Monday, November 29, 2010

Investing for Suckers!

This is for all the suckers that think they are going to make it big on the Stock Market:

Anyway... Humouroceros

Friday, November 26, 2010


Anyway... Humouroceros

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bang, Bang, Shoot, Shoot!

Anyway... Humouroceros

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Royal Wedding on the cheap

Dog my cats, how I hate going on and on about this deal but once again the upcoming Royal Wedding in jolly old Eng-er-lund has jerked itself onto my own personal radar. Now as a fine upstanding citizen of the Commonwealth this latest situation is probably something I should have considered all on my own, but here it is: who is paying for this shindig?

I understand that traditionally weddings are paid for by the family of the blushing bride, but I suspect that your average Royal Wedding costs a couple of dollars (or “pounds” which are almost like real money) more than your bog-common, “let’s get married in the backyard and Aunt Em will make the dress” variety of wedding. I don’t know what Kate’s parents do for a living (and I can’t really be bothered to Google up that particular information) but I figure unless they are either televangelists or drug-lords they are not even going to be able to afford to pay for the drinks served at the wedding rehearsal dinner.

So who picks up the tab when Kate’s mom and dad can’s afford the whole deal? In a tradition bound sub-culture such as the Royals in Eng-er-lund inhabit it is probably unthinkable that the family of the blushing groom would pick up the tab, or even part of it, even though they do have more money than your average church. “It just ain’t done, wot?” as one Royal pensioner or another would have said were they all not inbred into incomprehensibility, yet such a drooling mess as would say something like that has a fair point. If you want to get into the Royal Family then certain dues should have to be paid. Granted, a Royal Wedding with all the bells and whistles is a pretty stiff price to pay, but considering that one day a grandkid of yours will be King or Queen of the whole Commonwealth (unless of course the peasants and other commoners rise up in revolt) maybe the cost of a Royal Wedding is cheap. I’m sure there are ways to cut costs a little without being too obvious about it. Instead of holding the ceremony at the posh St Pauls Cathedral (where Chuck and Di tied the knot (loosely) in front of 3500 of their closest friends), hold it at the slightly rundown yet still popular Westminster Abbey. Instead of inviting heads of state from all over the world, don’t invite the less popular ones. Does the President of France really need to be there? Cut the guest list down to a manageable 3000 or so, and don’t serve the best wine or cuts of beef. I mean, they’re British. Is anybody really going to notice that the food is bad?

Ah well, as long as the taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill, it’s all good.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Git yer hands off my booze, bubbah!

At the beginning of 2010 it became illegal to drive while babbling into a cell-phone in the great province of British Columbia. Personally, I am totally behind that. I can't count the number of times in the past few years when I was out walking and some nimrod who just absolutely has to talk on the cell-phone rather than pay attention to where he or she were driving has tried to run me down for daring to cross the road when I have a green light. Or maybe when some bonehead would run a stop-sign as though it weren't even there under the mistaken idea that when one is talking on the phone the rules of the road no longer apply. Well, you are all screw-heads and now if you get caught it's a nice little fine (I would rather the fine were a little more hefty, a lot more hefty actually. Maybe that's just me.)

At the time there was some squawking by all the usual self involved types; how dare anyone infringe on their right to drive like a moron while gabbling on the phone (my deepest apologies to all the morons out there who don't talk on the phone while driving. No offence). That's Communism or something. Really though, there was a lot less whining than I expected and I suspect that this was because most people are intelligent and were capable of understanding that they did not have the right to risk other people's lives just so they can talk on the phone. Then there are the hardcore babble addicts - those who just can't stay off the phone for any reasonable length of time. Those with the usual addict attitude that their pathetic little lives are more important than anything else. It's sad, really, but there it is.

Recently in British Columbia the drinking and driving laws were toughened up giving the RCMP more powers to get drunks off the road. Once again, I am totally behind that. My family and friends all use these same roads and the thought of some cretin murdering one of them because they decided to drive while drunk is pretty hard to take. It is now easier for the police to yank these jerks off the road. Good. What really surprised me was the amount of anger over these changes. The complaining has been right off the chart. People are actually arguing in favour of drinking and driving? I definitely never saw that coming.

