Archive for June, 2006

Today’s Video URL

Friday, June 30th, 2006

…is about the London Underground. Beware, kiddies, there is strong language in this one; USans in particular might be very annoyed by the language in this video. But, I haven’t stopped laughing yet!

Today’s Corporate Slogan URL

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Troy Chemicals is a workplace where some things just aren’t allowed.

Today’s Exciting Website…

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

…is here. I guarantee, it’ll excite you no end…zzzzzzzzz.

Nearly a farmer

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Those of you who have visited Chez Hansen and Tan will know that we have a small patch of garden (=US backyard). I bought a lawnmower earlier this year so that I wouldn’t have to depend on the Rector being able to find his in his garage (it’s usually buried) and lend it to me. So yesterday I decided to mow the lawn. The mower is one of those that has no wheels; it glides on a column of air pushed down from the motor, and it’s a real gem. While mowing, I discovered a bird’s nest under our largest shrub, and took another look at the vine that’s trailing across the trellis on top of our wall. For the first time, it’s begun to flower this year. And what flowers! They are white with a purple band, with a “cup” in the middle holding stamen and pistil. Here’s a picture:

I am told by my former workmate John that this is a passion flower. It grows on a vine, and very fast, too. Here’s another picture showing several of the flowers. There are literally hundreds of buds on the vine that have yet to open; I anticipate a few days of wild colour when they do.

Also yesterday, one of our squirrels paid us a visit, and I managed to get a little picture of him eating a peanut on our windowsill.

I even got a little movie, but can’t embed that here.

But the neighbourhood must be a hotbed of strange activity. This morning I looked out the back door and saw something under our clothesline that looked from that vantage point like a very large fungus. As I’d just mowed last night, I thought it improbable that a fungus that large had grown in the space of 12 hours or so. I took a closer look, and it was a bagel.

I looked over to the fence, and there was another one:

I looked over the fence, and a third was in my neighbour’s garden. Leaving that one for the birds, I picked the other two up and threw them away. Someone must have thrown them over our wall. As to why, I have no idea. Perhaps some surreal game of horseshoes?? If so, they missed.

YouTube is seriously deranging…

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

…Thanks to Towleroad, I watched this clip, showing a young woman who has a rather odd phobia. I then looked at the sidebar, and discovered a shedload of other Maury Povich clips showing the results of various paternity tests. My dad used to watch Maury years ago and when I stayed at Elm Street, I pretty much had to watch too. I had mercifully forgotten how repulsive they were, and yet…they are as addictive as peanuts in a bowl. I had to tear myself away from the site to prevent myself from watching every last clip.

So beware!

Today’s joke

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

An Irishwoman of advanced age visited her physician to ask his help in reviving her husband’s libido.

“What about trying Viagra?” asks the doctor.

“Not a chance”, she said. “He won’t even take an aspirin”.

“Not a problem”, replied the doctor. “Give him an Irish Viagra. Drop it into his coffee. He won’t even taste it. Give it a try and call me in a week to let me know how things went”.

It wasn’t a week later that she called the doctor, who directly inquired as to progress.

The poor dear exclaimed, “Oh, faith! T’was horrid. Just terrible, doctor!”.

“Really? What happened?” asked the doctor.

“Well, I did as you advised and slipped it in his coffee and the effect was almost immediate! He jumped hisself straight up, with a twinkle in his eye, and with his pants a-bulging fiercely! With one swoop of his arm, he sent the cups and everything else on the table flying, ripped me clothes to tatters and took me then and there, making wild, mad, passionate love to me right there on the tabletop! It was a nightmare, I tell you, an absolute nightmare!”

“Why so terrible?” asked the doctor, “Do you mean the sex your husband provided wasn’t good”?

“Oh, no, no, no, doctor, the sex was fine indeed! ‘Twas the best sex I’ve had in 25 years! But sure as I’m sittin’ here, I’ll never be able to show me face in Starbucks again!”

