29 April 2008

I may have posted the Fry article on here before, but having found a very enjoyable bit of writing from his partner in crime (I say partners in crime, but I was only making a joke, I don't mean that they actually perform criminal acts) so I thought I'd post both:

Hugh Laurie - Wodehouse Saved My Life

Stephen Fry - What Ho! My Hero, PG Wodehouse

28 April 2008

Yes, another zoo post. This one from early March after the season's opening.

I'd been trying to get a picture of this pig for some time now, but he kept evading me by being inside a small building. Got him this time, taking a nap in some type of undersized kiddie pool:

A sea lion looking a little more wild like its namesake, but in actuality, just yawning:

These monkeys were very interesting. The baby pictured here was playing with some twigs on the ground. Unfortunately this particular breed of primate is less modest and in the interest of family-friendliness, which you all certainly know has been one of my highest objectives, besides the use of sarcasm, I have censored the "Naughty Bits":

The ever fierce Rock Hyrax. You can see his surprisingly sharp teeth in this picture. He may look like a sausage roll, but he's got a mean streak a mile wide! That's no ordinary rodent!

A pair of....oh, I forget. Kudu, antelope, something hoofed and African.

A sleeping duiker:

This one got my pulse up a bit. While there was glass between us, I managed to get a very close shot of a gorilla, who was sitting with his back towards me...not a whole lot of zoom here, he wasn't very far away at all. Here he is climbing off the rock and starting to turn towards me:

Quite a stunning sight, as he walked towards me, then walked away.

The ugly but amusing warthog:

A trio of cheetahs almost outside of view. They tend to be slightly less social than the other big cats, and are quite often hiding from zoo visitors. Can't say that I really blame them.

Lastly, some lemurs.

27 April 2008

And now for a food-related entry...

Tonight as I cooked dinner I had a stroke of rare genius, or luck, perhaps. I had a container in the freezer of some grilled pork loin for which I had to find some purpose or recipe. I had originally used a kitchen-sink marinade of soy sauce, apricot jam, and jerk sauce (literally things I wanted to get out of my refrigerator) and grilled it over charcoal, with no wood smoke. I sliced up the leftovers and froze them, not knowing what exactly I would do with them.

Tonight I improvised, tossed the frozen pork into a skillet, and then I added a can of crushed pineapple I found in the back of my pantry. I diced up a fresh jalapeno, and added a bit of dried ginger, a small amount of soy sauce, and a quick dash of Tabasco habanero sauce. Also from the back of the pantry, a handful of shredded coconut to enhance the Pacific flavours. I cooked it until the liquid thickened up nicely, and served it on a bed of Thai jasmine rice. I say "served it" but that would be misleading...Debra was more interested in rice with copious amounts of margarine, so I was the only one to partake. All in all, a nice little improvisation, and a good use of leftovers that I had feared were destined for the rubbish bin.

26 April 2008

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:28

Mowed my lawn today, first time this season. My wild, unsubmissive lawn. My lawn in which grass and grass-related vegetation enjoys minority status. But I thought of the above verse (emphasis added) in which one of the first commands to Man is to subdue the earth. I sometimes wonder why we bother with lawns, except to appease disapproving neighbors with nicer lawns. But as suburbanites far removed from actually tilling the earth (at least with any success...I've yet to successfully grow a crop of anything but dandelions), perhaps this chore is the one remaining connection we have to that primal command from God to SUBDUE the earth.

Strangely enough, that can be of some comfort...when I feel overwhelmed by the jungle-like craziness that springs out of the ground every year, I sometimes wonder about the sheer pointlessness of it, and think about how nice a lawn of sand, rocks, or astroturf would be. But remembering God's command, I am encouraged; I may have only a small patch of the earth to my charge, but it is mine and God has appointed me master of it. It SHALL be subdued under me.

Here's my proposal.

25 April 2008

Behold the missing zoo visit blog entry! Fresh from the archives, a bunch of photos from February I forgot to post.

First up, a black llama mugging for the camera.

I believe the one to the left here is a llama, and the furrier one on the right is an alpaca, but I'm not sure. The one on the left actually looks like a tauntaun.

Fallow deer, as per the norm, begging for handouts.

This pair of swans (sween?) was amusing, as they made a beeline for us, also I believe under the impression that we would feed them.

Closeup of the male swan.

Pair of Red Pandas sleeping:

I take no responsibility for what these kangaroos are doing. I think it's high time for Mama to kick the other "out of the pouch".

