Saturday, July 29, 2006

British Humour

Hello! Garnie here, guestblogging from MyHoneyandMe. In honor of our last day of guest blogging here on Candace's lovely site, I thought I'd share some bits of British humor! I love British comedy shows like Blackadder (hello, House!), Faulty Towers and Monty Python's Flying Circus. I'll warn you right away that these jokes aren't nearly as funny as those shows but they're close! Cheers!

*!* An Irish man is sitting in a pub one night when 3 Englishmen walked in. The men sit down, and start to talk about how they can anger the Irishman... The first man says, "Watch this..." He gets up, walks over to the Irishman, and says, "Hey man, I hear your St. Patrick was a faggot." The Irishman just replies, "Oh, is that so now?" The Englishman, goes back to his seat perplexed, when his friend jumps up and says, "Here, lemme try that." So he goes over to the Irishman and says, "Hey man, I hear your St. Patrick was a transvestite faggot!" The Irishman only replies, "Oh, is that so now?" So the Englishman, frustrated goes and sits down with his friends. When the 3rd Englishman jumps up and says, "Well, now, I gotta try that!" So he walks over to the Irishman and says, "Hey, I hear your St. Patrick was an ENGLISHMAN!" And the Irishman replies, "Aye, that's what your friends were sayin."

There's an English man, Irish man and a Scotsman. They're being chased by a policeman. They see this old warehouse so they run in. Inside there are 3 empty sacks on the floor. They each jump in a sack. In comes the copper and see's these three bundles on the floor. Goes up to the first one and kicks it. The English man shout out, "Woof Woof", and the copper thinking it's just an old dog leaves it and kicks the second sack. The Scotsman yells out, "Me-ow me-ow", he leaves this one as well thinking its just an old cat. He walks over to the last sack and kicks it, and the Irish man yells out.. "Potatoes Potatoes..!"

The Queen of England was showing the Archbishop of Canterbury around the Royal Stables when one of the stallions close by farted so loudly it couldn't be ignored.
'Oh dear,' said the Queen, 'How embarrassing. I'm frightfully sorry about that.'
'It's quite understandable,' said the archbishop, and after a moment added, 'as a matter of fact I thought it was the horse.'

*!* Some English tourists decide they should go and see the famously long-named village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales. They decide on going fora hamburger lunch and they debate on how to pronounce the name of the place but they simply cannot decide where to begin with it!
After a while they hail one of the blonde assistants.
"Excuse me, my dear," one asks, "but could you please tell us where we are and, please, say it very, very slowly."
The girl leans over their table and says, "Buuuuuurrrrrgeeeerrrrr Kiiiiiiiinnnnnnggggg."

*!* A battle-weary American soldier boarded a crowded train in in London during the early days of post-WWII, only to discover he was unable to find a place to sit. As he walked the length of the train, he noticed a small white dog curled up on one of the seats. A large, well dressed woman sat in the seat next to the dog. The man hovered near the seat, hoping the woman would take the hint, but she pointedly ignored him.
"Excuse me, Ma'am," the soldier finally spoke, "Is this your dog? Would you mind holding it on your lap so that I may sit down?"
The woman raised her icy gaze to the young man and said in a haughty British accent, "oh! You Americans. You are so rude. Fluffy is in that seat, and i see no reason why she should give up her comfort for you."
The exhausted soldier nodded, picked up the small dog ... leaned over ... opened the window of the moving train and tossed the dog out. The woman gaped and spluttered in horrified indignation, and the man sitting across from her lowered his newspaper.
"You Americans", he said, "You drive on the wrong side of the road ... you eat with the wrong fork ... and you just threw the wrong bitch out the window."

*!* For those of you who have never had the pleasure of owning a British sportscar but want to know what it's like try this: Next big rainstorm, wait till dark, roll down all windows, leave off lights & heater & wipers and go for a drive. Stop at every intersection and throw out a twenty dollar bill. It's not exactly the same, but it's real close.

(Please come home, Candace! We bloody well miss you!!!!)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Birthday to Tomcat!

Well, today's the day. Candace's Tomcat is somewhere in London turning 50. Happy Birthday, Tomcat! Guess they're probably celebrating with the Queen, or maybe the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, otherwise known as the lovely Charles and Camilla, or maybe Tony Blair. Or, maybe they're having a quiet dinner at the Texas Embassy Mexican restaurant, which Candace claims serves the best Mexican food east of Dallas. They’re probably missing it about now, that and barbeque.

