Archive for June, 2011

It’s obvious!

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Obvious to you. Amazing to others. from Derek Sivers on Vimeo.

Timesucks suck

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

As many of you know, I’ve been out of work for 2-1/2 years now. Luckily, due to the generosity, forbearance, and tolerance of HWMBO, I have continued to be fed, watered, housed, and loved over this amount of time. However, during that time my online involvement has become more and more of a distraction.

Consider. Most days I get up at 7, make breakfast for HWMBO and me for 7:45 am, and then see him off to work around 8:30am. I then start looking at email, which takes an inordinate amount of time most days. Even evaluating an email and almost instantly deleting it takes time. Around 10 or so I start reading Live Journal blogs, and when I’ve caught up with them I read Facebook. This takes me through to lunch. I haven’t included IMing with various friends here and far away. I often do this while I’m reading other things.

In the afternoon, I’ll continue to catch up with arriving emails, do some memorisation for my Masonic duties, have a coffee break, and then go to the supermarket to shop for dinner.

I cook, then wait for HWMBO to return from work. We have dinner, then I return to the computer and catch up with everything until bedtime. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

There are occasional changes to this routine—I go shopping further afield for various things, or go out to sit in a park somewhere and be with people, or have a coffee at a coffee shop rather than in my kitchen. However, my routine doesn’t vary much at all. I have a large number of New Scientist magazines and Church Times newspapers which are waiting to be read. I get a new one each week, add it to the bottom of the pile, and try to read some of the one on top. I have books that I want to read. In fact, I would even like to WRITE one eventually. But this routine of mine conspires to frustrate any interactions other than online ones and any activities other than reading tweets, FB statuses, and blog entries.

So I’ve decided that I have to pare down my online activities to as much as I can do in two hours in the morning. This will involve:

  • Removing one of my Twitter accounts, only leaving the one devoted to professional activities;
  • Filtering my Facebook feed to remove some people and feeds out of which I don’t get a lot of food for thought;
  • Paring down the blogs I read with a filter so that I only see things that I know will interest me from people who I like.

I will try not to unfriend anyone, but use filters intelligently so that I can dip into items that I haven’t read when I have some time.

This whole situation, of course, is not unique to me. I’ve had three Facebook friends disappear from FB in the last month or so. Other Live Journal friends disappear from blogging for months or even years at a time. I have generally neglected Twitter in the past couple of months and don’t believe I’ll lose a lot by just disappearing from there for a while.

I will Tweet once a day for the next several days just to alert people that I shall be disappearing from there and referring them to this blog entry. I won’t be mentioning it on Facebook; I will just apply the filters so that what I read is cut down to a manageable size. And my filter on Live Journal will take away items that I just look at occasionally and pass by. Real bloggers and interesting people will still be in my filter and get read and comments filed.

All this brings into question the concept of “friend” as it relates to our online presences. I think that this concept was first attached to blogging. The idea was that no one in their right mind would be interested in reading a blog from someone whom they did not know personally, so obviously someone who follows your blog would be a real friend.

Of course, the first bloggers didn’t realise that a blog, besides its value in telling your real friends what you thought and what you were up to, would also be a vehicle for writing essays about life, the universe, and everything. The blog thus became a literary device, and people whom you had never met would want to read your blogs. Other blogs became compendia of news stories or opinions on certain specific topics, and the personal aspect of a blog was lost in favour of an impersonal voice broadcasting to anyone who wanted to listen.

Then Facebook and Twitter, among other social media sites, appropriated the word “friend” to mean “this person who wants to keep up with what I’m saying but whom I may never have met”. Now I have hundreds of online friends around the world, few of whom I’ve ever met, but all of whom Facebook, Twitter, and Live Journal call my “friends”.

Sometimes these days I have to qualify the word “friend” as “meatspace friend” as that is the best way to define what a real-life friend is without devaluing the relationships I have with people online.

As to what I’ll be doing instead of Tweeting and posting statuses in Facebook, who knows? Perhaps the time is ripe to write that book I’ve been thinking about.

Over and (partially) out!