There are going to be several kangaroo pictures, so bear with me as I run out of good captions:


Walking this way would have to lead to back problems:

Ugly in an endearing way...

It being February, I think these kangaroos were particularly enjoying the warmth of the sun.

The normally overly shy wallabies were out:

They have a slightly more rodent-like appearance, compared to kangaroos.

Lastly, a couple shots of the sheep:

Uno mas...

23 April 2008

This article caught my eye:

Climate change 'may put world at war'

What struck me is the relatively fanciful notion, probably fantasized about by Greendu practitioners, that there might be this coalition of morally upstanding nations to stand up to those nations raping the planet (which is typically considered to be America...developing nations are given a pass). It is the Rebel Alliance taking on the Empire. Canada, Sweden, France, Liechtenstein, etc.; a fearless alliance of Green Righteousness standing against the Axis of Evil (Western nations united under Halliburton). Like I said, it is a bit of a fantasy, so you have to give them creative license.

What makes it funnier to me is the idea of a Green Military. Carbon-neutral hybrid tanks, solar powered helicopters, emission free artillery, etc.

Don't laugh, it could happen here. The idea of emotionally sensitive boot camp and political correctness in the military was probably laughable fifty years ago. Now pretty much everyone is comfortable with the idea.

And not that a more efficient tank engine isn't a good thing...in fact, range is one of the more important aspects of tank design. Hitler's tanks towards the end of WWII (Panther, Tiger I, Koenigs Tiger, Elefant, Stuermtiger, Jagdpanther) were all impressive, well designed, powerful tanks, with superior armour and armament when compared to the tanks of the Allies. But the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's last offensive, stalled miserably when these behemoths ran out of fuel, and were abandoned in large part. If a Prius engine would have moved these 65 ton monsters, maybe Hitler should have gone Green?

22 April 2008

Had a thought this morning. There are probably a lot of Clinton supporters out there that feel that a vote for Hillary means you get Bill, too, with all the Dot-Com Age Good Times that go with him. To me, installing the same couple as "co-presidents" again, after they filled the two term limit of the 22nd Amendment, sounds a bit sneaky to me, even if the order of the pair is reversed, with Bill as "First Man".

However, this would set an interesting precedent. What if George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, in a remarkable show of solidarity with the LGBT rights community, decided to divorce their respective spouses, and then marry each other? Then Dick Cheney could run for president in 08, with George W. and Bill Clinton as the prospective First Ladies!

20 April 2008

Last Minute Blog Addendum:

Anyone else ever get a song irreparably planted in your head for a day or more, without any clear indication of how it got there?

Such has been my fate today, and I've gone out repeatedly to Youtube to find the song, and have had no choice but to sit down with the guitar and learn it.

George Harrison - Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

Still this is better than when I had the Bee Gees "I Started a Joke" on the brain for several days running.

I remember when George Harrison passed; I'm not one to feel much emotion at the passing of celebrities, in the same way other people can mourn people they have not met, but I remember feeling a bit blue at the time.

Another rather sad thing I realized. Remember McCartney's "When I'm 64"? I always thought it was rather sad that Linda McCartney wasn't around for that, but then I just realized, the last time I thought about that, Macca wasn't yet three score and four. He turned 64 in, if I did the math right, June of 2006. Only a month later, he filed for divorce from Heather Mills, his second wife. Rather a rummy order of events, that!

Here are the lyrics. Quite a nice song.

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope
With this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you
With heart and soul
Oh, my Lord.

Please take hold of my hand
That I might understand you

Won't you please,
Oh, won't you, give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope
With this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you
With heart and soul
Oh, my Lord.

17 April 2008

Time now for a random assorted blog entry!

First off, some housekeeping. The wife and I are no longer (as the post below would seem to indicate) at a hospital; for the past week and a half or so we've been (mercifully) back home, with Debra on strict bedrest. Figured I should at least address that, so as to not receive unwarranted sympathy points!