July 28, 1956 Elvis' second No. 1
Elvis Presley scores his second No. 1 hit on this day in 1956, with "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." In April, he had topped the charts for the first time with "Heartbreak Hotel," which he had performed on his network TV debut in January, on "Stage Show." He also sang the song in April on "The Milton Berle Show" to an audience that included an estimated 25 percent of the viewing public. Tomcat wasn’t there because he was busy being born.

I'm Ronnie, your guest blogger for this auspicious day. Last time I was in London I learned to avoid the English food--brains, kidney pie, black pudding. So I asked a waiter where to go to get some better food and he said, "Are you joking? Why do you think we went after all those colonies?" He suggested Indian, or Chinese, or maybe Italian. OK, Now I understand why the Brits explored the globe. They were looking for food.

July flowers - Larkspur, Water Lily

July birthstone - Ruby ~ Contentment

So, I was in London with a friend and we were standing outside the hotel on the sidewalk wondering which way to go for good food. A woman sashayed by wearing a black leather miniskirt, black silk top, black seamed hose, and three inch heels (black of course). We both stared and had the same thought at the same time: "I'll bet she knows where there's a good restaurant." So yeah, we followed her, and after going down a few dark narrow roads and wet alleys (everything's dark and wet in London just like in that Jack the Ripper movie) she ducks into an Irish Pub with a green cloverleaf over the door. So naturally, we ducked in there too. Never saw her again, but we had the best Irish stew ever! (Bet you thought it was going to end differently, but heck, it's a true story, and in the real world you never get the girl, except for Tomcat who got Candace. Bet it wasn't at an Irish Pub though.)

The Cards of Life is an ancient system of knowledge, known at one time exclusively to only a few privileged and enlightened mystics.

July 28 - King of Hearts

Kings are regal, strong and natural leaders.

I was 50 once, about a hundred years ago it seems. They say that 60 is the new 40, so I guess that means that 50 is the new 30. You don't feel 50, you feel 30. Bet Tomcat does too. But everyone sure gloats in reminding you of it, don't they Tomcat? At least they did with me. Every birthday gift I got had a big Five-O on it. As if I needed reminding. "You're 50!" everyone said. "Don't forget, you’re 50! That's a Big Five-Oh." Yeah, tell me about it. There are some things you just don’t want to know.

Did You Know?

A recent survey suggests that more people are born on October 5 in the United States than any other day. October 5 holds a not-so-surprising significance, as conception would have fallen on New Year's Eve. ;-)

The least common birth date in the U.S. is May 22nd.

Am sitting here thinking about conception. (Which leads me to think about Pamela Anderson, but that's another thought). Nobody ever asks about conception. They don't ask "Where were you conceived?" No, it's always, "Where were you born?" Or, better yet, "Where are you from?" Not the same, where you were born, where you're from, where you were conceived. Maybe it doesn't matter since nowadays we're learning that in some communities in Britian as many as 30% of the newborns had biological fathers other than their father of record. (You weren't born in Britian were you, Tomcat?) We are a promiscuous species and some of us don't even know for sure who our fathers are let alone where we were conceived. (My great grandmother was an orphan who stowed away on a boat from Germany so she took the name, "Stowe" at Ellis Island). But just in case anybody asks about my conception I've got the answer ready. It was on a pool table at the Army USO in Los Angeles after closing time. Sounds a lot more interesting, doesn't it? My dad played pool, was in the Army, and chauffeured (could win a spelling bee with that one) celebs to the USO shows. It could have happened. Anyway, something to think about. Where and when were you conceived? Good to have an answer ready I think, just in case.

Your Birthday Facts:

Your star sign is leo and your star symbol is the lion

You were born on Saturday 28th July 1956 and Saturday's child works hard for a living

Your birthstone is ruby which symbolizes contentment

Personality Characteristics: Warm hearted, acting ability, likes to be the centre of attention, bubbly, strong willed, lives life to the full, fiery.

Element Influences: Fire people can be inspirational and have a creative vision. They are often assertive, with a zest for life.

Quality Influences: People with fixed qualities tend to be resistant to change, wanting a stable life. They can be the most loyal of the Zodiac qualities.

Polarity Influences: Your positive Yin/Yang exerts an outward-looking and extroverted side to your nature.

Female best matched with: Sagittarius, Leo, Aquarius.

Male best matched with: Virgo, Aries, Libra, Leo.

You have a Type A personality so big it makes other Type A's shrink away in shame.
You never shy away from adversity - and you love to tackle impossible problems.
Failure is not an option for you, and more than a few people are put off by your ego.
You tend to be controlling, and you hate leaving anything up to chance.

