s place out in the countryside. The road was clear and he was making good time, then as he was cresting one of the many gently rolling hills that make this such a wonderful part of the world in which to live, he spotted a small stand set up next to the road. Apparently a bunch (or a ‘flock’) of coyotes had set up shop and were selling Mouse Smoothies at a very reasonable price. So reasonable in fact that they were pretty much losing money on the deal (coyotes tend not to have a lot of business savvy).

Of course D**** was tempted, who wouldn’t be, but since he had been riding with his mouth open he had already swallowed his daily protein allotment in bugs, he decided to pass. The coyotes, sensing a possible sale slipping through their paws, growled a message that D**** understood to mean, “pull over and buy a Mouse Smoothie or two, or suffer the consequences, coyote-wise.”

D**** pulls over and downs a nice frosty Mouse Smoothie then goes to pull the three fifty ($3.50) he owes out of his pocket. The snag in the plan was that he didn’t have $3.50 in his pocket. Truth be told, he didn’t have so much as an Argentinean neuphinig to his name and it suddenly occurred to him that things could get a little sticky now. He eyed the coyotes slouching expectantly all over the Mouse Smoothie stand, knowing full well that there was no point in trying to negotiate some sort of payment plan with them because coyotes are such greedy SOBs, so he does the next best thing and leaps back on his bike and skedaddles towards home and safety.

The thing is that coyotes are wild animals and have reflexes that would put a finely tuned whip-spring to shame, and they are up and after him in a flash. Fortunately coyotes tend to forget that human reflexes are not up to coyote specs, so rather than leaping for where D**** was they leapt for where they figured he would be. The resulting coyote pileup was right in front of D****’s bike and he had no time to maneuver around to it was whammo followed by heels over head and two points through the handlebars. A quick “snap” later and D**** comes to, wondering where the coyotes were and why he can scratch his left ankle without bending over.

So the final results were: Coyotes - 1, D**** - 0, and for the next several weeks his parents had to bungie him into bed so he wouldn’t flail around too much. Oh, to be a teen again.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chocolate Virgin Mary

The employees at Bodega Chocolates in Fountain Valley, California, USA have found what they believe is a spontaneous chocolate representation of the Virgin Mary. Rather than building chocolate treats as they are paid to do they now spend their days hovering over the suspected Virgin, praying and plying it with rose petals and candy. Just another bit of George W Bush's America. Hallaloha, or however you spell that.

Anyway... Humouroceros

The Virgin Mary, the Maltese Falcon or a pile of cholcolate?
You decide.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My bank loves me

It’s almost too good to be true. My bank just sent me the great news that I have been pre-approved for a credit line up to ten thousand dollars and at an incredible interest rate of only nine percent! I know it’s great news because: A) they told me it is, and 2) there’s a picture of a cute couple running around in a care-free manner on the acceptance form. If that don’t beat all I don’t know what does. Imagine, with one quick signature I could whack myself ten grand into debt, no muss, no fuss. What could possibly be wrong with that? And there’s more! I would have the option of interest only payments, I have access to borrow through an ATM or even online, and (get this) there is no annual fee. Man, it’s like they just want to give me money! It’s a great country we live in.

The best part? The agreement I would have to sign is one and three-quarters pages of tiny, tiny printing. So tiny that I wouldn’t even actually have to read it! Isn’t that great? I mean, it’s probably just a bunch of legal stuff that the government makes them say and doesn’t really matter anyway. They even provide a postage paid envelope for me so I can get this thing started with a minimum of effort. Incredible.

The thing on it is that I would feel guilty taking their money (I know, I blame my parents for raising me proper.) When someone has made a mistake like this where they want to just give you money so you can run around on the hills all care-free like the couple in the picture, you shouldn’t take advantage. I will be running the whole package through the shredder, but first I want to take a look at that young couple again. Man, they look so happy.

Anyway… Humouroceros

The care-free young couple

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My bicycle helmet

Here’s the deal; I’m not real big on taking things on faith. Given the choice between believing something just because, or believing something because I can poke it with a sharp stick and sell it to the highest bidder I’ll go with the sharp stick nine times out of ten. It’s just the way I’m wired.

Now take bicycle helmets. Scabby little lids designed by experts to make you look like a dork when you wear one. They have a set of straps that almost but don’t quite work like it shows on the box, and adjustable fitting pads on the inside that take an uncomfortable unit and make it just that little bit more ill-fitting. This is your average bicycle helmet. There’s one more thing; they work.

Recently I was cruising down a local street and I went to hop the curb so I could hit the walk button at a crosswalk. Illegal as heck but there you go. My front tire skimmed the edge of the curb and, not to be left out, my rear tire followed suit and the next thing I know I’m thinking, “this is really going to hurt,” as I hurtled towards the sidewalk.

I’d like to say I tucked and rolled, landing on my feet with my hands on my hips and a Superman-like look of determination glued to my face but alas, I was too busy slapping into the concrete head-first to think of it. Actually I’m not sure it was ‘head-first’, but the head was definitely in the top ten. My shoulder has some road-rash on it to go with the bruise that has blossomed there so there was definitely some intimate contact there. Also, my knee hurts so I suppose something unexpected happened there as well. Both of my hands are kind of red and scraped up and that has to mean something. The only thing I know for a ball-bearing fact is that the old noggin cracked into the ground some kind of harsh. The good thing is that quickly after the initial thud (with the accompanying thought of, “Leapin’ lizards, I ought to be as dead as a doornail!”) what little pain there was disappeared.

Manfully I leapt to my feet and took stalk of the situation, or as the BS-impaired would say, “Painfully, I struggled to my feet and tried to figure out what the heck had just happened.” (And by the way, a huge Arabic-style shout-out to the guy in the pick-up who stopped and asked if I was okay. I tried to make a joke about what had just happened but after having my bell freshly rung I don’t think it came across so well.) The rubber marks on the curb pretty much told the whole story, and then it struck me. That helmet that I had bought all those years ago had just turned out to be the best twenty dollar investment I’ve ever made.

So, if you ride a bike, get a helmet. Maybe you’ll never need it but if you do… Personally I’d rather look like a live dork with a helmet than a dead one without.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Monday, August 14, 2006

The handgun

This is how it is. There I was in my favorite coffee bistro this morning. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze and there were a couple of RCMP constables sitting on the other side of the patio. They finished their coffees and when they got up to leave I noticed their handguns and it gave me kind of a jolt. I didn’t see the entire weapon, just the end chunk (the hilt or the butt or the handle, whatever you call that bit of the gun you hold on to). I know, how dumb is that? Surprised at the sight of a police officer wearing a handgun. Terrible.

I have chosen to view the situation in this way; our good neighbours to the south who have a grand tradition of shooting each other all the time look at handguns differently than I do. Many of them see the handgun as a terrific tool for home defense, deer hunting, or for leaving lying around so the kids can find and play with it. I view a handgun as a weapon, which is only intended to be used to kill another person. That’s it. Period.

If that doesn’t give you a jolt…

Anyway… Humouroceros

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A fish

Anyway... Humouroceros

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yet another joke

A guy out working in his yard hears the young kid from next door crying in his backyard. He looks over the fence and sees the kid putting the last pats of dirt on a large hole he has just filled in. "Hey there, Jimmy," he says, "what's the matter?"
"My budgie died," Jimmy answers, "and I just buried him."
"Say, that's too bad," the guy says. "That's an awfully big hole though. Why'd you dig such a big hole for a budgie?"
"Because he's inside your cat."

Anyway... Humouroceros

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Oh ho! Isn't that a wet towel snap in the 'nads?

Anyway... Humouroceros