Restaurants and pubs are complaining that revenue is down. People are no longer having wine or beer with their meals and apparently all the usual crowd is no longer heading out to the pub to get all plastered up before driving home, and according to some this is a bad thing. I disagree: drunks off the road = a good thing. And to look at this realistically, the line is a blood alcohol content of .05, say a couple of glasses of wine or a couple of beers for the average person. Now throw a meal in with that and spending a hour or so in a restaurant and I would be very surprised if anyone had a .05 reading. If anyone who is in a restaurant having a meal who has to pound more than a couple of beers or glasses of wine probably has a bigger problem than new drinking and driving laws anyway. Now those who go to a pub or bar to tie one on should just plan ahead a little bit. Why drive when you know you are going there to pour in the liquor? Have a ride home arranged. I mean how much easier could it be? Whining that it is your right to drive while shitfaced is just wrong. Also, consider, when was the last time you were pulled over, for anything. How long ago was that? Really, what are the chances that anyone is going to get pulled over at random? If someone who has had a couple of drinks is getting pulled over, it is for a reason, and if that person gets pulled off the road for thirty-six hours or so, good. Maybe that person will learn a lesson.

The Liberal Occupying Government (L.O.G.) in Victoria, which surprised me by doing something I liked, are actually considering backing down on this one. There have been MLAs who have said that the rules may be loosened up, showing the same backbone as your average worm. Typical. They accidentally do something right, and then they back off right away. Here's an idea for free: get rid of the Harmonized Sales Tax, make the fines for driving while using a cell-phone higher, and keep the new tougher drinking and driving laws. In return, I will appreciate it. Okay? Okay!

Anyway... Humouroceros

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stonehenge: shrinking with age

Ah, the wonder of everybody's favourite henge, Stone (known to many as 'Stonehenge'), usually only hitting the news during your various solstices surrounded by a multitude of slobbering hippies, all stoned out of their gourds on medicinal hemp and wondering where the nearest bag of candied corn is. Of course when Stonehenge was originally built some 1600 years ago, hippies and hemp were the last things on the builders minds, although it is true that even then candied corn was hard to find. Theories abound as to the how-do's and the why-for's of Stonehenge: why was it built, who built it, how did they build it, what the heck is a henge? All worthy questions yet one question rarely if ever asked is; where the heck did the missing bits get to?

Back in the long ago when Stonehenge was all shiny and new your average Brit was spending his says in the fields, burrowing in the mud hunting for worms. Not the builders of Stonehenge though (and don't be fooled, it was not giants from some fanciful British past nor dinosaurs from some Flintstone past that built Stonehenge). With that crowd every morning at the crack of dawn they were up and out for some bracing calisthenics before a burly breakfast of blood-pudding and chiggers. Then it was off to the work-site for a solid day of telling other people what to do. Labour relations were not as enlightened back then as they are today and while nostril crimps and buttock clamps were rarely used, willow whips and wild dogs were very popular to encourage the workers to work a little more enthusiastically.

As interesting as all this trivia may be, the cold hard facts are that once finished, Stonehenge was made up of about eighty large sandstone blocks weighing about four tons apiece, lovingly placed without the use of mortar, dowels or dinosaurs (not counting all the little blocks placed higgledy-piggledy). A quick look at the above photograph from 1877 shows that even back then a lot of blocks, about half, are missing. Gone. Lost to the ages. So, where the heck are they?

One has to remember that the builders of Stonehenge were a focused bunch and as such they were not about to allow their new construction to be ripped apart by all the usual suspects. Over the following sixteen hundred years though, the blocks slowly began to disappear. The question is, where did they go? There are no suspicious large buildings anywhere near and somehow it just seems unlikely that some wacky kids would swipe one of the stones and bury it somewhere as a prank or a jape.

So what are the theories? There are none. My own personal theory that covers all the facts is that the blocks were stolen by space aliens. Why would space aliens steal sandstone blocks from Stonehenge? Well obviously any space alien motivations for stealing would be impossible for we humans to understand, they are, after all, aliens. But one little known fact is that the particular sandstone the blocks are made from is called sarsen, which is a sandstone harder than granite. Now here on Earth sarsen is not exactly rare, but let's postulate that it is very rare on the home planet of these space aliens. I am viewing this as an economic crime, much like what happened on Wall Street in 2008. Outright theft. Space alien bastards. Except for the Vulcans. I like Vulcans.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't touch my junk!

Some buddy in our favourite United States of America has taken the glittery road to folk hero superstardom with the rallying cry of, "If you touch my junk I'll have you arrested" (a wordy yet effective cry that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue as smoothly as, say, "Fifty four forty or fight" did, but which has caught on with the public's imagination regardless.) John Tyner was working his way through the security at San Diego airport when a friendly Transportation Security Administration employee tried to get even friendlier. It was then that John laid down his immortal line, igniting yet another firestorm regarding airport security in the U.S. of A.

