Friday, December 30, 2011

Signs of the times

Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed. ~ Irene Peter
• Justice Clifford of the Wellington, New Zealand, High Court ruled that Nick Lowe's nude bicycling did not meet the standard of "offensive." A female driver, who passed and repassed him five times, had complained to police.

• China's population is 1,300,000,000, which equals the total number of people on planet earth in 1939. India has 1,100,000,000 people.

• IBM says that, in five years, we’ll simply be able to think something, and a computer will respond.

• A large, hollow, metallic ball with a circumference of 1.1 meters has fallen out of the sky in Namibia. It weighs six kilograms and is made of a "metal alloy known to man," prompting inquiries to NASA and the European space agency.

• To ensure that the Rockettes' tap dancing can be heard in the huge Radio City Music Hall, Canadian firm Quantum5X mounted tiny microphone-transmitters on the bottoms of their tap shoes, allowing the sounds to be amplified through the theatre's sound system.

Never Liked It Anyway is a website "where once loved gifts from once loved partners get a second chance," when love has dissipated and you just want to get rid of that stupid junk.
Looking for change? Check the sofa. Or find a wishing tree.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Black's days will brighten in 2012

Conrad and Barbara in more blithesome times.

On July 13, 2007, Conrad Black, peer of the realm, erstwhile industrialist, press baron, former owner of multiple mansions, and vocabularian nonpareil, was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

The intervening years have seen a series of alternating appeals and periods of incarceration, hopes elevated and hopes dashed. Coleman Federal Correctional Complex was graced with his presence for 29 months. He cleaned bathrooms and wrote a book.

His right honourable lordship materialized at the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami this September, to complete the final semester of his education in American justice. He will graduate on May 5, 2012, provided he doesn't behave indecorously.

[Completely unrelated fact: The 100th anniversary of the Titanic's demise will be marked just 3 weeks prior.]

What will he do next and where will he do it? Who will play him in the movie?

Personally, I find Conrad an excellent entertainment. He is indeed an egotistical blowhard, but his pluck is estimable, and he surprised many by emerging from his tribulations unbowed, growling indignantly all the way.

Finally, he was [formerly] a colourful Canadian, and in the Great Grey North we need as many of those as we can get.

He's lost friends and fortune, but it would be folly to underestimate him.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

If you deep-fry it, they will come

If it can be deep-fried, it will be deep-fried.

The list runs from Mars bars to ice cream.

Among the latest are turkey testicles, and they have their own annual festival.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Does your word pass?

Here are the 10 most-used passwords of 2011, which means they are an open invitation to hackers.
• password
• 123456
• 12345678
• qwerty
• abc123
• monkey
• 1234567
• letmein
• trustno1
• dragon
If your New Year resolutions include tackling your password problems, remember to avoid any simple numerical sequences, common names, and any word in the dictionary.

Also use a different password for online financial transactions than for shopping and entertainment sites.

For passwords that are strong but memorable, create a nonsense phrase with words separated by numbers or characters, such as "10dogsRchopping" or "3cats8cake4vitamins".

You may also consider using a password manager application that generates, organizes and protects passwords.

Be careful out there.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Friday, December 23, 2011

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear...

Merry Christmas to all who have put up with my ramblings for another year. Very best wishes to you and yours. Travel safely.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Smart Christmas gifts for grandparents

Perfect for the Florida beaches. Gramps can make money just by shuffling through the sand with these metal-detecting flip-flops.

Get Grandma racing! Yep, these slot-racing grannies will give the euchre crowd some real competition.

Are the attendants at the nursing home always snatching grandma's secret gin stash? Get her a pair of Dram Sandals footwear flasks, and she'll never be without her "medicine." Great for euchre, too!

Both grandma and grandpa will appreciate these swell lighted slippers to illuminate their way on those "night-time errands."

Does grandma have cold hands? Get her these snuggy Handerpants. Great for euchre!

Give grandpa a break. No more trips to the fridge every 20 minutes. Load up this beer belt and he's set until halftime. Also great for euchre!

Sure to be popular when pasta is the early bird special, the Drib keeps costly polyester golf shirts stain-free, and no need for a doggy bag with those nifty, catch-all, bottom pockets.

These shirts are sure to be hit with the Depends set, especially when the grandchildren come to visit at the retirement home.

In case grandma's T-shirt warning is ignored, give her a back-up pair of emergency underpants. They come in a handy package that tells everyone she's ready for fun.

The Uroclub is the perfect gift for older golfers with a frequent "urge to go", especially when there's no nearby shrubbery. Towel not included. Pair it with the beer belt! Also handy for euchre!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

At the Dalek Christmas party

What, no presents? Exterminate!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas shopping problem solved

87 implements! Great stocking stuffer from the person with deep pockets to the person with big pockets. Not safe for airport security. Get it here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

You look fine

Friday, December 16, 2011

Signs of the times

Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed. ~ Irene Peter
• Frustrated by their inability to capture the Geezer Bandit, who has robbed 16 California banks since August, 2009, police are now investigating buyers of a silicon mask named The Elder. The mask has the appearance of a 70 year old man.

• Mother Nature went on a spending spree in 2011, which will probably be the third-costliest weather year of all time for the U.S.A. It has endured 12 weather and climate disasters with an aggregate damage of approximately $52 billion.

