Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sign o' the times

There is more computing power here, getting trashed by the weather, than was used to develop atomic weapons, land on the moon, power the Voyager spacecraft and format every single script for Lost In Space ever written all put together. There's your new millennium right there, all in one nice little package.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A new word

In the interests of furthering the education and the learnedness of our children and our children’s children I have taken it upon myself to create a new word that I feel is necessary to our continuing search for better understanding between peoples. The word I have created is ‘humourocerosim’ and the definition is; a word that is spelled with an even number of letters which when divided equally in half and the letters in the first half are reversed, both halves have the same phonetic sound. For example: ‘yippee’ then ‘yip’ and ‘pee’ then ‘piy’ (pronounced ‘pee’) and ‘pee’. It’s easy once you have practiced a bit.

I have contacted the Ministry of Education in order to have this included in the Provincial Exams as of 2010 (I chose 2010 to coincide with the 2010 Winter Olympics) and the people I spoke to at the Ministry sounded quite enthusiastic and assured me that they would be looking at this very seriously. I have to admit that it feels pretty good to have done something for the future education of the world’s (English speaking) children. You’re welcome.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A tasteless tale

We have a supervisor at work who has been known to just get up during a meeting and leave the office. We have learned over time that this means that he has just passed gas and everybody else in the room had better bail within the next five seconds or suffer the consequences. When this guy was in the zone his gas has been known to peel paint and to cause small children (and at least one other supervisor) to cry so the consequences are not pleasant. We call this flatus inturruptus and when the supervisor involved felt that he had launched a particularly ripe one he would hold the door of the office closed so nobody could escape, or as he put it, so we could all get the full effect of what he had produced. He says that the cause of the potency of his gift is all the moose-meat he eats and that he is okay with that. Yes, childish yet manly.

That was part one of the tale and can safely serve as a benchmark for what follows. This is the second part: We were having a meeting when one of the production guys came in and perched himself on the edge of the desk. He sat there for a moment sort of scowling around at everybody then he hopped off and left the office. We all looked at each other then I asked, “What was that all about? What ails that boy?” We were all puzzled, then someone offered, “Maybe he (passed gas).” I tested the air but it all seemed okay, yet there the guy was looking in the office window with a kind of expectant look on his face. I left the office and patted him on the shoulder. “Dude,” I said, “that was just sad.”

Anyway… Humouroceros

Original land-bridge presentation

The following is the official summary of Professor Reihold Simpson’s original paper to the Canadian Institute of the Theoretical Sciences regarding his theory regarding the prehistoric existence of a land-bridge running from Antarctica up to northern British Columbia, Canada. The summary is being presented here because of the unwieldy length of Professor Simpson’s original presentation, which included several dozen “for further information please see” sorts of notes which are not important to the central theme of the presentation in this forum. There were also several drawings, fanciful drawings by the Professor’s own hand it would appear, of what look like wookies riding unicorns and what appear to be elephants playing marbles. These drawings may be shown at a later date but for now the textual document and the Professor’s original map will just have to do.

Gentlemen; I have been following the continuing discussions regarding certain questions RE: the interspecie locationals of animal and plant-life species between the Americas. I have put a great deal of thought into this and the only logical answer is that at some prehistoric time there must have been a land-bridge between the southern and the northern hemispheres, much like the one that once existed between Asia and North America.

This north-south land-bridge would have passed through all the temperature indices of Earth from the cooler polar areas to the extreme highs of the equator. This variety of temperature zones, combined with the unique climate inherent with a relatively narrow land-bridge (see Boyles Temra-physics and Land-bridge Micro-ecologies), would have provided perfect conditions for all types of wildlife including unicorns, heffalumps, gully cats, wizzles, woozles, ligers, and many others including a tall, hairy, bipedal mammal I have chosen to call, for no special reason, a sasquiyetifoot. None of these creatures are with us today because of the catastrophic destruction of the land-bridge at some point in time. I say catastrophic because no evidence of the land-bridges very existence is around today.

It seems obvious to me that the environment on the land-bridge would have been exceptionally mild, with gently rolling grass covered hills as well as forested areas with all sorts of trees and plants where birds could sing and small critters could frolic, and it seems only natural that all the creatures there would have lived in perfect harmony. It would have been a paradise.

Gentlemen, I believe that this theory merits investigation. I will begin to organise a team so that we can further explore this theory and it can be proven one way or the other. Thank-you for your time and your continuing support.