Welp, here we go again. As everyone who pays attention to these sorts of things will remember, right after the 9/11 attacks this whole airport security thing hit the public consciousness like a big, flaming bag of poop on the porch. The folks who are in charge of making the public feel better without actually doing anything, got right on it and next thing you know the Big Government Republicans (under the deft leadership of President George W Bush) had manned up and federalized airport security in the U.S., creating an entirely new level of bureaucracy which has now has over 67,000 employees. Potential fliers are now poked, groped, prodded and x-rayed, and surprisingly enough they are getting tired of it all. What a fickle bunch the flying public are. Sure, they don't want to be on a terrorist riddled airliner plowing into the ground at seven hundred miles an hour, but they don't want their junk joggled either. Sheesh.

I am curious why our United Station friends didn't turn to some sort of country who had a proven track record dealing with a terrorist threat, you know, for advice. A country like, say, Israel. The Israeli security folks have been defending against terrorism for sixty years now and they have gotten pretty good at it. Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv is a pretty busy place, and is also a prime target for your average homicidal terrorist, yet the security teams there manage to get the paying customers safely from the front gate to the boarding ramps in about twenty five minutes, and all without disturbing anybody's junk.

The main tool the Israeli security dudes use is observation. There are six layers of security and at every one every customer is being observed and examined for signs of nervousness or distress. Pretty low-tech, but the last time there was an issue was in 2002 when a handgun was found to have accidentally been allowed onto a plane. Accidentally. Even the person carrying it didn't know he had it.

Then again maybe it's just easier to fondle passengers. Why be effective and efficient when you can juggle someone's family jewels? In fact our friends in the Transportation Security Administration are so intent on continuing to touch junk that they are investigating Mister junk himself (John Tyner). You see, according to federal rules and laws in the U.S. once you start the security process you have to finish it, which Mr. Tyner did not (opting to not board the plane rather than have his joy-stick toyed with). In other words, once they start touching your junk, they have to complete touching your junk. Weird.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

William and Katy up in a tree...

So Royal Billy and mainstreet Katie are finally getting married, but not until next year so there’s no need to get too excited just yet. The good thing is that with the sort of lead-time the cheap-crap industry now has some time to spin up and flood the market with commemorative plates, mugs, ash-trays and whatever else they can manage to squeeze a crappy likeness of the happy couple on. I am quite sure that all those investors who spent a bundle on this stuff way back when Chuck and Di tied the knot (1981) are just salivating at this coming opportunity to add to their collections. Thirty years is a long time to have waited, but for the serious crap collector, it will no doubt have been well worth the wait. And just think, in about fifty or a hundred years all of this stuff will start showing up on some future version of Antiques Roadshow where some “expert” will declare, “Holy crap! You spent actual money on this stuff?” Heh.

Now something that struck me back in ’81 with the run-up to the Charles and Diana nuptials was when the official Royal family doctor announced to the waiting world that the blushing bride had been examined and she was, in fact, a virgin. Oddly enough a similar announcement was not made regarding Charles, which could mean either of a couple of things. Perhaps this meant that Chuckie had already busted his nut, or even more likely it was just assumed by everybody that Chuck was so obviously a virgin that to announce it would only be redundant. Anyway, what I am getting at is, I have to wonder whether we are going to find out if Kate and William are “pure”.

It has to be said, they are a pretty good looking couple (although in my alpha-hetro way, I think that she is way hotter than he is, and considering the genetic lottery he won by following in his mom’s path, looks-wise, the fact that he is even coming in second in this race is pretty good), and this suggests that one or both of them may have (to be delicate) “made the beast with two backs” once or twice previous to their current relationship. And the people have a right to know.

Or do they? I think a lot of people shouldn’t be trusted with anything any more challenging than a rubber ball, but then this isn’t the quaint old days of the early 1980’s and in our brave new world of Facebook, Twitter, LoudmoutH and all the other social networking web-sites a lot of what normal people call “privacy” doesn’t even exist any more. At least it doesn’t to a significant portion of the world’s population. Who is, or is being, rodgered by whom is pretty much open domain info these days and thus, the “rodgering” act isn’t as private as it once was. Or, by implication, as important. Maybe sad, maybe not, it is just the way it is.

I admit though, even back in 1981 I found it bizarre that Diana’s sexual situation was announced to the world’s press. In the first place I didn’t care if Diana had ever been “active” or not and in the second place it was none of my, nor anybody else’s business. The ginks at Buckingham Palace saw it differently though and so the announcement was made and we were all just a little bit wiser, or not. With any luck at all these self-same ginks are no longer at the Palace, having been put out to pasture or made into glue or something, and the current generation of Palace ginks doesn’t feel it is necessary to humiliate the happy couple. I think you call it respect.