Your strength: Your bold approach to life

Your weakness: You don't accept help

Your power color: Bronze

Your power symbol: Pyramid
Your power month: October

Hey, we can’t all be perfect. But, speaking of Tony Blair, did you see that clip when he and the Prez were talking on the side with an open microphone? Bush was saying something like "Your country is a big country. Russia is a big country. China is a big country too." Or, intelligent words to that effect. That's our Prez, the man we (not me) elected, the leader of the western world. Blair was on point, wanting to talk issues. But Bush...where the heck was he...another planet maybe (hopefully)? Blair was also smart enough to notice the open mic and turn it off. No offense to Bush supporters. Just thinking about British things and how smart Blair looked and how dumb Bush...never mind.

Birthday Paradox, which states that in a random gathering of just 23 people, there are 50:50 odds that at least two of those present have the same birthday.

July births - Bill Bradley, Jacqueline Onassis

So, as it happens, my mother's birthday is on July 31st (Monday), just three days after Tomcat. She'll be 81. She'll still be here long after I'm gone. She's up at six a.m. to walk five miles around the track, then she goes to yoga, where she teaches the class. Then if it's hot, which it is in Los Angeles, she gets in the pool. She's as healthy as the day she was born and she was born an optimist. Everything, no matter what, is "wonderful." I'm starting to think that's the secret to long life: exercise and optimism. But then there are those terrorists.

The 10th Thermidor was the revolutionary name for the day (the 28th July 1794) which brought the termination of the celebrated Reign of Terror. While pressing dangers from foreign invaders and internal enemies surrounded the Revolution, the extreme party, headed by Robespierre, Barrere, St. Just, &c., had full sway, and were able to dictate numberless atrocities, under pretence of consulting the public safety. But when the Revolution became comparatively safe, a reaction set in, and a majority in the Convention arrayed themselves against the Terrorists. A struggle of two days between the two parties produced the arrest of Robespierre, Couthon, St. Just, Lebas, and a younger brother of Robespierre; and finally, in the afternoon of the 28th, these men, with some others, their accomplices, mounted the scaffold to which they had, during eighteen months, consigned so many better men. Robespierre died at the age of thirty-five.

It is undoubted that many of the most frightful outrages on humanity have been perpetrated, not in wanton malignity, or from pleasure in inflicting pain, but in the blind fervour of religious and patriotic feeling. We do not charge St. Paul with cruelty when, as Saul, he went about 'breathing threatenings and slaughter,' and 'making havoc of the church.' St. Dominic, who led on the massacre of the Albigenses, is said to have been a kindly man, but for a heretic he had no more heart than a stone. Indeed, the catalogue of persecutors contains, some of the noblest names in history.

"Noble" terrorists, "consulting the public safety"? Is that like protecting the National Security? "...blind fervour of religious and patriotic feeling"? Is that what it's really about? No, it's about the women, the virgins. Why do terrorists have to ruin everything, just because they want those 72 virgins up in Paradise? Why can't they settle for the virgins here on earth? Gotta be some around somewhere. Why not just invite them to your birthday party? I can see the ad in the paper: "Virgins wanted to attend birthday party of non-terrorist who prefers his virgins here on earth." Heck, makes sense to me. Otherwise, you end up with a gift like this:

Sweethearts Birthday Gift~~~~~~~~~~~~~A young man wished to buy a pair of gloves for his sweetheart's birthday, so he went to an expensive boutique, bought the finest gloves available and asked the saleswoman to have them delivered with a note. While wrapping the gloves, a clerk accidentally mixed up the order and sent a pair of panties instead.Here is the note the young man sent to his sweetheart:Darling,I chose these, because I noticed that you are not in the habit of wearing any when we go out in the evening. I would have chosen long ones with buttons, but because your sister wears the short ones that are so easy to remove, I decided to get the same style for you.Although these are a delicate shade, the lady I bought them from showed me a pair she had been wearing for three weeks and they were hardly soiled. I had the sales girl try them on for me and they looked really smart.I wish I could be there to put them on for you for the first time. No doubt many other hands will touch them before I see you again. When you take them off, remember to blow in them before putting them away as they will naturally be a little damp from wearing. Be sure to keep them on while cleaning them so they dont shrink. Just think how many times I will kiss them during the coming year. I hope you like them and will wear them for me on Friday night.All my Love.P.S The latest style is to wear them folded down with a little fur showing.

Just another example of how birthday gifts can be misconstrued. So, if I have but one birthday gift, one word of advice for Tomcat in this new world of high technology, it is this simple way of improving a man's health:

Carpal tunnel syndrome has become a scourge among today's active and computer literate population. Men, especially, are becoming afflicted with this serious health problem.