I should start fixing MP3 players…

Monday, June 26th, 2006

HWMBO had an Xclef-HD-500 MP3 which he really enjoyed. It had a 20GB HDD and was very responsive with an FM tuner and good sound. However, about 6 months ago it died. No explanation. Last week I told him I’d investigate. I first tried a scandisk on the HDD, but that only got me about 25% of the way through the disk before it stalled. So, my diagnosis was a bad HDD. I opened the thing up and took out the old HDD. I was going to order a new one, but just today recalled that we had another 2-1/2″ drive kicking around. It’s only 14 GB, but that is probably enough for HWMBO. I installed it, put new firmware into the thing, and, by gum, it worked! I feel very accomplished.

HWMBO just called and said he was coming home. I told him “I have a surprise for you, sweetheart.” He asked whether it was a special dinner. I said, “No, but I will tell you that it didn’t cost anything.” He was very pleased. I hope it’ll keep playing for a long time.

Today’s Devil’s in the Details URL

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

I’ve heard lots of sob stories about why one politician or another is afraid of losing an election, but this one takes the cake.

Devil’s Food, of course.

TrustFlow results for <lj user=”chrishansenhome”>

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

I tried out TrustFlow II for LiveJournal. Another one of those things you do when you’re bored. The following people not on my friends list are close by:

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  • , , , , (600 – 650)
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  • , , , , , , , , , , , (750 – 800)
  • , , , , , , , , , , , (800 – 850)
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  • , , , , , , , , , (900 – 950)
  • , , , , , , , , , , , , , (950 – 1000)
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Created by ciphergoth; hosted by LShift.

TrustFlow II: Who is closest to your friends

Death of a poet

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

The Singaporean poet Arthur Yap died recently, of throat cancer. I had never heard of him, but the blogger Mr. Wang has written a very eloquent piece on him, here. Do read it; I may pick up a book of Yap’s poems, if one is available here. He sounds like a poet I might like.

Later note: I have now discovered that Yap was also gay.

Random kitchen jottings

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Anyone notice lately that cans of tuna no longer contain tuna up to the brim? I just made some tunafish salad for HWMBO’s lunch tomorrow, and opened two cans of tuna. Once the liquid was drained off, they contained about 1/2 tuna and 1/2 empty space. This is the old disappearing chocolate bar trick, done with fish instead. I wonder when we’ll end up with tuna cans that contain about 1/4 inch of tuna, kind of like a scum at the bottom, once opened.

The church rents space to Nigerian Pentacostal churches to keep itself afloat. One rather noisy bunch is currently singing the most lugubrious version of “How Great Thou Art” I have ever heard–except for the previous time they sung it, two or three weeks ago. It’s a staple. I was listening to Enya at the same time, and the strains of Enya melded with the largo version of How Great Thou Art made a very bizarre fugue. Perhaps I’ll record them surreptitiously and then make a mix. Remember, folks, you heard it here first.

I’m preaching at St. John’s Larcom Street on August 6th–it’s the Feast of the Transfiguration. I shall start writing soon; it’s never too early. Lots of good preachers get up on Sunday morning, jot down a few thoughts, and deliver a marvelous sermon two hours later. Some pore over the Scriptures for weeks, write, cross out, and write some more. Both methods often come up with good sermons. They can also come up with crap, too. The point of the exercise is to come up with something pithy, interesting, and to the point.

Europride is in London next week. Unfortunately, we’re also booked to go to a musical evening at St. John’s. HWMBO thinks I’ll be too tuckered out to do both. We haven’t been to Pride in three years, and frankly, I want to go this year. I hope I can persuade him that I won’t go to sleep during the musical evening, my face falling into my plate of lasagna during the supper.

Will begin the chili for dinner shortly. No beans this time. Not because I don’t like beans, but because I forgot to buy a can. Oh well…these Sunday trading laws are a bitch.