Anyway… Humouroceros

PS: If either of these kids has been “active” in the past, I wonder how long it will be until the first tell-all book shows up. Wouldn’t that make a nice little wedding keepsake?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

J.P. II was a creep

A private members bill has just had it's second reading in the House of Parliament. The bill in question, C-573 would give the former pope, John Paul II his very own day, April 2, for which good Catholics would remember all of J.P.'s good works. What I remember is that J.P. was ready, willing and able to (and in fact did) hide pedophile priests from the law. The guy was a creep and a dirt-bag and we are better off without his kind. Good riddance. April 1 would probably be a more appropriate date to remember him with.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Yipee! Another Royal wedding!

I grabbed the above off of the NPR web-site and once again I have to wonder; What is the big charge our friends tot he south (the United States) get out of the Royal family of Eng-er-lund? Remember when Chuck and Di got hitched way back? Sure, some of my grandparents stayed up to watch the wedding (it was on at something like 0300 hrs local time), but I didn't. The media from south of the 49th covered it like feathers on a chicken. It was like if you were following the right channel down there you would have known just as the marriage was consummated (ick!). So okay, Di was okay looking for an English chick and Chuck does have those big ears, but still.
Then more recently when Chuck and his new wife, whats-her-name, visited the US Capital it was almost the same thing again. One commentator I saw on Fox looked like he was about to wet himself. Once again for me it was, WTF? The most recent visit by the Queen and Prince Phillip to Canada may have been covered by the US media too, but I don't know. I doubt it because the Royals were only visiting Canada and not the US, and that sort of thing (stuff outside the US borders) tends not to interest folk living in the US of A.
Anyway, my point, such as it is, is: Why do they care so much? Wasn't it only a couple of hundred years back that they tossed the British out of the States? That whole Tea Party thing (Oh ho, here's an odd little factlette; an ancestor of mine may have taken part in the Boston Tea Party. He didn't dress up like a native, "only pussies do that" he is reported to have said at the time, and he did pocket some tea, "for later". How cool is that?) and the War of Independence and all that stuff? And now when some spotty member of the Royal family shows up the US media rushes to lick some boot. That is weird no matter what scale you are using.
Anyway... Humouroceros

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Good-bye Gordo

So, everybodies favourite soup, goofy Gordo Campbell, AKA: the Aloha Boozehound, Asswipe, and/or the Premier of British Columbia, has once again taken the low-road and announced that he is cutting and running. As soon as the BC Liberal Party pulls their collective thumbs out of their collective butts (expected to take six months or so) and choose a new leader, Gordo steps down and this new leader takes over the big chair in Victoria as the newly unelected Premier of the province.

Ah, that's our Gordo all over, willing to take one for the team ~ tossing himself on the grenade of public opinion to save the BC Libs from being blown up by the next provincial election. Right-ho, Gordo playing politics in a manner so lamely obvious that children in pre-schools across the province are shaking their heads in wonder, and the game to switch the head of the monster (the BC Liberal Party) hoping that the great unwashed (the BC voting public) will forget everything the BC Libs have inflicted on the province in the last decade.

And what has brought Gruntin' Gordo to such a place that the only option he could see which would allow the Liberal Party not to go down in flames, was to run like a shaved ape? Why it is a little bit of a disaster known as the Harmonized Sales Tax (AKA: the H.S.T.) As the willfully aware will know the H.S.T. is the french-kiss between the BC Libs and the BC business community whereby taxes are reduced for the business community. And since the H.S.T. is revenue neutral the reduced tax income would have to be picked up by someone and that someone is the paying public. Oddly enough, the paying public didn't like this and yadda, yadda, yadda, the Libs are in trouble. Now a Liberal in trouble is just like a quivering little bunny, which is just what you want in a leader, and this is why Ramblin' Campbell is heading on out.

Of course we have been expecting Gordo to run, that is what cowards to when they get caught. Caught doing what? Why french-kissing the butts of the business community. Obviously the Libs knew what a farce the H.S.T. excuses were/are. It is not good for the lower income folks and it is not good for the middle-class and it will not create employment. These are all lies put forth by the Libs and when they figured out that the public wasn't buying their lies, then Gordo ran. I mean, if they did believe all this noise then why wouldn't they hang on and run in the next election on the strengths of the wonderful H.S.T.? Why, with all the new jobs in the province and with everybody having to buy bigger houses to store all the money they now have, the Libs would have been voted in by a landslide. I mean, obviously. It's almost like, they know they were lying. Weird.