To help stamp out carpal tunnel syndrome, new mouse pads have been devised to assist men in their computer operations.
Ergonomically-correct mouse pads such as these will enable men to avoid the pain and suffering associated with this serious health concern.

While this is Candace's blog, maybe she won't mind if you get something special, something you wouldn't normally get for yourself. (And if she does mind she can delete it and it'll be gone forever). So here's Tomcat's birthday gift to help avoid this and stay healthy (think I'll get one of these myself!):

Oops, almost forgot. The answer to the quiz. In case you missed it, here it is again:

What do these words have in common.......


Stop reading right hear if you want to work this out. (Stare at those mouse pads).

So I looked at this and thought, "they are all letters of the alphabet." And while that's right, it can't be THE answer since it would be the answer to all quizzes about "what do these words have in common."

So how about "they all contain at least two letter pairs, like Potato has two o's and two t's." But that doesn't sound right either since some have three letter pairs. So, while it's right, it's not...consistent. Not a satisfying answer, so it must not be THE answer. (Don't you just hate it when there is only one answer).

So what about, "remove the first letter of each word and you have a palindrome remaining (reads the same forwards and backwards). Hmmm...sounds good. I like it. Anything with "palindrome" in it has to be good. The problem with this is they aren't all real words, just letters with the same forwards and backwards pattern. Too easy to create? Well, you still have to start with real words. So it's a close call, but, unfortunately, that can't be THE right answer.

But then, Hale McKay came up with this:

"Take the first letter of every word and put it at the end and read backwards - you have same word you begin with."

He saw it in "Games Magazine" so it must be THE answer. They are words. They read the same forwards and backwards. And it's clever, the sure sign of a right answer. So Hale, you win the prize--two week all expenses paid trip to explore the historic (and modern) ruins of Beirut. But did you cheat? Did you look at Games Magazine for the answer? Or worse, were you doped up at the time to enhance your performance like those Tour de France guys? I don't know. Maybe an International commission needs to look into this. So, I'm withholding the prize to wait for further proof of innocence.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Enter The Three Ring Circus

Hi, I'm Dan.

Meet Dennis. Dennis lived in a town that was so virtually unknown and out-of-date that it easily could've been mistaken for a ghost town were it not for the one-pump gas station and the old-timers who sat outside of it poppin' off their shotguns. One of them would look to the left, down the road that lead to nowhere, and the other would look right in the other direction, at more nothing. When something was spotted on the road, off went the guns. All able-bodied folk would then rush to the gas station and wait for whoever it was that was coming. When someone got close enough, the town people would block the road, swarm their vehicle and proceed to wash it like squeegee kids. While most people would spare some change and buy a candybar or two from the canteen, this method of making money hadn't always went as planned. Many years ago, two elderly men were killed by a van, likely because the driver was scared and thought they were some kind of cannibal hermits out to murder him for food. Since then, the children are the ones who approach the vehicles, and the elderly follow in tow- without their shotguns.

There was an advantage to being in the middle of nowhere. If anyone ever found you, they'd be there as well. And, chances are, they'd probably buy something. The success of the town's economy depended solely on the revenue of the gas station and, as such, people got enthusiastic when others passed through.

Okay, back to Dennis. When he was young, his father had once told him that the town, which no one ever cared to name, had been considered as a possible set for the filming of Little House on the Prairie. His father told him how the town staged an uprising, forcing the money-grubbing city slicks out of the county. His father told him lots of stories that spoke of courage, integrity, tradition, and things of the sort. Dennis always smiled and nodded as if he gave a shit, but in reality he didn't care all that much. Even then he knew his dad was a has-been, and that it was his time now. He was to be heir to it all- the gas station, the dilapidated housing, and the endless desert nothingness that surrounded it all.

As the years passed and Dennis became an adult, his true personality began to show as he no longer had a reason to hide it. Life has a way of figuring you out like that. You can only pretend to be someone else for so long before everyone realizes that you're a complete fraud and you realize that your days of having everything both ways are over. And besides, Dennis' father was dead now, and he only had himself to answer to.

Dennis acquired a reputation for being greedy, arrogant, selfish, and, among other things, a plagiarist. He had once passed off a Mona Lisa drawing as his own, until a young boy found the same picture in an old textbook and asked his mother if Dennis was famous. Many of the elderly in the town gossiped about how he bore a striking resemblance to a modern day politician. Others not so far on in the years suggested he was just an asshole. In any case, Dennis paid no attention to the others. He had plans, and so he left the town.