Sincerely; Professor Reihold Simpson


Anyway… Humouroceros

Proposed possible route of the land-bridge

Friday, November 24, 2006

Texass neck-massage

It was the neck-massage heard around the world. July, 2006 at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg and US President George W Bush snuck up behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel and grabbed her by the neck. Chancellor Merkel reacted in horror, flailing her arms about over her head, and then the President scuttled off to brag to his buddies about what he had just got away with. Of course it wasn’t long before he hadn’t ‘got away with it’ and the Internet was bogged down with photos and videos of the massage (AKA ‘the one-second Texas neck-wringing’) and all the usual suspect back in the good old USA began making loads of noise and it was all pretty exciting for a while.

I had a different take on the situation though and I’m actually pretty surprised that nobody else picked up on it (that I know of). My question is; where were Chancellor Merkel’s bodyguards while all this was going on? I would have thought that in the instant before President Bush’s hands touched the Chancellor’s neck, old Fritz and Gert Bodyguard would have had the Lugers out and, in the language of the bodyguard fraternity, they would have ‘whacked the mark’. Of course then President Bush’s bodyguard detail would have then drawn their six-shooters and ‘capped’ the German bodyguards and then things really could have become hairy (I am not advocating for gunplay and body-counts at G-8 summits. Nobody wants to see these things end with body-bags stuffed with world leaders being lugged out and it is a testament to the professionalism of those in the bodyguard game that the scenario did not play out in this bloody fashion.)

I was sort of wondering if while this whole situation was going down (the unexpected massage) whether the German bodyguards were hampered in their response by any holdover stuff from the end of World War II (which as anyone who ever paid attention in school will remember was fought between the Axis of Evil [mark one], Germany, Italy and Japan, and the Allied forces, led by England, the US and Uncle Joe’s Soviet Union.) Was there something in the terms of surrender that made it clear that Germans were not allowed to shoot US Presidents no matter what the provocation? That would have been a good rule for them to have, I think.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Going for the grope - George attacks
Dang, sez George, that weren't nothin'

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Canadian Idiot

Tending, as I do, to be a little bit behind the curve on this sort of stuff I was only recently made aware of the “controversy” surrounding fan videos created using a Weird Al Yankovic parody song called “Canadian Idiot” (which is a parody of the song “American Idiot” by Green Day). “Zounds,” I muttered, slapping my knee and dislodging a small coffee that had been perched there, “this sounds totally odd! I had best check it out!” Next thing you know I’m on the computer, YouTubed up and “Canadian Idiot” jacked into the search-box. A quick click later and there’s, like, THOUSANDS of these videos just demanding to be watched. So I did.

Weird Al’s tune, which he calls “a love letter to Canada”, is quite listenable. Of course I like the original Green Day song too, but Al’s will do in a pinch. I don’t think that Al his bad-old-self has made a video for the song yet and if I were he I wouldn’t bother now since loads of young folk who are our friends to the south have more than made up for it. I watched a couple of them and it all looks like harmless fun to me. Was I offended? Nah. In fact I pretty much respect and enjoyed the imagination and creativity that went into the videos I did watch (my faves of the moment are by StupidHatPro, rahgnaraken and LeroyBeavis, all USAers.)

Some people, however, cannot take a joke and probably had their humour bits removed surgically (it’s that free health-care thing). Reading some of the comments that follow some of these videos makes me wonder. I understand that there are lots of “big men” sitting at keyboards plugged into the World Wide Web, but come on. Calling someone names just for making a funny video is just lame.

And for the record: I am not a “beer swillin’ hockey nut”, I don’t like donuts (although I do like moose meat), I do not own or know anything about guns, I don’t like Kraft macaroni, I did drive a zamboni once (for about ten seconds, backwards), I like Bob and Doug MacKenzie (and Trailer Park Boys and Corner Gas), I say ‘about’ not ‘aboot’, and curling will be a sport right after bowling is and Hell freezes over.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Here are the lyrics:

Weird Al Yankovic - Canadian Idiot Lyrics

Don't wanna be a Canadian idiot
Don't wanna be some beer swillin' hockey nut
And do I look like some frostbitten hose-head?
I never learned my alphabet from A to Zed
They all live on donuts and moose meat
And they leave the house without packin' heat
Never even bring their guns to the mall