So you want a lower back tattoo?

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Then go here for your safety net. Caution: don’t be drinking any coffee while watching this.

Today’s fetish URL

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

…is here; gives “I’m forever blowing bubbles” a whole new meaning.

The new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

…is Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada. She is the first woman to be elected or chosen a Primate of a church within the Anglican tradition.

Is this a surprise? Yes, in a way. But she is very good on lesbian and gay issues, has been an extremely good bishop in Nevada, and will make a splendid Presiding Bishop and Primate.

The House of Deputies is currently considering the motion to confirm. More as it happens.

Louie Crew’s information page on Bishop Jefferts Schori is here. Bishop Jefferts Schori’s reaction to her election is here. May God, who began the good work in her, bring it to completion.

Being exalted…

Friday, June 16th, 2006

As some of you know, I am a Freemason. I was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason two weeks after my heart attack, in February (22nd, to be exact: Wor. Bro. George Washington’s birthday). After the three degrees in Craft Freemasonry, there are a lot of additional rites to which one can apply. One of these is York Rite Masonry. On Thursday night I became a Companion of the York Rite.

The Chapter (Masons meet in Lodges; York Rite Masons meet in Chapters) is smaller than a lodge, with different rituals. I can’t say much about the ritual, except to say that it was done excellently and was very impressive. The regalia is quite different (the apron is a different colour, and a sash that is identical to a deacon’s stole and worn the same way is used) but the ideas are the same and an amplification of what was taught in Craft Freemasonry.

The Masonic centre in which Goliath Chapter meets is in Southgate, almost at the Northeast end of the Piccadilly Line. It’s a bit dingy outside, but OK inside. The dinner afterwards, except for the appetiser (which was fish) was excellent.

Goliath Lodge’s website is here, webmaster one Bro. Chris Hansen. There’s not a lot there, but some of the links might pique the interest of non-Masons and be sources of information if anyone wants to go a bit further.

Yes, we have secrets in Masonry; however, we are not a secret society. We meet in known places, at known times, and the rituals are readily available in regalia shops and on the ‘net. We keep some modes of recognition secret, indeed. There is sometimes need to ensure that people who say they are brethren really are.

I have an office (the lowliest office of a Lodge: Inner Guard–basically, the door opener) but hope to continue up the offices. Ritual is always memorised, and this help a person to gain confidence and skill. I like Freemasonry; so much so that I’m also joining my brother’s lodge in Marblehead, although I’ll only be a sporadic attendee. The people I’ve met in Freemasonry have been excellent fellows: interesting to talk to and what used to be called “clubbable”.

A great blog entry…

Friday, June 16th, 2006

…from “Debriefing the Boys” is here. He’s a young articulate gay man who decided he had to come out to his family, and prepared for it, and finally did it. The link to his post above details how he did it. A must-read for all (yes, you straight people too).

Random thoughts

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

I’m to be exalted into the York Rite of Freemasonry tonight. Nervous about it too. I have to remember lots of stuff I’ve only encountered once. I expect it’ll be interesting though.

Decided to get my exercise today by walking to Brick Lane to get my weekly fix of rye bread. Put on my headphones and listened to Wendy Carlos’s various Switched-On albums as I walked. I got halfway up Brick Lane and encountered a police barricade. I thought to myself, “I’ll walk around this” so took a left, and then a right, and woo-hoo! Another barricade. I gave up and took a bus home. I got my exercise, but no bread to speak of. I’ve looked at the news and the websites but no information on what was going on. I expect it was another raid of some sort. Brick Lane is a centre of Muslim life in East London, just as it was once the centre of Jewish life in London: the oppressed minorities over time have changed, but the oppression remains.