Roughly six months after his departure, more and more people began passing through the town, spending more money. A satellite had fallen from the sky and crashed a ways down the road, drawing many tourists. And with all the added revenue, several basic services were added and the town became somewhat presentable and known.

With the town busy reaping the spoils of luck, nobody had a reason to think about Dennis. So no one did, for years. And that was the case until he came back.

By now, the town resembled more of a museum. A motel and a series of small shops had been drawing in the tourist population for years. When Dennis came back, he had something to offer as well. A business. He had become quite well-off as an entrepreneur in the nearby city, and proceeded to destroy the home where he used to live and build a store over it. At first, the town rejoiced because Dennis sold them products that could only be found in the cities. He also sold them fruits, vegetables, and meats, and they no longer had to grow their own. They had become victims of convenience.

So everything continued in relative normality for some years, until of course people started losing interest in the satellite and no longer had a desire to come out to the middle of the desert, stand in the heat, and stare at it. So, as you can imagine, the town lost money. Their houses began to fall back into disrepair, and the elderly men resumed sitting at the gas station with their shotguns, gazing down the road in both directions.

At that moment, Dennis had some serious deja-vu. It was like he was a child again. And because he was not willing to go that route again, he packed up shop and made plans to leave the town. This took the people by surprise, as they relied on his products for survival. They had largely stopped farming and raising livestock long ago.

*Two shotgun blasts*

Several people in the town attempted to reason with Dennis to support them until they could get back on their feet. Dennis flatly refused and continued to make preparations for his departure. For many people, this was the last straw. They had despised Dennis all their lives, and now was the time to show it. People ran to their homes and grabbed their guns. Children hid, because they knew.

Dennis ran down to the gas station and stole a shotgun from one of the elderly men. The people of the town approached quickly, pointing their weapons in his direction and firing in the air. Dennis backed out towards the road and in the direction of his car, screaming at them to let him leave, and was pancaked by an oncoming tractor trailer. It took residents of the town several days to clean up the mess.

Moral of the story?

Don't get hit by a truck. And remember that life is always there to kick you in the ass and remind you that you're its lackey, and not the other way around.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hippie? (Heh, heh.)

HEY, POOKS, Wednesday was supposed to be MY day!!


Well, I guess I can understand your not being able to think of anything to post about. I have that problem some days as well. Although Carol complains that I never shut up, so all I have to do is type out whatever I'm talking about, right?


This is a guest post while Candace (sometimes referred to as "Candy-Lass" by Hoss, who posted for her on Saturday) is vacationing in Merrie Olde England. I usually post as the Duke of Earle over on Romantic Ramblings.

For some reason she always emphasized the "L" in that nickname. And that got me thinking about two things: first, that I might write a bit about MY last trip to the UK, and second, that I might change her profile picture for one day to what you see on the right.

Don't worry; I'll change it back tomorrow. I saved the link to her "real" profile picture. Hope I don't lose it... I'd hate for her to come back and find the east end of a west-bound hippo staring at her. She MIGHT laugh, but then again she might not! I'll tell her it's because I think of her as a graying hippie. (Get it? "Hippie?")

Moving right along...

Carol and I took our two daughters on a whirlwind four-week tour of much of Europe (on the cheap) back in 1993. We first landed at Gatwick and spent 4 days in London and the surrounding environs.

When I say "on the cheap," I mean we stayed at one-star or no-star hotels, sometimes walking down the hall to a communal bathroom as the rooms often did NOT have their own toilet or bathing facilities. None of these establishments had air conditioning, and then (as now) London was suffering through a heat wave. Though the locals thought they were perishing from the heat, we Texans withstood it pretty well until bed time. We just were not used to sleeping without cool dry air around us. But we did all the touristy things, saw all the tourist sights, and enjoyed our stay.

The other memorable event there was departing Gatwick for the flight home after three-plus weeks on the European mainland. We arrived three hours early just to be safe, and it was a good thing. Early that day a jumbo jet had blown some tires and closed the runways for long enough that many planes had been diverted to other airports. Thus there were no planes to haul off all the departing people. Like us.

The entire departure terminal was literally PACKED with people. You could not move without brushing people, then pushing gently, and then finally FORCING your way through holding hands tightly with your family members to avoid being separated.

Exacerbating things was the fact that there had been a terrorist alert, so soldiers with automatic weapons were stationed everywhere; standing on ticket counters and other high places looking out over the crowds of packed people for a threat. Tensions were high, and only got higher as original departure time approached, and then passed with no movement toward the gates. The officials never announced the cause of all the delay, nor assured the crowd that they would all make their (delayed) flights. Lacking that assurance, people were near panic.

