The Crack Spider’s Bitch

A funny YouTube video, satirizing those 70s and 80s Public Service Announcements from the Canadian Government regarding Canadian wildlife. It was a great series of PSAs, but they got curtailed in the mid-80s. If you don’t remember them, you can still get a kick out of it. One thing I hadn’t realized previously — the original You-Tube post this is linked to had received over 15 million views of this short film:

 

Crappy Album Covers – #2

The moment I saw that movie poster for that upcoming film “Step Brothers” (Sony Pictures), my first thought was about that crappy album cover from Trazan and Banarne, from way back.

Members of the Swedish children’s pop music group Electric Banana, Trazan and Banarne had this as the photo for their album cover, self-titled. I’ll spare you the bias involved in a white person’s view of life in an African jungle (there will be other opportunities in this series), but I guess the photo gets across that life in the jungle involves merely swinging from tree to tree and eating bananas. Of course, you have to share your bananas with the local primates, in order to live in harmony with nature. Trazan presents himself as a good citizen of the jungle by sharing his banana with his companion Banarne. Trazan, by the way, and not “Tarzan”, is the proper spelling for the artist here.

I don’t know why this picture came to my mind when I saw a poster for a soon-to-be released major movie: Step Brothers (Starring Will Ferrell and John Reilly)? I am sure they have nothing to do with each other. I don’t think these guys live in a jungle or anything. They probably don’t wear argyle sweaters in the jungle. I think it’s more to do with that Mutt-and-Jeff groove both pictures have.

Crappy Album Covers – First Post

A generic "bad" album cover. I know nothing about the band, good or bad.

I am not here to say what is the worst cover, exactly. That would be too difficult to judge.

Many album covers look truly ugly but must be given leeway, since the lion’s share of them are low-budget enterprises, purchased by buying public who know the local artist. Perhaps many of the people who have purchased the album, the album appears humourous, since they may know what the artist was trying to say.

So, even going through a site such as this one, we find some idiotic “worst album submissions” (who would criticise the album cover to Supertramp’s Breakfast In America?), and submissions simply because the album cover looks disturbing. But sometimes that makes the cover a good one, since it serves as to a warning as to what to expect in its contents. I think some people would be greatly misled if they bought an Iggy Pop record because it had a cute bunny rabbit on the cover.

“Passion in Paint” is one wretched album cover whose artwork is short on both passion and paint. In this case, it wasn’t necessary to even have bad artwork, since as you can see by the subtitle “Famous paintings set to music”, they could have easily picked a famous classical painting, most of which are now in the public domain, and cost the record company (RCA Victor, in this case) nothing.

There appeared in the 50s and 60s to be a whole slew of sexless and artless book covers, photos, and record albums that made you wonder why the artist bothered at all. Thus, all bad art will have a story behind them, including the social , historical and economic forces which make them suck so much.

There will be more to come about crappy album covers in the following weeks.

Sleeping with Martha

My wife persuaded me to sleep with Martha. She said that it will make me feel good, and that it was good to have her in bed with us. When I tried to do it with Martha I was spoiled for anything else, and my wife wasn’t even jealous. However, I noticed, that while Martha was good in bed, she kept my head up a little more than made me comfortable, and I wished it would stop. But after a while I got used to it. I told my wife that these were the best Martha Stewart pillows she ever bought, and I had to have more.

Getting My Teeth off My Chest

Don’t put me down for writing this, for if you are reading this, you are counting yourself in the equal company of bloggers who do not have a life. I just want to get this off my chest.

I never thought about being passionate about flossing my teeth, but dog-gone it, there are standards. For one thing, nothing beats the old-school floss that consists of a thin thread of wound unwaxed nylon (or whatever can you buy viagra without a prescription in the usa they use). It is easy, it is a strong thread, it gets the job done.

Recently I made the mistake of purchasing that fancy-dancy floss they have these days which consists of some kind of flavour-coated teflon. The teflon slips past the teeth, and the plaque. Nothing sticks to it. Not the plaque, and nothing else. It’s crap. Expensive crap. There. I’ve said it. OK, you can go to another blog, now.

Getting away from it

At a Tim Horton’s, we ordered coffee, I ordered a doughnut. Denise wouldn’t have doughnuts. She seemed a little upset. I later found it was because she had visited her mother and became victim of her latest insensitive remarks.

“Why do you bother visiting your mom if all she does is hurt your feelings,” I ask. This always seems to happen, almost like a weekly routine.

“Well, she is my mother, and I am the only daughter, so I am seen as the only one who can do certain things for her once in a while. But when she says something hurtful, what I normally do is go home, think about it, write my feelings down somewhere, and then try to go about my life again.”

She went on, mostly elaborating. I was silent as she was explaining this to me. I could say that buy viagra canada us script writing is only a temporary measure. It helps you to figure things out, but it doesn’t solve your problems. It might be a way of licking your wounds, but it alone doesn’t heal them. As I saw it, the only way she could heal was to not visit her mother, and to stay away from any other source of hurt.

I don’t think she wanted to hear that. There was a sense of security she seemed to feel about the rut she was in. She was, in her mind, coping splendidly. She would be hurt by people in the world around her, she’d retreat home, lick her wounds, then do the same thing again. With all that hurting and healing, there was no room left for anything positive. Certainly no room to make a positive contribution to society in general.