I do a lot of my best thinking, strangely enough, in the shower in the morning. Ideas come to me better then; perhaps because my brain has had some sleep, and is not completely spent from overuse at work all day. This morning I had some cracking thoughts about Global Warming and the Green Religion, and I intended to document them here, but they have evaporated since. Well, I'll give it a bit of a shot. One of the things I've noted with Greenduism is that Greendu practitioners have a particular love of ritual and symbolism. The practical effects of a ritual are secondary to what it represents. The same is true for most religions; the Lord's Supper is not primarily about enjoying a bit of crusty bread with a nice kosher red wine, it is about remembrance, and symbolism. Greendus have any number of rituals; changing lightbulbs to compact fluorescents, recycling, driving a hybrid car, telling people about how they drive a hybrid car, etc. As long as these rituals are adhered to, sins are absolved. This is why a person who drives 50 miles a day in a hybrid car for commuting is more righteous than a person who drives 5 miles a day in a petrol-swilling heathen car. The net effect of "emissions" is actually greater for the hybrid car driver, but his holiness meter registers higher because the ritual and intentions are more crucial in Greenduism than the practical effects. Recycling (which is so widely accepted even outside of Greenduism it is almost to the point of being unfashionable) was partially debunked on an episode of a show by Penn and Teller (the title of which is slightly saltier than the tender ears, or eyes, of my faithful blogreaders should be exposed to); many types of recycling are enormously high in energy costs, but again, the idea of recycling is what we value most, not its effects. I say this as a long-time recycling sympathizer...it's the sort of thing even the non-Greendu agnostics and skeptics can get on board with. Also, now that carbon dioxide is officially a pollutant, can we start taxing Al Gore for breathing?

While I'm on the topic, I really need to link to what to me has been one of the most comical things to surface on the web in some time:


Lastly, I bought (for very cheap) a copy of one of Steven Raichlen's books, this one focused on ribs. Surprisingly it was not full of pictures of Mr. Raichlen comically pointing out the location of various types of ribs by pointing to his own body. I say comically, because I find it funny, but when he does it on his show he's serious. "The baby backs are the tenderest, juiciest ribs...have a look at them right here" [turns to point down his back] "yeah, that's nice, huh? Now let me show you the loin..." Yikes!

Sorry, I guess my wife and I get a great deal of humor out of things that were not necessarily designed to be funny. With Steven Raichlen, it's all double entendre...how he keeps repeating his mantra of "keep it hot, keep it clean, keep it lubricated", which you've got to admit has a slightly naughty ring to it (it would definitely fail in Don't Be Dirty). With Lidia's Italy, an Italian cooking show that comes on an hour before Steven Raichlen's BBQ University, it is these weird things she says, with her thick Italo-slavic accent. Such as, when speaking lustily of the joy she gets in manually smashing tomatoes for her sauces: "I LIKE TO CRUSH THEM!". This gets parodied at our house with frequency, with the latest idea being a horror film parody of Gojira for tomatoes, with Lidzilla trampling through the streets of Tomatokyo, angrily crushing every innocent tomato she can get her claws on. I LIKE TO CRUSH THEM!

Mind you, I like these shows quite a bit. I used to view Bonanza the same way, a great show that I watched almost daily on channel 50. But half of the joy of that show was mocking the characters. Full grown (balding) men still living unmarried at home with Pa, well into their 40s. The plots were delightfully predictable in a way no other show has ever been...the romantic ones (with enormously shallow female characters who were quite often portrayed by very poor actors) were particularly fated to end with the female lead either dying or leaving town in the final two minutes.

03 April 2008

So, we've been in the hospital since last Wednesday...one would assume such information might have made for a more interesting and relevant blog entry than random news articles and backwards Steve Miller lyrics, but one would be misjudging the nature of content in this haven of irrelevant jibberings.

So first, look at this sign:

The anti-barbeque prejudice is unmistakable. This sort of bias against slow cooking with woodsmoke is why I still insist our country has a long way to go towards healing the rifts that divide us as a nation. We need to preach tolerance! Free the smoke! We shall overcome!

But anyway, here is where I have been spending my nights:

Looks a bit uncomfortable, you say? Doesn't seem like a nice place to sleep? Well, have we got YOU fooled!!! You won't believe how this chair absolutely transforms into a luxurious one-person bed fit for a oriental monarch with a bad back. Skeptical? So was I, but feast your eyes on THIS:

Also I should draw your attention to the odd flying object at the upper right; my dear wife had received a stuffed sheep as a gift from a visiting family member and the thought infiltrated her fevered brain to seek to toss it onto the chair at the last moment in order to ruin the picture. But not fast enough! Muahahahaha!
I feel beholden to point this out.

If you reverse the words of the first line of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle", it reads as follows:

Emit, speek no nippils, nippils, nippils...

After realizing this I have never been able to listen to the song without hearing that.
Argentine president lays 'inalienable' claim to Falklands

Perhaps Part Deux?

01 April 2008