It was not an experience I'd care to repeat.

Okay, enough already. I hope Candace and Tomcat ARE having a wonderful time and experience none of the angst that I remember from my last time there.

And I hope I remember to change that picture back tomorrow, or I'll be in deep... er... trouble.

... the Mice Will Forget to Play?

I didn't really forget. But yesterday was "my day" to be guest blogger, and I couldn't think of anything to say!

I know, hard to believe for those of you who know me.

But yes, 'tis true. I simply couldn't think of anything to say.

I mean, my new passion is cycling. I am such a jock. I tried to make a U-turn in the middle of the street, saw the curb RUSHING AT ME -- I was going probably 1.3 mph!!! -- tried to stop with my COASTER BRAKES THAT I HAVEN'T HAD SINCE I WAS 13 YEARS OLD --

And crashed into the curb and did an endo.

See? I am so cool I know cycle jargon.

An endo, for those of you who are not as cool as I am, is going over the handlebars.

See? I rock. Not only could I not negotiate a U-turn in the middle of the freaking street (okay I was going downhill and it was faster than I realized and I was OVERTHINKING it, okay?) and not only did I forget that I had hand brakes and not only did I bump into -- I mean CRASH INTO the curb -- I flew over the handlebars and landed like a sorta not-very-good stunt chick.

(Well, maybe. Actually, from the placement of my scary bruises, I'm not sure I went over the handlebars, but the resident storm chaser who was riding with me swears I did.)

I am also such a jock that when he wanted to ride home, pick up our Element and drive back to get me I refused and made him keep riding with me another two or three or four miles, which included going to Starbucks to make my boo-boos feel all better. (These are boo-boos that caused my gynecologist to shriek in horror when she saw them, and then regale me with her own stupid-cyclist-tricks. I mean, she was on her bike at the starting line of a race and TUMPED OVER. Got that? Just, tumped over. I mean, how lame is that?)

So okay I've rambled on and on all about my latest passion, and now that you realize how hopeless I am, maybe you'll take pity on me and --

Support me on my LIVESTRONG ride?

(Candace didn't say we couldn't use her space for advertising, did she?)

I mean, it has been a whole month since I didn't know how to U-turn. Or, um, stop. I'm a very good rider now. Honest.

Not only will your donation be going to a worthy cause, but if you want to honor someone special with your contribution, I'll be carrying names, photos, small mementos with me on the ride. I'm also asking people who are willing to send me something about the person they're honoring to post on my blog. I've also started a second honor roll blog that has nothing but the memorials on it.

And I'm sending a LIVESTRONG wristband to all who support the cause through my ride.

I hope Candace and TomCat are having a fabulous time in sizzlin' hot London!

Can't wait for reports, pics and Candace to show up in this spot next week.

And, um, let's just keep it between us that I missed my day, okay.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

When Candace Is Gone.....

Hoo boy, Candace is in London and is now defenseless. We subs will now see if we can get some Google hits with strong language and negative waves. For the record, I am Gene Maudlin, and I post as Old Horsetail Snake.

So, I am reading this Internet story about baseball players J.D. and Stephen Drew, who are brothers and are finally together in the Big Leagues, and playing against each other. And there is this sentence:

"Their parents flied in for the series."

Gack! We have out-sourced sports reporting.

+ + + + + + + +

Isn't it cute how much fun little girls can have with their dogs? Like this.

+ + + + + + + +

Or how much fun a guy can have with his loose change? Like this.

+ + + + + + + +

A bear walks into a bar in Billings, Montana, and sits down. He bangs on the bar with his paw and demands a beer. The bartender approaches and says, "We don't serve beer to bears in bars in Billings."

The bear, very angry, says, "If you don't serve me a beer, I"m going to eat that lady sitting at the end of the bar." The bartender says, "Very sorry, but we don't serve beer to belligerent, bully bears in bars in Billings."

The bear goes to the end of the bar and, as promised, eats the lady. He comes back and demands a beer. The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve beer to belligerent, bully bears in Billings who are on drugs."

The bear says, "I'm not on drugs!"

The bartender says, "You are now. That was a barbitchyouate."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

To London We Shall Go

I can hardly wait to see London again. It's been three years.

THIS time, we're taking carry-on luggage only. LAST time, we learned the meaning of the word "schlepp." We don't do schlepp anymore.

Tomcat's having a Significant Birthday* on the 28th, so that's our official reason for going.

We're not going to take our laptops, so we'll be Offline (yes, I've been offline for a number of years, har har.)