And you know what else is too funny?
Their stupid Monopoly money
Can't take 'em seriously at all
Well maple syrup and snow's what they export
They treat curling just like it's a real sport
They think their silly accent is so cute
Can't understand a thing they're talkin' aboot

Sure they got their national health care
Cheaper meds, low crime rates and clean air
Then again well they got Celine Dion
Eat their weight in Kraft macaroni
And dream of drivin' a Zamboni
All over Saskatchewan

Don't wanna be a Canadian idiot
Won't figure out their temperature in Celsius
See the map, they're hoverin' right over us
Tell you the truth, it makes me kinda nervous

Always hear the same kind of story
Break their nose and they'll just say "sorry"
Tell me what kind of freaks are that polite?
It's gotta mean they're all up to somethin'
So quick, before they see it comin'
Time for a pre-emptive strike!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Photographic evidence has surfaced that may hold the key to proving a long-held theory of the Canadian Institute of the Theoretical Sciences (CITS). It was in early 1985 that Professor Reihold Simpson first presented a paper on the prehistoric existence of a land-bridge between the Antarctic sub-continent and the northern hemisphere. “It wasn’t a good time,” the professor admits, “many of my so-called colleagues in the so-called real sciences really laced into me. Their cries of ‘pseudo-science’ and ‘populist pap’ were totally off-side and personally offensive. The field of archaeological study is quite tricky enough, thank-you very much, and I think that a little more professionalism and a little less tabloid bickering would have been the proper way to discuss this. Also, you have to remember that these are people who believe in ‘plate tectonics’. Now there’s a theory without any merit!”

The professor brightened as he returned to the subject of the theoretical land-bridge. “Yes, this is the only logical explanation for many things that have puzzled us for decades. Questions abound and the existence of a prehistoric land-bridge would simplify matters greatly. The only problem has been evidence but since the geologic event that destroyed the land-bridge was so devastating that there is none. Unfortunately, we thought, the indigenous native peoples of the time only kept oral histories and most of that was lost when Europeans arrived. We thought, that is, until now.” And with that the professor flourishes what he terms one of the most exciting and important discoveries in recent history. A photograph that appears to show a Haida cave-drawing of a penguin (the Haida are a First Nations band living mainly on the Haida Gwaii archipelago (the Queen Charlotte Islands) off northern British Columbia, Canada. They are well known for their distinctive and elaborate two-dimensional designs, called “flat designs”, which are tightly controlled by formal canons of both line and form. Archaeological evidence show that the Haida have lived on Haida Gwaii since the end of the last ice-age.)

At this point in time there is only the one photograph available and the professor does not know where it was taken. “All we know for sure is that it was taken in a cave somewhere on the shore of Lake Hecksapoppin in the North Hecksapoppin Valley, in British Columbia’s southern interior. The gentleman who provided us with the photo has requested a rather huge sum of money in exchange for any information as to the exact location of the cave. Negotiations are going on now and I don’t like to interfere but I believe that no amount of money is too much to ask for information of this sort. The sky’s the limit. You just have to see this photograph to understand how important it is that a properly equipped expedition goes to the cave.”

The photograph, which is not of the best quality, shows what appears to be a traditional Haida painting of a penguin. “The only explanation of a native artist from the northern end of North America to even know what a penguin is or that they even exist is if he had seen one. These are birds of the Antarctic and the only explanation is that back when there was a land-bridge penguins migrated north. It’s obvious.”

Doctor Victor Fronkonsteen of the Royal Prehistoric Land-mass Society disagrees. “Reihold is a nut,” he says. It would appear that only after a well organized group finds and studies the cave will we know for sure.

Anyway… Humouroceros

The Cave-penguin

The Leaders at APEC - Hanoi 2

After carefully reviewing my last post I have come to the conclusion that it could have been viewed as a little insulting to some of the Leaders shown. This was never my intention. In fact, I sort of feel bad about it and I may even have trouble sleeping tonight. So here it it again, with all possibley insulting stuff carefully removed. Sorry for any bruised feelings or anything. H.