Health update

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Forgot to mention that I went to the quack yesterday for a checkup. I had blood drawn (hi, !) and the results were back. My HbA1C was 6.6 (119 in American measurements), where the normal range is 5-7 and with insulin-dependent diabetics they will be happy up to 8. My cholesterol was 3.3, which translates to 127 in American measurements. Liver, kidneys, and thyroid all OK. BP was a bit high in the systolic, but OK in the diastolic. I got all my prescriptions filled, and we chatted about the Foot Clinic at Kings, as my doctor is part of a consortium in Southwark looking at the provision of medical care to diabetics.

So I’m good for another 4-6 months. Next time I will see if I can revive my application for gastric bypass surgery.

And, I guess, yay me! (for now)…

Today’s inane video

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

I haven’t had much luck with embedding videos lately, for some reason (perhaps I didn’t pay the bit tax or something). However, the following video, dubbed into English from the original Finnish, is dangerous. Do not watch or listen to it. I am not responsible for any earworms, nightmares, homicides, or mopery that results. You have been warned.

Stabbie is displeased

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

As you may all know, Stabbie is in a civil partnership with He Who Must Be Obeyed, or HWMBO. Just for background, that. Stabbie lives in a maisonette (=US duplex apartment) with a back garden (=US backyard), 3 bedrooms, a large eat-in kitchen, and a view of the Shard a-building at London Bridge out his back window.

Unfortunately, Stabbie also has rather upsetting neighbours. For some, it is not their fault, for various and sundry reasons Stabby will not bore you with. However, Stabbie is more concerned about the housing association’s response to his requests for repairs. Below Stabbie has written about three of his current problems with the housing association, and put them behind a cut because they are VERY. LONG. INDEED.

The flat above Stabbie and HWMBO’s has a very sweet lady living in it who is a refugee and has had a hard time of it. She has stopped throwing used insulin pen needles, used insulin vials, and mirrors (two) into Stabbie’s back garden, although her care worker denied that she was even a diabetic. This is good. However, her heating system is seriously defective.

Now you wouldn’t think that Stabbie would care about her heating system, but perhaps a description of the problem will help. The heating system, filled with water, is kept topped up by a system quite like a toilet tank. That is, this tank, higher than any of the radiators, is filled with water and as water evaporates out of the radiators, the tank supplies water to the radiators and the tank is kept at a constant level by a system not unlike the ballcock in a toilet tank. When the water gets to a certain level, the ballcock floats up and turns the tap off.

When this system malfunctions, and the tap doesn’t turn off, there is a safety system. An outlet pipe leads from the top of the tank out through the flooring, ending up as a short pipe on the back wall. Any excess water drips out through this pipe and drops to the ground outside. This is OK for occasional drips.

How does Stabbie know this? A while back HWMBO reported that the towels in the airing cupboard (=US “linen closet” that contains not only linen but also some of the heating and hot water systems) were wet. When Stabbie investigated, he found that water was dripping out of this tank at the top of the cupboard and called the housing association, who sent someone within a day or two. The someone replaced the tank, connected the outlet, and explained exactly what the tank is used for. That’s how Stabbie knows what’s happening.

When the ballcock system malfunctions, however, the dripping becomes constant, and frequent. This is what the back wall of Stabbie’s flat looks like.

It looks like some giant duck defecated down the side of the house. Now I present you with a close-up of the windowsill of my study, the lower level of the previous picture.

Mildewed and damaging the wooden window frame through water rot.

When Stabbie is sitting at his study window working away assiduously at the computer, and wants a bit of air, he opens the window. The spattering is so frequent now that when the drops hit the windowsill, Stabbie is sprayed with a fine mist. If Stabbie goes outside to enjoy the back garden, he must take care that he is not dripped upon, as the wind takes the drips an amazing distance from the house when it is blowing in other directions.

So Stabbie has pointed this situation out to (1) the director of the housing association, who agreed to have it looked at several months ago, and (2) the maintenance director of the housing association, twice, who assured Stabbie that a maintenance person would be here to fix it in a day or two. However, the nice lady in the flat does not respond to their phone calls or letters, and she doesn’t know much English, so Stabbie can’t get through to her that something which doesn’t cause her any bother needs to be fixed, pronto.

So Stabbie is a virtual prisoner in the flat, unable to keep the window open without being misted upon and unable to sit outside with his netbook, surfing and enjoying a libation in the afternoon, when the sun is over the yardarm.