But that doesn't mean that YOU have to be deprived, because there will be a few guests posting here in my absence, so stay tuned!

I won't be able to see what they've written until I get back, which means I won't have a chance to defend myself make comments, but YOU can. And whatever you do, PLEASE visit their blogs and say "Howdy."

We're leaving tomorrow for ten days. We'll leave Scruffybutt in charge (drop by her blog, too, to give her some encouragement, okay?)

We'll take lots of pictures for ya, thanks to the camera Tomcat's folks gave him as an early birthday present.


* He's going to be 50!

P.S. No, I didn't take this picture (it's too good) - I found it on the 'net.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Oh Luvley

We're having a heatwave in this country, right? You've probably noticed. Yesterday here in Dallas it was 107. Today we cooled down to 103.

We're leaving Friday to go on our London vacation, so I've been checking the weather over there. All last week the high was in the lower 70s. Today, I find this article on BBC News:

Heatwave breaks record for July

The hottest recorded July day has emerged to have been in Wisley, Surrey, where temperatures hit 36.5C (97.7F).

Earlier in the day, 36.3C (97.3F) near Gatwick Airport was thought to have been the high.

As the sun blazed across the country schools closed and workers dressed down while the elderly and young children were urged to drink plenty of water.

Peaks were 29.7C in St Angelo, Northern Ireland, 31.3C in Prestwick, Scotland, and 33.6C in Anglesey, Wales.

The previous hottest July day was in 1911, when Epsom, Surrey, reached 36C. The highest UK temperature recorded was 38.5C (101.3F) in Faversham, Kent, on August 10, 2003.

British temperatures this week have exceeded such holiday destinations as Malta, Athens, Bermuda and Rome.

As temperatures soared across the country, the heat brought people to the beaches and into the shade, melted roads and provoked health and safety warnings.

In the heat:

Several schools chose not to open on Wednesday, while others closed at lunchtime and many school sports days were cancelled.

On the roads, emergency measures were brought in to protect surfaces with gritters spreading gravel after the asphalt began to melt. Ambulance service bosses urged drivers in jams to stay with their cars after crews had difficulties getting through to an accident.

Heat caused railway lines to buckle in the Midlands on Tuesday and many services from New Street Station in Birmingham were cancelled. Speed restrictions were in force on the West Coast Main Line.

You would think we had never seen the sun before, it's like mass panic Ruth Newton, Preston
Unions called for employers to keep staff cool and called for a change in the law to create a maximum working temperature.

Water tankers have been drafted in to top up reservoir supplies in the Midlands and a surge in demand for power for air conditioning systems continued to put pressure on electricity supplies.
Water supplies were affected in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Cardiff while in Shrewsbury 70,000 residents were urged to cut water use as filling pumps failed at a reservoir.

Animals also tried to cool off. At zoos, keepers tried to make life more comfortable for the animals, handing out fruit or blood-flavoured ice lollies. The RSPCA issued warnings about leaving pets in areas without cover or water and said two dogs had died of heat exhaustion.

Visitors to the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire were banned from venturing off footpaths by officials fearing fires in dry woodland areas.

Boy drowned

The hot weather brought warnings from climate change experts that the conditions were not unique.
And police warned of other dangers after a 14-year-old boy drowned in a canal in Glen Parva, Leicester as he tried to cool off.

In North Wales, more than 50 people were rescued from a sandbank near a Llandudno beach after they were cut off by the tide.

Forecasters expect a bank of showers coming in from the South West to cool things down on Wednesday night and into Thursday, but the weekend should still be very warm and humidity will be high.

BBC Weather forecaster Rob McElwee said: "Tonight and tomorrow temperatures will be down by four or five degrees for most of us but humidity will be high so it will be more oppressive and hard to keep cool."

Story from BBC NEWS: 2006/07/19 22:39:13 GMT© BBC MMVI


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Do We Really Want Peace?

If we did, we'd have had it long ago. Nevertheless, we continue to insist that peace is what we really want.

(Note: the term "we" is used here as "we, the species," not "we the Americans" or "we the fill-in-the blank group.")

Humankind is not a peace-loving species. We haven't evolved beyond the tribal mentality of the earliest hominids whose tribes competed with each other over territory and access to food sources, not to mention the competition within each tribe for status and breeding rights.

Today we call our tribes "nations" and competition for status, in our more "civilized" nations, is organized by campaign and debate among politicians, with the outcome of who gets to be Chief decided by ballot. We look to the Chief to settle the many and constant disputes that arise among us. At our deepest level, it is our tribal chief we rely upon to keep the peace among us within our own nation's boundaries, although we may label this chief "the three branches of government" or the "Politboro."