US President George W Bush, Russian President Vlad Putin, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wearing traditional Vietnamese clothing at the APEC summit in Hanoi, Viet Nam, 2006.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Leaders at APEC-Hanoi

US President George W Bush, Russian President Vlad Putin, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Canadian Prime Miniser Stephen Harper wearing traditional Vietnamese clothes at the APEC summit in Hanoi, Viet Nam, 2006.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Monday, November 20, 2006

A real Wal-Mart Christmas

It’s been big news in certain circles for a few years now; Wal-Mart, in it’s continuing campaign to be less offensive, had asked it’s employees (also known as ‘associates’) not to say ‘Merry Christmas’ at work but to rather use the more generic and far sillier greeting ‘Happy Holidays’ to greet customers. Of course this set off the usual storm of ranting and raving by all the right-wing talking heads in the media who are always pointing to this or that as proof of the deterioration of western civilization. The religious-right joined in (not wanting to be left out in the cold) and boycotts were called and there were stories of real religious folk (as opposed to the members of the religious-right which is actually about as religious as your average atheist is) setting up in front of Wal-Marts and singing Christmas carols. Yeah, well whatever floats your boat I guess. I found that throughout all this turmoil I was still sleeping fine at night (I should probably point out that I am neither for nor against Wal-Mart, I just choose not to shop there).

I may have been wrong though and it looks like civilization has been saved. A Wal-Mart spokesperson announced that Wal-Mart had “learned (it’s) lesson. We’re not afraid to use the term ‘Merry Christmas’. We’ll use it early and we’ll use it often.” This year Wal-Mart will run ads “trumpeting Christmas” (for those who hadn’t noticed it coming by some other method), all Wal-Mart stores will play Christmas carols constantly up until the big day and there will be signs counting down the days themselves, over sixty percent more merchandise will be labeled ‘Christmas’ in preparation for the post-Christmas sales and there is probably other stuff to come they haven’t announced yet. Yep, it’s all good.

So now the right-wing loonies and “religious” nuts can all pollute the airwaves with their triumphant shouts of victory. The world’s largest retailer is now going to sell more during the Christmas season, raising the commercial aspect of this time of year just that little bit. That makes us all winners. Yay.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Borat in New York

Two thin English funnymen wandering the streets of New York, late at night and looking for liquor. To quote a friend of mine, “What could possibly go wrong?” Sacha Baron Cohen (who created the character Borat) and Hugh Laurie (who used to be funny until he moved to the United States. Just kidding, Hugh) were heading out to a bar after working together on a show of Saturday Night Live (which also used to be funny.) The boys were probably on a post-show high and Sacha, who was apparently dressed in his Borat clothes decided to have some fun with a Big Apple resident. He went up so some guy and says, “I like your clothes. Are nice! Please may I buying? I want have sex with.” Instead of the expected ‘look, it’s Borat’ hilarity, buddy cuffs Sacha in the head then settles in for a good, old fashioned New York style beating. Hugh leaps in and pulls Sacha to safety. I guess if you don’t count a couple of bruises and a battered ego, there’s some pretty good free publicity since somebody had to release the whole episode (including dialogue) to the media. It sounds just like the sort of thing a publicity goof would do.

Speaking of ‘Borat’, which is supposed to be a pretty funny movie I hear (but then I also heard that the movie The Blair Witch Project was supposed to be scary so it just goes to show), I wonder why an Englishman pretending to be a journalist from some little country full of goats and chickens, felt the need to travel to the United States to expose hypocrisy, or whatever. Are there no balloons to be popped in England? Isn’t the idea of the hereditary right to rule worth poking with a sharp stick, or a sharp shtick even? Or is it just that the trusting and welcoming nature of our friends to the south makes them an easy target? My fellow Canadian, Rick Mercer, did something along those lines several years ago called Talking With Americans to pretty good reviews although it seems to have been a little less mean spirited. I suppose it’s only right that Sacha carried on with it, taking it to the next level, and if he has to take a few shots to the head to pay for it, well that’s cheap.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Borat? Or a real funnyguy?

I know what my vote is.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What's the deal with Superman?

The story I heard on the streets when I was young is that Superman is not actually human. Apparently he illegally entered the United States at some unspecified time in the past and with the help of some lonely Kansasainians (John and Martha Kent) he wormed his way into polite society. This lead to that and so-on and so-forth and the next thing you know he’s fighting crime and boinking Lois Lane. Good work if you can get it I suppose but even if we ignore the technicalities of some alien nailing some beautiful reporter a few questions remain.