Stabbie, however, is not sure who to hold to account here. The lady upstairs is fragile, for many reasons, and he wouldn’t like to hold her responsible for this. The housing association people have tried all the conventional ways of getting in touch with the lady, and she does not respond. Stabbie thinks that perhaps the care worker needs to be contacted and asked to make the lady understand that her heating system needs repair. If this doesn’t happen, Stabbie may talk to the Chair of the housing association, who is someone Stabbie works with on various churchy committees and bodies. He may find it interesting that the housing association is unable to properly maintain flats occupied by people who need assistance with some of their daily requirements. He would be the effective instrument of what has, up to know, been Stabbie ineffective pleas for help.

But, of course, this is not the only bone which Stabbie has to pick with his landlord. A couple of weeks ago, the lights in the common hallway were not working. Stabbie thought that there was some maintenance problem, and duly reported it to the housing association, which promised to get onto the people who maintain the common area lighting, the fire extinguishers, and the fire alarm. Nothing happened. Stabbie doesn’t go out every night, but when he does, he likes to have some light in the hallway so that he can get his key in the door and ensure that no nefarious characters are lurking around.

Then, Stabbie received a card in his letterbox saying that a package had been taken back to the Post Office because Stabbie was out of the house. Problem was, Stabbie was at home all day that day. A friend came over for a coffee, and called Stabbie’s mobile and said, “Where are you? I’ve rung your doorbell several times and you haven’t answered.” Stabbie replied that he was at home and would let his friend in.

Stabbie suspicions were piqued at this, and he got his keys out and looked in the common area cupboard, where the electric meters, circuit breakers, and an amazing amount of bumpf are kept. Sure enough, someone had switched one of the circuit breakers off (it hadn’t tripped; it was positively turned off). This particular circuit breaker not only energized the lights in the common hall, but also the intercom and the door buzzer. Our doorbells were silent.

Now Stabbie would like to have a word with the designer of the electrical system in the building. What fool puts emergency lighting on a circuit with anything else, including the intercom system? The housing association, when Stabbie told them about this system, just shrugged its collective shoulders and said there was nothing it could do. Well, there bloody well is something they could do. Stabbie will start by pinning the designer to the wall by the shoulders of his jacket and keeping him there until he agrees that he is a nincompoop and not fit to design anything more complicated than a piece of paper.

Now of course there is another, perennial complaint that Stabbie makes. Outside the front door, at the corner of the car park, is the rubbish enclosure. It has enough room for three bins (=US “dumpsters”) which consist of two rubbish bins and a recycling bin.

Unfortunately, Stabbie’s neighbours include one who removed all the carpeting in her apartment and replaced it with wooden flooring. During the past three weeks, a large quantity of construction material has been placed in the bins each week on Tuesday, the day after Trash Day. The bins are thus filled to the brim for 6 days a week.

The rest of Stabbie’s neighbours, then, place their trash, sometimes even in bags, on the ground inside the rubbish enclosure. They also dispose of refrigerators, baby strollers, and various other detritus in the enclosure, then neglect to ask the council to remove them; they cannot be lumped in with the regular trash. The binmen (=US “garbage collectors”) usually do not pick up these bags, and rats, squirrels, and probably people open up the bags and look for edibles or saleables, leaving the rest of the trash to spill out onto the ground.

No matter how much Stabbie asks the landlord to get his regular cleaners to pay some attention to this area, they simply mop the stairwells and leave. Occasionally they pick up some trash, and there was one short period where they were very assiduous about it two days in a row. However, the cleaners came and went on Tuesday, leaving the trash area like this:

And the bin men have neatly replaced the recycling bin so that its opening is nicely butted against one of the trash bins, so that most people cannot place their recycling into the slot at the front of the recycling bin.

Stabbie wants his neighbours and the housing association to know that he is not pleased. If he catches the neighbour who insists on throwing his trash bags on the ground, there might be something else in one of those trash bags that is much worse than trash.

Thanks for listening to Stabbie rant and rave. He hopes that these situations will rectify themselves shortly. Now, as you were!

A response to a post by danlmarmot

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Interesting post about his time in London. From the point of view of an American who’s lived here for 17-1/2 years now, there are a couple of things I’d like to comment on. I tried to post the comment in your journal but it was about twice the permitted length.