Oh, by the way; Bye Gord. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Midterms 2010

So today is the day when our friends to the south (the United States) hit the polls and show some of the folks in Washington DC just who is really in charge. Heh, heh, heh, I know, let's hit the honesty-filter and see how that turns out. So today is the day when some of our friends to the south (the United States) may vote to send more greedheads to Washington DC. Yeah, that's more like it. Cynical? Nope, just being realistic. Considering just how feeble your average politician is these days, being pushed around by media news-cycles and all (Republicans being pushed around by Rush Limbaugh, Democrats too dumb to run on one of the most successful legislative records in history) it is really almost impossible to guess how things are going to turn out today.

Yeah, yeah, lots of polls suggest that the right (or if you are talking about the Tea Party, the "right") will be kicking a little ass today and maybe that is true although really we won't know until tomorrow, but it does raise the question to interested folks, where are the Democrats from two years ago. The pundits figure that the electorate is now so disgusted with the political process that they will not be bothering to vote this time around, and I say "what? Are you frickin' serious?" Really, these people are so dumb that they would rather have the right back in charge? The people who brought on two wars, the Gulf oil disaster, and a world-wide economic meltdown? That is seriously what they want? Or are the pundits suggesting that these folks can't see much more than two minutes into the future and so don't understand what the consequences of their inactions may be?

I admit, some of the "man-in-the-street" interviews I have seen have been disturbing. One fellow who claimed to be a registered Democrat was asked who he would vote for between Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons. He said that Christine had said some pretty nutty stuff, but he was undecided. Really? Between someone who is rubber-room crazy and someone who actually knows and understands what he is doing and this fellow is undecided? There was another guy on CBC, who looked like a well-heeled type who said Glenn Beck had made some good points on his show while Keith Olbermann was a "complete whackjob". Now I don't agree with everything Olbermann says, but Beck is a babbling loon.

I suppose the point of this post, such as it is, is to say, FRIGGIN' VOTE. Useless butt-zits who squat at home whining rather than getting out and actually trying to make a difference should maybe have that particular right taken away. Hell, why not? They just cost the government money since the polling stations have to be ready just in case they bother to show up, and since they don't vote anyway it's not like you are really taking anything away. How can you miss a right you don't use anyway? Just a muddled thought.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Monday, November 01, 2010

A time traveller in 1928?

So the latest viral sensation sweeping the information super-hi-way is the time traveller captured in Charlie Chaplin's 1928 motion picture, The Circus. It is a short clip that appears to show a woman walking across screen talking on a cell-phone. In 1928 when, as most people know, there were no cell-phones. So, what the heck is going on?

The clip is only a few seconds long ans shows a woman walking across screen, at one point walking behind a stuffed zebra. She is holding her left hand up to her left ear in what we modern folk recognize as the traditional cell-phone holding pose. As the clip fades out we can see the woman's face and she does appear to be talking even though nobody is standing near her. Somebody (after over eighty years) noticed the "cell-phone" thing - pulled the clip and whacked it online with the cell-phone theory attached and voom! We're off!

So, what is really going on in the clip? The woman is holding her hand to her ear but really the chance that she is a time traveller packing a cell-phone are somewhere between none and noner. No offence there kids but there are no time travellers travelling back to have cameos in Charlie Chaplin movies (as cool as it would actually be to be in a Charlie Chaplin movie - even as a walk on). Time travel doesn't exist, and if it did exist you could be that it wouldn't be used to sneak into silent movies. Oop, there I go, peeing on everybodies parade. Where's my imagination? Where's my sense of wonder? Well where my sense of wonder and imagination are not is making up weird stuff about cell-phones in Charlie Chaplin movies. Evolution is wonderful, deep-sea or deep-space exploration is wonderful. Life is wonderful. Making stuff up "just a'cuzz" is not.

But lets be all pragmatic for just a moment. How would a cell-phone work in 1928? Cell-towers and all the other infrastructure needed for a cell-phone to work didn't even exist then. So, maybe it's not a cell-phone but rather a satellite phone, except there were no satellites at the time. Oh, I know, it is some sort of futuristic doo-hickie, except that is nuts. To me it looks as though is may be some sort of folded up hand-towel combined with bad acting (which was pretty much the only way of acting they had back then). Really, this is a non-issue. Just one of those little things to keep the wacky and the dim all occupied.

Now for something from history that is really kind of interesting; the first known picture of a human in it was taken in 1838 in Paris, France by Louis Daguerre, the guy who invented the daguerrertype process of photography. The exposure time for the photograph was about ten-minutes so the traffic and people on the busy Boulevard du Temple all disappeared but a fellow who was standing still as he had his shoe shined shows up. Now this is cool, but the even cooler part is that to the right of that fellow is Chewbacca waiting his turn. Yeah, real history is way cooler than the made up stuff.

Anyway... Humouroceros