Reports I have read put Superman’s home-planet as Krypton, a planet that at one time orbited a red sun in a far off district of the galaxy. Krypton was bigger that Earth with the resulting higher gravity which had densified the musculature of its inhabitants. The red sun threw out different radiation that our own Sol does and this also affected the inhabitants of Krypton. Superman’s father, Jor-El, figured that Krypton was going to blow up so he built a rocket-ship and just before the big blow he popped his kid into it and fired him off (well, no duh. Who wouldn’t?) Eventually the rocket landed on Earth and in a totally unexpected turn of events, Earth’s gravity and the different radiations of Earth’s sun caused Superman to be super.

Yep, he can fly and has super-strength and super eyes and you can shoot bullets at him without hurting him and it’s all good, except for one niggling little detail that kind of bugs me. Why isn’t Superman fat? He eats, but with his super-strength he would never put out any real energy to do anything. By this I mean that your average Joe type guy would expend more energy dragging his sorry butt out of the easy-chair to grab a six-pack and a block of cheese than Superman would by flying around the world twenty times, corking up volcanoes and battling super-villains. Sad but true. There is nothing that Superman could do to expend the energy he takes in. That’s a comic I’d like to see.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A-10 "Warthog"

The date: August 7, 1996, the place, Kamloops, British Columbia. It was the Kamloops Airshow and we were there to make sure that everything was five by five (the Kamloops Airshow was easier and cheaper to get into than the Abbotsford Airshow.) It was all good and as usual, even though I had had my war-like stuff surgically removed yonks back, it was the warplanes that were the coolest. There was a World War II vintage Spitfire-trainer there, which was cool, but it was the A-10 “Warthogs” in the static display that really got the crowds attention. We weren’t allowed to get close but the view was still excellent (unlike a few years before when the static display was up close and personal. You could talk to the pilots, one of whom had the call-sign “Joker”. His plane had a cartoon of the Batman’s arch-enemy, “Joker” on the hatch.)

The planes did a couple of fly-bys and then, in conjunction with the Kamloops Pyrotechnics Club (the Kamloops Pyrotechnics Club? Who knew?) they did a strafing. Barrels had been set up along the runway and as the A-10s flew by firing their cannons the barrels blew up.

This is the beginning of the strafing run, just before he began firing,

and this is just after. The barrel you see flying into the air wound up flying higher than the plane had been flying. It might have been just an optical illusion, but it sure looked good.

Anyway… Humouroceros

PS: I included this one just because the blast was so big. We could feel the heart from where we were sitting some distance away.

Two bits about Time

- This is the cover of the Time magazine from August 8, 1960, which was on the shelves when I was born. Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. How cool is that?

- The White House Memo in the August 7, 2006 edition of Time is about US Secretary Of State, Condoleezza Rice. Near the end the comment is made, “She worked on the National Security Council of President George H.W. Bush, and some Bush-family aides say Rice’s election as the first black and first woman U.S. President could be one of the clan’s greatest legacies.” Ordinarily I wouldn’t even think about this sort of thing but couldn’t the writers at Time (in this case a guy named Mike Allen) have chosen another word than ‘clan’ when speaking about a black person?

Anyway… Humouroceros

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What I wanted to be when I grew up

At one time it seems that most people believed that all children wanted to join the circus or be a fireman or a policeman when they grew up. When I was young, I wanted to be the guy at the gas station who washed the car windows. This was back when if you pulled into a gas station, rather than pumping the gas yourself you could have as many as three people working on your car at the same time. One guy would “fill ‘er up”, while the second would check your oil and look for loose hoses, and the third would wash all the windows on your car, and wipe the head and tail lights! I remember sitting in the car watching the third guy work. Sponge the soapy water on, squeegee it off, wipe around the edges with a clean rag, and the windows sparkled. The guy under the hood I rarely saw, and he was pretty greasy when I did see him, and the guy pumping the gas... Well, my Granny and Grampa H had an old Cadillac, and the place where you put the gas was hidden under one of the tail-lights. There was a small, round reflector at the bottom of this light and you pressed on that reflector to release a catch so that the entire light assembly could swing up out of the way and you could “fill ‘er up”. Granny H and I would sit in the car laughing while some poor guy, usually a teenager, wandered around the car scratching his head and wondering where the heck the gas went in. Eventually Granny would send me out to show this poor mutt where it did, and by this time the guy who did the windows was finished his job and back in the office listening to the radio, or reading a comic book, or doing whatever they did to pass their free time in the nineteen sixties. On one hand we had this guy who comes out and does his thing, is finished, and heads off to sit back with the satisfaction of having done his job well. On the other hand we had this other guy who sometimes had to be shown how do his job by some twirpy little five year old. Now even though I was that twirpy little five year old, I sometimes thought that was sad, so every once in a while, just to make some greasy haired teenager feel better I would purposely go to the wrong tail-light first, thereby trying to give back a little of the poor guys self esteem. Of course, in retrospect, that is even sadder. In any event I still figured that it was better to be the guy who knew where his job was and how to do it well every single time. I wanted to be the guy who washed the car windows.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The New York Times traitoricityness