1) Smoking. If you think it’s bad now, you should have seen it 5 years ago and more. Every pub was full of the fug of cigarette smoke so those who wanted to have a drink and not be suffused with smoke just drank at home. No smoking areas in restaurants were a joke. The smoke just drifted over and spoiled your meal.

I am still annoyed about walking past a pub or an office building and having to endure the cloud of smoke from the intrepid smokers around the doorway. The government is planning more measures against smoking (removing tobacco from view in shops and going to plain packaging with no brand logos or colours) and the tide is turning slowly, but surely.

America is quite a bit ahead of us on this, but give us a break! We just started this around 5 years ago and it’s still in its infancy.

2) Drinking. The government is tackling binge drinking (which results in some of the hijinks you saw while you were here), but until the social causes of binge drinking are tackled there will still be problems. We locals know to avoid the streets after around 10:30 pm and watch out for the puddles of puke in the morning when wending our way to the Tube to commute to work. Scotland is putting floors under the alcohol price and England is slowly working towards that. However, every time the government or some MP comes up with an idea on how to cut binge drinking, the cry goes up from the tabloids: “Nanny state! Nanny state!” and the government draws back from the brink.

I expect that the number of 24-hour pubs is going to go down, as Continental-café style drinking has not caught on here and will not catch on here, and the 24-hour pubs are mostly concentrated in city centres.

3) Public civility. I wonder if you wouldn’t have gotten the same kinds of responses if you’d asked people in the centre of New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. London is a big city and people here insulate themselves so that interaction with their fellow urbanites is kept to a minimum. I have never found the reactions you’ve noted, though, so I’m wondering a bit about it. As for public rage, well, I saw everything you recounted, and more, in my 21 years in New York. The only difference is that you were more likely to be harmed in New York if an altercation broke out.

4) Bars. The only people who can afford to live in Soho are rent boys and whores, really. It is as if people were living on 8th Avenue and 42nd Street in New York. There may be some, but not many.

Some gay pubs are distributed elsewhere. Did you get to Vauxhall while you were here? That has become a happening gay area now, and people do live in the neighbourhood.

I don’t go to pubs anymore, as I’m not on the pull and I have about one drink a week, perhaps less than that. No need to go out to a gay pub if you don’t drink much and are happily married.

That being said, I have always found that I get blank stares (if that) from people in gay pubs anywhere. I’m about 100 in gay years and everywhere there is a culture of “if you’re not young, buff, and full of cum I’m not interested in you and you don’t exist in this pub.” There are pubs which cater to “special tastes”. The City of Quebec pub near Marble Arch is the pub for older men, and the King’s Arms on Poland Street is where the bears hang out. Qdos at Charing Cross is where Asians (=British “Orientals”) congregate.

I have found that gay pubs/bars everywhere have a clique. There are always a group of people who know each other, go to the pub at the same time each day and hang out together. This takes no regard of what country the pub is in. Episcopal Church and Church of England coffee hours after Eucharist on Sunday are exactly the same. Newcomers, unless there are people specially deputised to talk to them and take them ’round, are left in the corner and the only person who speaks to them is the coffee server who asks “One sugar or two?”

It’s interesting that Davey Wavey, the YouTube gay personal trainer and philosopher on life, was here last week and one of the first things he said to the group of us who met him in Hyde Park was, “My gaydar doesn’t work here!” It probably takes a few years for one’s gaydar to recalibrate itself.

5) Travelling. I only drove for about 2 months when I lived in Chicago 20 years ago. I never drove before then, nor since. I am dependent on public transport. The fact that many bus shelters have displays to tell you when your bus is going to arrive has removed the mystery from “When is my bus going to get here?” In my opinion, most Americans have been spoiled by the ubiquity of automobiles and get more impatient at long travel times than Europeans do. So an American’s idea of swift travel is not a Londoner’s idea of the same. The Tube and bus network always get me where I want to go; I prepare for unfamiliar journeys by checking the TfL website to ensure that there are no holdups before I start, and I leave sufficient time (more than sufficient in most cases) to get to where I’m going. My mother always said, “Better 10 minutes early than 1 minute late.”

6) Anxiety. Well, everywhere there is a lot to be anxious about. We’ve been anxious a lot longer than Americans have been, as terrorist attacks happened here until the late 1990’s and then started again in 2005. In 1994, I actually heard the two bombs go off that year, one in Canary Wharf and one in Aldwich (where the bomber was so inept that instead of setting the bomb to go off at 10:30am, he set it for 10:30pm and it went off as he was carrying it downstairs on a 176 bus). So there is a level of calmness about public safety that you don’t see in the US.