It’s the Queen’s official 80th birthday today (she really turned 80 in April), and it was Prince Philip’s 85th last Saturday (his real birthday; unlike the Queen, he doesn’t have a fake one). I watched part of the thanksgiving serivce and then the toasts at lunch later in Mansion House. The Lord Mayor must be a twit: remarking that the menu was chosen in a competition on BBC2, he began to pepper his speech with food references, to the point where I wanted to shout “Bring me a basin!”. The Queen then spoke, and quoted Groucho Marx: “It’s not hard to get old; you just have to live long enough.” The Prime Minister, loving every minute of it, was as obsequious as he could be. Then they all sat down to tuck into the menu selected by BBC2 viewers and cooked by celebrity chefs (but not really by them, just under their supervision).

I’m starting to get a bit antsy about not working. While it’s nice to have only occasional gigs and have the rest of my time free for whatever, I think I need to get back to more or less full time employment sooner rather than later. We are OK moneywise, but it would be better for me to work.

Today’s great SP*M email

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

As you’re probably all aware, sometimes spammers put strings of words in their spam emails to try to fool spamblockers. Today I got an especially odd one. I’ve stripped out all the HTML, about four or five random phrases that were not sentences, and the actual spam images that gave the message the spammer wanted to convey, and here is the email that resulted:

Prism combinate a centaur.
A scythe gives a pink slip to an asteroid.
A smelly short order cook borrows money from the deficit over a traffic light.
A radioactive chess board dances with the abstraction, but an eggplant toward the anomaly pours freezing cold water on the so-called photon.
Most people believe that an elusive food stamp gives lectures on morality to another dolphin for a judge, but they need to remember how lazily a short order cook prays.
Sometimes the flatulent asteroid trembles, but some ravishing polygon always is a big fan of another thoroughly snooty earring!
A cab driver reads a magazine, and a cloud formation sweeps the floor; however, the asteroid inside the buzzard accurately operates a small fruit stand with a mating ritual related to an eggplant.
The oil filter sells an asteroid to the squid.
If a salad dressing ostensibly knows the crane near the bartender, then a briar patch from the oil filter gets stinking drunk.
If the class action suit about a hydrogen atom ignores a mortician, then the vacuum cleaner hides.
A fairy is single-handledly muddy.
The asteroid has a change of heart about an unstable pine cone, or an eagerly South American bottle of beer finds subtle faults with an earring.
If the wheelbarrow plays pinochle with a paper napkin beyond the chess board, then an oil filter takes a coffee break.
A varigated short order cook operates a small fruit stand with a gratifying dolphin.
If a mitochondrial movie theater falls in love with a dirt-encrusted stovepipe, then an overwhelmingly mean-spirited insurance agent prays.
A diskette ridiculously assimilates a corporation around a microscope.
Any cocker spaniel can write a love letter to a photon around a ball bearing, but it takes a real polar bear to negotiate a prenuptial agreement with an outer diskette.
The dirt-encrusted football team knowingly sanitizes a dreamlike cloud formation.
The senator goes deep sea fishing with the short order cook.

I’m especially enamoured of the cocker spaniel which can “write a love letter to a photon around a ball bearing.” There does seem to be a somewhat interplanetary feel to this spam, with lots of asteroids, even a “flatulent asteroid”, no less. Presumably as good a method of propulsion as any.

Today’s Oz URL

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

The US Postal Service is putting out a Judy Garland stamp. To celebrate, Nightcharm has written an essay on the meaning of The Wizard of Oz, which should be mandatory reading for all.

Today’s Rousing URL

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

I guess that in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, even Viagra won’t raise some things…

Today’s Babelfish result

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

My friend included a line of Chinese in his blog today (syndicated from Blogger, BTW). I took it to Babelfish, and got this translation:

Likes by hating mesozoically, because likes living hates

I wonder how one could “hate mesozoically”.

Thanks to <a href=””>ronslog</a>…

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

…for this worthy addition to the Our Lady of the Pink Flamingoes Religious Schlock Collection (and no, I’m not going to buy one to contribute; ailuropods seem to make more money these days than I do…)