In what is being described as a successful sting operation against the liberal media (lib-med), the White House recently provided proof as to how The New York Times is helping to spread nuclear secrets around the world.

The sting was set up in March of 2006 with the creation of the Operation Iraqi Document Portal on the Internet, supposedly to have the American people assist in searching through the reams of Iraqi government papers that US government translators did not have time to read (it’s a well known fact that the 87% of the American public is fully fluent in Arabic). However it wasn’t until September of 2006 when nuclear bomb papers were “accidentally” posted to the site that The New York Times tipped their hand. Apparently the information posted earlier on the World Wide Web regarding the manufacture of the nerve gases sarin and tabun wasn’t quite enough. The Times waited until the nuclear secrets were posted before announcing to the world that they were available.

Oh ho! Busted! The media’s liberal bias has long been known of but to be caught in this way can only be described as embarrassing. As former White House Chief-of-staff, Andrew Card, says, “I’m a little concerned that The New York Times has announced (the availability of these documents which the US government has placed on the World Wide Web) to the world.”

Hugo Loudmouth, Leader of the grass-roots non-partisan organization, We Hate The Liberal Media (And The Democrats) released a statement stating in part, “It’s like we’ve always said, these people at the New York Times as well as all the other liberal, leftie saturated media are all traitors! How dare they abuse their right to free speech to announce to the world what the government, which by the way is lead by our glorious leader, George W Bush, has put on the Internet? They should be drawn and quartered and hung and shot and stuff, like the traitors they are. It’s all Bill Clinton’s fault and his wife’s ugly.” Mister Loudmouth’s passion on this subject, as a good right-thinking American, is evident.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Hugo Loudmouth waxes apoplectic

Thursday, November 09, 2006

At the hardware store

I was in a hardware store the other day, scoring some itemries that would fit in well with my rugged, manly lifestyle. Once done I took my basket up to the check out and piled everything on the counter so that checkout-buddy could run it through and I could get home and start putting stuff up, and stuff. While he was running my stuff through I couldn’t help but notice that he was fidgeting around like a terrorist on his first suicide-bombing so I manfully asked, “What’s your problem? You got ants in your pants?”

“No,” checkout-buddy says, “it’s my pants. They keep falling down.” I was about the suggest that he invest in a decent belt, or even a crappy pair of suspenders, when he sort of laughed and added, “It’s like when I played bass at my mom’s church. One time I’m playing away and my belt snapped. Next thing you know, my pants are down at my knees. It was pretty embarrassing.” As I handed him my debit (or ‘debt’) card I agreed that that sort of thing could be a little embarrassing.

He was still chuckling to himself as he handed me my receipt and I couldn't help but notice the tattoo on his forearm. It was a cross, made to look like dripping red blood, overlaid with a black pentagram. Of course now I’m wondering what sort of church his mom went to.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Artists, well, my rendition of what the tattoo looked like:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bono, say it ain't so

News Item: U2 singer, Bono, speaks of the necessity for the Irish government to give more money to Ireland Aid (for foreign aid).

Another News Item: At the same time that Bono was asking the Irish government to contribute to foreign aid for Africa, his band (U2) has been reducing tax payments that could help fund that aid. In August 2006 it came out that U2 had transferred most of their business to the Netherlands to shelter its song-writing royalties from taxation.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pope in trouble


Anyway... Humouroceros

TVs for survivors

China: Historic Sacrifice Rates A TV - The reward comes better late than never, but on the 70th anniversary of the Long March, the Chinese government is rewarding survivors of the trek as well as those who helped them along the way. The famous retreat saw thousands of Communists flee to the remote interior to escape the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek. The reward will be 80,000 TV sets, which, a state newspaper says, will solve the Long March survivors’ “television-viewing difficulties.” - Maclean’s newsmagazine – November 6, 2006

As we all remember from school, the Long March© was a military retreat by the armies of the Communist Party of China and the Peoples Liberation Army to get away from the Nationalist Armies led by Chiang Kai-shek. The Communists, led by Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, escaped to the north, covering either 8,000 km, 6,000 km or 16,000 km (depending on who you believe) in 370 days, finishing up in November of 1935.