As for the current world situation, and the economic situation here in the UK, there is a lot of uncertainty. The government is a coalition and has made a lot of U-turns in policy in response to the tabloid press, who are always accusing them of being soft on crime, soft on immigration, soft on asylum seekers, soft on welfare recipients, and soft on bankers and The City, but also tough on invalids and those who cannot work, tough on pensioners, tough on taxpayers, and so on and so forth.

Is it any wonder that hoi polloi, confused by what they read in the newspapers and see on TV, are anxious? There is no certainty, no government policy that can’t be changed or reversed by the Tories who are nervous about whether they will at last get a majority in Parliament in 2015.

Strikes have mostly been banished from public view in the past 25 years or so, except for the transport workers, who are militant and go out at the drop of a hat. So the public view of a summer of strikes of public servants is pretty grim.

Last, the weather. Up until you got here, we had about a month and a half without any rain to speak of. You brought the deluge with you. The farmers are now happier. We always complain about the weather; it’s part of the national psyche and to have a long spell of dry, sunny, and warm weather makes us even more anxious than we are about current events and the government. With the rain, we now have something to talk about while we binge drink in the pubs, vomit in the gutters, take a much-delayed night bus home, and pick a fight at the bus stop before stumbling home, falling in the gutter, and waiting for 5 hours in A&E to see a triage nurse at 4am.

All the previous sentence is tongue-in-cheek, of course. I hope you’ll be back.

Today’s Water Quality URL

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

We take for granted the purity of the water that comes out of our taps…well, almost all of us do. In Oregon, a tiny mistake by a guy has meant big expenses for the water department in order to avoid the yuck factor…

Today’s Religious Justice URL

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

It is a well-known fact that of the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism and Islam are not (in strict sects) very favourable towards man’s best friend, the dog. However, what a rabbinical court in Jerusalem has decreed to happen to this dog is pretty gruesome. I do hope that the dog has escaped.


Friday, June 17th, 2011

My good friend and brother Dr. Louie Crew is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. He posted a Facebook reference to a story on his website today.

The kind of jokes you tell and appreciate says a lot about the kind of person you are.

Today’s Great Escape Video

Friday, June 17th, 2011

One doesn’t normally expect most farm animals to have the smarts to escape from their pens, enclosures, barns, and the like. They usually just wait until they’re let out.

This farmer, in County Armagh in Ireland, found that at least one of his cows is, as the reporter says, a “bovine Einstein”. E=MooC squared.

Note: For some reason, I don’t seem to be able to embed YouTube videos anymore. The embedding disappears when I upload the blog entry. I apologise and have put the video in a link. I will investigate. Sorry for the confusion.

Today’s joke, courtesy of Fr. MadPriest’s MadDad

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Thanks to Fr. MadPriest for this one.

Nota bene for nonBrits: Major highways here are named A###, where ### is a number.

Waiting in Doncaster to catch speeding drivers, a police officer sees a car puttering along at just 22 MPH.

“This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!” the policeman thinks to himself.

So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies, two in the front seats and three in the back – wide eyed and white as ghosts.

The driver, obviously confused, says to him “Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?”

“Ma’am,” the officer replies, “you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.”

“Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly,” the old woman says proudly. “Twenty-two miles an hour. Just as it says on the road signs.”

The Police officer realises the driver’s mistake and, trying to contain a chuckle, explains to her that A22 is the road number, not the speed limit.

A bit embarrassed, the woman grins and thanks the officer for pointing out her error.

“But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask, is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken, and they haven’t made a sound this whole time,” the officer asks.

“Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute officer,” the driver replies. “We’ve only just come off the A120.”

Todays Hi-Tech Video

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

When I was a wee child, we still had a phone without a dial. When you picked up the receiver, a pleasant woman asked, “Number, please.” Then, we got a phone with a funny wheel on the front: a dial! We were intrigued by it, and perhaps a bit unsure of how it worked. The video embedded here was the Bell System’s way of informing people how to use those newfangled dial phones. The one we got in our house was identical to the one shown in the video. The Bell System owned the phone and you leased it from them. That way, the phone company could ensure that no substandard equipment was connected to its lines, and the consumer was assured that if something went wrong, one of Ma Bell’s many children would drop by the house and swap it out for a functional phone.