Let a nation (tribe) be attacked by another nation (tribe), and we expect the chief to defend and protect us. Conversely, if the other nation has something that we need, or think we need, and they won't let us have access to it, we expect our chief to find a way to get it for us, by force if necessary.

We also have a distressing tendency to allow a certain type of sociopathic chief to tell us what to do (e.g., Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Adolph Hitler.) Perhaps this way we have an excuse to exercise our most violent tendencies in the name of "patriotism" and/or "racial cleansing."

The point is that we are still thinking and acting in terms of "us" versus "them." Our tribe (nation), our language, our skin color, and (usually most importantly) our god(s) versus theirs.

Maybe humankind is "hard-wired" for conflict. It's what we do. We can't even get along with each other in the same city (or block, or family), much less globally.We even insist on conflict in our entertainment. Sports is the obvious example, but look also at our fiction. Every novel, cartoon, or television series must have conflict in it or we consider it boring.

When have we (globally, as a species) ever had peace? Peace will never be attained unless and until we can think and act beyond our earliest tribal mentality.

John Lennon's famous and profound statement:

War Is Over!
(if you want it)

points out the fundamental problem. We don't want peace.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Easily Amused

This morning I was looking through the new purse I bought for our trip to London next week (for some women, it's shoes - for me, it's bags.) I discovered that it contained a notepad, and then noticed it had a loop thingy to hold a pen, plus there was a tiny mirror inside which could be detached. I was exclaiming with great delight over each discovery and Tomcat said, "God love your heart, you're easily amused. It's one of the things I love about you. What more could a man want, low maintenance." I think he meant that I'm a cheap date. Heh. Wait'll we get to London.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sayin It

Here's a long overdue response to a meme I was tagged with by Cynthia over at Coyote Underground (with apologies for lateness!). Cynthia came up with this one herself, which is based on a character she created who always came bursting into a scene saying exactly what was on her mind, without self-censorship.

Q. What would you say, that you would ordinarily NEVER say, but if you knew you could get away with it, what would you say? And to whom.

A. "The closer you get, the slower you go, you fucking nitwit." (To tailgaters.)

If I'm in the fast lane, I'll move out of the way, which is what you're supposed to do, anyway. But if I'm in the middle or the slow lane, and I'm going WITH the flow of traffic, then get off my ass already! But I would never say that, or give them the finger, for fear of being the victim of road rage. Instead, I gradually slow down while muttering the above, and counting the seconds to see how long it takes for that to sink into the nitwit's brain. (Oh, how passive aggressive of me!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Did I Mention?

Did I mention that The Move took five guys, two trucks, and just over 12 hours?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


We have Internet at last. (The first phone company appointment was a no-show.)

As soon as this post is up, I'm gonna start catching up on your blogs - boy, have I missed you guys!

Since the move, I feel like I'm living in a building, not a house, much less a home. Tomcat and I are basically living upstairs in the larger of the two efficiency apartments here at Maxwell House. That's because the floors of one apartment downstairs are being refinished, and the furniture and boxes for that part of the house are piled up in the other downstairs apartment. Put another way, one apartment is empty so the guy can do the floors, and the other apartment is crammed with all the furniture and boxes of everything that will stay downstairs. We can't even unpack much down there because of the fumes from the floor project.

Above stairs, the teensy small efficiency is crammed with boxes of stuff for a sewing/laundry room, but there's no air conditioner in there at the moment. It was 100 degrees here today, and there's no way I'm unpacking anything without A/C. There's no washer hookup yet (Tomcat's had more important things to do, like getting the Internet up and stuff, not to mention his day job.)

The full-sized apartment up here is where Tom has his office and where our books are housed, mostly still in boxes. That's because even though we now have a library, we have more books than shelf space. I'm not going to let this whole place be taken up with books. God knows I have nothing against books. I adore books. But sometimes, we have to let go. This is the time for Tomcat us to do so.

This week, the Internet. Next week: cable television (yesterday's appointment was a no-show.)


Scruffybutt says she wants the laptop now.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


STILL no Internet. Phone company screwed up (imagine that), so we won't be connected until Tuesday. Evening. I can't stand it.

In the meantime, Scruffybutt is enjoying being my number one laptop.

Gah! I miss you guys!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

It Is Possible

To live without the Internets and TV for over a week; I've done it. Tomorrow we're supposed to get the 'net set up, and on Monday, the TV service.

This morning I'm at one of those open wireless places wading through emails and getting my CuteOverload fix.

But this weekend? I'm gonna blog and surf 'til my butt's numb!!!