Over 100,000 soldiers started on the march yet even after “confiscating” weapons and property along the way, as well as “recruiting” peasants, only about 8,000 made it to their final destination. Because of the defeat, membership in the Chinese Communist party fell from 300,000 to about 40,000. In March of 2006, Sun Shuyun, a writer for the Taipei Times, estimated that there were about 500 survivors still alive.

My thinking is this: each of those survivors looks to be getting 160 televisions sometime this year. If that doesn’t cure their “television-viewing difficulties” then nothing will.

Anyway… Humouroceros

The only thing worth watching on Chinese Television - the bravest man you're ever likely to see

Pete and Steve

This is a picture from a couple of years ago and we have all seen it many times, but the last time I looked at it something struck me. If I had another guy looking at me the same way that Stephen Harper is looking at Peter McKay, I’d be worried. Unless Pete’s into that sort of thing, whatever that sort of thing may be (and not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Anyway… Humouroceros

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It started out...

It started out when I was wondering where sayings come from. Who coined the phrase, ‘to coin a phrase’, for example. The well-known comedian, author, actor, radio personality and weisenheimer, Al Franken, coined a phrase in his book ‘Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them’. It was ‘kidding on the square’ and it means when you are kidding, but you sort of mean it too. It’s a cool little phrase and there is definitely a place in society for it but I sort of figured that since a left-wing liberal nut like Al Franken came up with it, it would never catch on (I like Al’s books but in his own partisan little way he is just as bad as the right-wing conservative nuts are. The difference is that Al means to be funny.) Al’s saying has been used by the alt-history sci-fi writer Harry Turtledove in a couple of his books so I suppose if for nothing else, Al has made his mark.

Twenty years or so back I had a phrase of my own that I used frequently. When asked how I was feeling I would say, “I feel like a hundred dollar bill in a five dollar wallet” by which I meant that I felt pretty good. It hasn’t caught on, oddly enough, but I’m okay with that. I got the idea for the phrase from a book where one of the characters described another as ‘fifty pounds of manure in a ten pound bag.’ I think that was from the sequel to MASH by Richard Hooker (called MASH Goes To Maine, I believe) and is one of the three MASH books worth reading. MASH, MASH Goes To Maine and MASH Mania, all by Richard Hooker are all pretty good. Back in the last millennium there were several other MASH books written by Richard Hooker and this other guy (MASH Goes To Morocco, MASH Goes To England, etc.) which were not very good. If you were looking for a quick read that you could forget about right away, they were okay, but that was about it. I suspect that they weren’t actually written by Richard Hooker, but by his “co-author”.

I always sort of had the feeling that Richard Hooker (which is a pseudonym) is a right-wing nut in a Tom Clanceyesque sort of way (Tom Clancy writes huge books in the techno-military porn vein. The author photos in these books generally show Tom wearing something like a fighter-pilot’s flight-suit and standing on the flight-deck of an aircraft carrier without having actually earned the right to do so. I don’t know if he’s a chickenhawk or not and for all I know he’s a really nice guy. It just doesn’t seem right to me.) The two (Tom and Dick, but not Harry) are the same in that they both appear to believe that if right-wingers ran everything then everything would be wonderful. The poor and the homeless would be taken care of, everybody who needed medical attention would have access to it, everyone would get the education they were capable of, etc. It all seems a little far-fetched to me, but I’m no king of economic theory. Or should that be I am a king of economic theory but along with everybody else on the planet I don’t know about economic practicability? That’s the sort of statement that is just loaded with opportunity for debate but my point is this: if somebody really knew of an economic model that actually worked for everybody, where all citizens had the opportunity to be all they could be without undue hardship and where no child was actually ever left behind, wouldn’t you think that it would have been shown up somewhere by now?

Caveat emptore as the Romans used to say when they bothered to say anything at all instead of just hacking at it with a sword, which is pretty much how our friends to the south have decided to treat with the rest of the world, which sort of shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gay marriage

Yeah, that's about right.

Anyway... Humouroceros