Today, dial phones are almost a thing of the past. I have not seen one in use for around 20 years. When the Touch-Tone phone first came out, you had to pay extra to use it. Now everyone owns their own phone, called the landline nowadays. They all have buttons, or in the case of many mobile phones like my iPhone, virtual buttons. We have thus come full circle: most people under the age of 30 or so have never used, or even seen, a dial phone in the Bakelite…um…flesh. And “Number, please”? I am probably one of the youngest people ever to have had a non-dial, non-button phone.

Nowadays, some phones will dial a number for you if you simply speak it into the mouthpiece. In the 1950’s, I could do the same. As the Scriptures say, there is nothing new under the sun.

An Archbishop does his job, and the Government doesn’t like it

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

One of the obligations of being a bishop or Archbishop of the Church of England is speaking out in the public forum on matters of national importance from a faith-based point of view. The Archbishop of Canterbury did it today, speaking out on the changes the Government is making in social programs in such a way that he suggests was not in the manifestos of the parties forming the Government. He also suggests that people are unsure about the changes and afraid of the results. He makes the case that the Government needs to explain these changes more clearly in order to get the country to understand and, more important, agree with them.

One of the reactions of government when a bishop or Archbishop speaks out on political matters is to rubbish the Church. They always say that while anyone has the right and opportunity to speak out on political matters, the bishop is naïve, unfamiliar with the realities of political life (this of bishops who sit in the Upper House of Parliament and participate in its debates and votes), or a socialist (if the Government is a Conservative one).

I have no brief for the Archbishop. In many respects he is a poor communicator (he is especially opaque on theological subjects, which he knows best). He has recently (in the Slee papers) been shown to be a bully and a shouter-down of people who disagree with him. And on the subject of the Anglican Covenant, I think he is malicious and seriously misguided. However, when he speaks out on matters of political interest and the Government immediately rubbishes him, I suspect he’s hit close to the mark and the Government doesn’t like that. At all.

Oh, the picture is just my favourite pose of the Archbishop. No intimation that he’s a hand-puppet.

Today’s Joke, thanks to <lj user=”tim1965″>

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks for their orders. The man says, “A hamburger, fries and a coke,” and turns to the ostrich, “What’s yours?”

“I’ll have the same,” says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order. “That will be $9.40 please.” The man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment. The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, “A hamburger, fries and a coke.”

The ostrich says, “I’ll have the same.” Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again. “The usual?” asks the waitress.

“No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad,” says the man.

“Same,” says the ostrich.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, “That will be $32.62.” Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. “Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?”

“Well,” says the man, “several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.”

“That’s brilliant!” says the waitress. “Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!”

“That’s right. Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,” says the man.

The waitress asks, “What’s with the ostrich?”

The man sighs, pauses and answers, “My second wish was for a tall chick with a big ass and long legs who agrees with everything I say.”

Today’s Anglican Video

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Bishop Yellow Belly is trying to get Miss Young Person to church for Pentecost. She isn’t enamoured of the idea, and tells him so. (If you’re not up on the latest hijinks in the appointment of Bishops in the Church of England, read my blog post on the subject.)

Today’s Traffic Safety Video

Monday, June 6th, 2011

In India I routinely spied entire families (Dad, Mom, daughter, and teenage son) riding on one Vespa scooter, with no helmets in evidence. However, the video below does show that in India, motorcycles are a chillaxing form of transport. As the gentleman in question was wearing his helmet, it’s all right, then.

Today’s Sleuthing URL

Monday, June 6th, 2011

There are many ways in which our friends in the animal kingdom assist the constabulary in their function of protecting the public. Sniffer dogs come to mind. Well, in Germany the boys in blue have recruited three vultures to their ranks. These feathered friends are to be used in finding corpses that are hidden in difficult terrain. There is only one concern: can the vultures be trained not to nibble at the evidence?

Today’s Religious Photograph

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

I have been forgetting to upload this photograph. I call it “Biretta Convention”. They seem to be multiplying rapidly, which is odd for a hat normally worn by celibate clerics, but there you have it.

A bit of light entertainment for a Sunday evening.