• You can now tweet your insurance company during an accident. Despite the estimation that 30-50% of accidents are caused by driver distraction (OPP), new BMWs allow drivers to access Twitter and Facebook while underway. How socially irresponsible is that? It's now inevitable that you'll see this on most cars within a couple of years.

Babyloid is Japan’s latest therapeutic robot baby, designed to help ease depression among older people by offering them companionship. It's cheeks turn red to let you know when it's happy and content, and it sheds blue LED tears when it is sad.

• Huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, are bubbling to the surface from the arctic seabed. Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tonnes of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost. That could lead to rapid and severe climate change if suddenly released.

• The Occupy movement apparently has a win. The New York State Senate and Assembly passed, almost unanimously, an increase in the top tax rate on the state's wealthiest citizens, at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's request. Just two months ago, the governor said such a move was out of the question.
Looking for change? Check the sofa.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Places I have been

[Thanks to one of the Freds for sending this along. Author unknown]

I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get.

And sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not.

I have been in Deepshit many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Devilish fun

I bet you can't guess what this commercial is advertising, until the end.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Peace signs

[Thanks to Mimi for sending this along.]

A Doctor on TV said to have inner peace we should always finish things we start, and we all could use more calm in our lives.

I looked around my house to find things I'd started and hadn't finished, so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of scotch, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiuminun scriptins, an a box a chocletz. Yu haf no idr how fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss. An telum u luvum.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Friday, December 9, 2011

Signs of the times

Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed. ~ Irene Peter
• Annually, Canadians drink the equivalent of 8.2 litres of pure alcohol, per person over the age of 15.

• Fear of going blind is second only to fear of developing cancer, but a survey found that 50% of Canadians have not had an eye exam in five years or more. Half of newly diagnosed glaucoma patients are already at moderate to advanced stages, with irreversible and often devastating damage.

• North York Harvest food bank has moved to a supermarket model, replacing the old method of giving everyone a general box of food. People can now choose from from the shelves.

• 46% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they would choose internet access over owning their own car, according to a Gartner survey.

• Fewer Americans are sipping from the Tea Party's cup these days. In the latest Pew survey, only 22% agree with the movement.

• The number of millionaires in America increased 16 percent in 2009 following a 27 percent decline in 2008.
Looking for change? Check the sofa.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Four buddies and a funeral

[Author unknown]

A minister's 6-year-old son and his three playmates found a dead robin.

They thought a proper burial should be performed, so they secured a small box and cotton batting, laid the bird in it, dug a hole, and made ready for the disposal of the deceased.

The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers, and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: "Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A G-Man Promise

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How are we doin' compared to the Yanks?

Canadians have been accused of a smug attitude of superiority towards Americans. These days, there's less to brag about, it seems.
• The World Economic Forum puts Canada in 18th place worldwide on gender equality, trailing the United States. The ranking measures health, education, income, economic participation, and political participation.

• Remember when, eight times, the United Nations ranked Canada number one on its Human Development Index (HDI)? We're now sixth, behind (you guessed it) the United States. The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living.

• A report on global wealth from Credit Suisse Research Institute says that Canada's wealth per adult (US$245,000) is lower than that of the United States (US$248,000).

• A 2004 study found that Canada had 4.6 MRI scanners and 10.3 CT scanners per million population while the U.S. had 19.5 per million of the former and 29.5 per million of the latter.

• The Conference Board says Canada is 12th in productivity growth, experiencing an actual decline of 1% in 2008, compared with the front runner United States, which increased productivity 1.5%.

• In 2008-09, university funding per student for teaching and research averaged C$21,000 in Canada, compared to C$29,000 in the U.S., according to a Canadian Chamber of Commerce report.

• The same Chamber of Commerce report said that, compared with their American counterparts, Canadian businesses invested 23% less in machinery ad equipment per worker, and 41% less in information and communication technologies over a 23-year period to 2009.

• When it comes to innovation, the World Economic Forum rates Canada in 19th place, far behind the U.S.

• Canada’s Gross Domestic Product per capita, which measures the value created by workers and firms from the human, physical, and natural resources in the country, trailed the US by $9,500 or 17 percent in 2010, according to the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity.
There's more, but you get the idea. The teacher's remarks on our report card might be, "Plays well with others, but needs to apply himself if he is to achieve his potential."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Call now!

Friday, December 2, 2011

So God made a farmer

[Thanks to Anita and Wayne for sending this along.]

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gettin' social

Everything is social now.

I just received a promotional message for a company that offers social performance management.

It seems everything has now been renamed to include the word "social," which is the new hot buzzword since social media arrived on the scene, and there's a minefield of jargon out there.

Not sure, but I think social media are pretty much the same as social networks, but it's possible that confusing the two in conversation would be an embarrassing social faux pas, and might risk one becoming a social outcast for breaching the social norms of his social stratum, even if he is just trying to be sociable.

And don't confuse social marketing with societal marketing, or social media marketing, all of which, apparently, are entirely different things.

If someone says they're into social wallpapering, they are not holding a keg party to redecorate their dorm room, and a social application is not a form to sign up for a swingers club.

It goes on... social workplaces, social finance, social bookmarking, social business, social thinking, social learning, social computing, social technographics, social search, social monitoring, social epistemology. All quite worthwhile, I'm sure, but not terms you're likely to encounter in casual conversation at, say, the strawberry social.

I've found that it's safest to completely avoid the word "social" when socializing.