The rule of "2"

When I was a student on a limited budget, I had some idea, a hunch, that on average, I spent $2 on an item of food at the supermarket. By counting the number of items I purchased, including more than one of the same item, that I would have a fairly accurate idea of the grocery bill before I reached the checkout.

But to apply this rule, I found I had to apply it to every item, including each of the many 33-cent bags of Oriental noodles, each can of soup, each apple and orange, and so on. It saved me a lot of mental effort in having to compute the real total, and I found that I could always stay on budget with this rule.

Mileage on my moped

I refuse to engage in the trend for “hypermiling”. I found a way that beats all of my attempts to squeeze even more mileage out of my BMW: Don’t drive the car. For $1200 I got a used moped, and I expect it to pay for itself within 4 months.

On this moped, I have travelled about 160 km (100 mi) and have used up 3.34L of gasoline (0.8826 gallons). My mileage is thus around 113.3 miles per gallon. In metric, that is 2.09 liters per 100 km. In human terms, that means I can go about 213 kilometers on a tank of gas. The 4.47 L tank costs about $6 to fill with the cheap gas, and about $6.60 to fill with the high-grade fuel. Since the cost is trivial, I always use high-grade fuel. Compare this with my BMW: It costs $95 to fill it with cheap gas, and its mileage hovers around 17 miles per gallon.

My moped. Notice

The specs on a website I visited for this bike says that with the reserve tank, it can hold 1.18 gallons of gas (about 4.47 L).

It is a Tomos LX moped, from 2006. And, while my bike does not say “Targa” on it, I have seen identical bikes from American websites and they say “Targa” over the gas tank, while mine says “Tomos”. I am given the impression that the 49 cc engine is standard on all mopeds. My moped had been fitted with an upgraded muffler, but it does not have any adjustments made to the governor. So, my top speed on this bike with me riding on it (I weigh 220 pounds) on level ground would be about 60 km/h (about 38 mi/h).

Getting rid of the cell phone

Cell phone contracts are easy to get. Companies these days make cell phones very affordable. They are eager to sell you value-added services that you never needed to use prior to the purchase, and you are hit with a bill that can go upwards of $45 per month.

But what if you are like me? You have the cell phone, and now you realise that it is a ball and chain. I don’t just mean the contract; there is also the fact that you can be anywhere and people can get in touch with you. Well, what happened to concepts like privacy? Are there still places left on this planet where people won’t be texting me or phoning me, or emailing me? I need space; I need quiet time. I need a little freedom. I need to get rid of the damn cell phone.

Getting rid of the cell phone takes real mental discipline and concentration. The first time I tried this, I had to get past Emily, the automated Bell Telephone Fairy. The fairy could grant me three wishes, but cutting my cell phone wasn’t one of them. It didn’t understand me when I gave her a voice command to “BUG OFF!” so she sent me to a human.

From then on, I had to endure an onslaught of sales pitches as to how I can improve my cell phone experience by changing my package selections. But they didn’t see the main point: I have a land line, which in effect means that Bell dings me twice each month. I pay them $100 a month just in phone bills. They could not see that this was entirely unacceptable. They also didn’t see that this was my sense of rational decision-making and rational budgeting at work. That wasn’t allowed to enter the conversation either, no matter how rational I tried to sound. Then, they asked me for my password to get into my private account (all this was over the phone after all). I vaguely remembered making this password 6 months or more previous, but I had no idea what it was, and told them.

So, I was told that the only way I could cancel my account was to show up at a Bell shop, and show them some ID. So, weeks passed until I thought once again to go through with it, and when I did, I had to endure yet another sales pitch similar to the telephone ordeal, and finally we got down to business, and I showed them my ID. I brought my cell phone with me, but they weren’t interested in looking at it. They told me that I had to complete the billing cycle, and in 6 weeks, I would be free.

Of course, this 6 weeks did not go by quietly. I got brochures telling me to come back, we’re sorry, we didn’t mean to piss you off; I got a “courtesy” call asking me to reconsider, and after fighting them off bravely, I reached my summit, the top of the hill: NO MORE CELL PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New ways of going insane

“Excessive text messaging and email” is now proposed to be included as new mental illnesses in an update to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV). These are not the only silly classifications they have.

One proposed mental illness that I have heard from that seminal magazine, the Journal of Polymorphic Perversity, is “Consensual Validation Disorder”. That is, if someone doesn’t like you, then you’re one card short of a full deck. The rest of what I have here sound just as silly, except that they are for real.

Suck at math? Well, not only is math “not for you”, but you’re 8 pawns short of a gambit. You may have “Mathematics Disorder”, or dyscalculia (315.1). This includes the inability to copy things down as you see them, forgetting to carry, forgetting signs, and so on.

Like the taste of coffee? You could win a trip to the funny farm. You could fall into one of the classifications for the “Caffeine-Related Disorders“. They had to give it its own classification, because the disorder they have in mind does not constitute substance abuse. But you’re still one drop short of an empty bladder.

Can’t sleep after too much coffee? It’s not a natural outcome of drinking too much coffee. According to DSM, you are a crouton short of a salad. You have caffeine intoxication disorder (305.90).

Like to have a cigarette after a good dinner? Then you are a few fries short of a happy meal. Nicotine dependance (305.1) is a mental illness.

Trying to quit smoking? Then you’re one sultana short of a fruitcake. Nicotine withdrawal is also a mental illness (292.0).

Can’t write legibly or can’t express yourself in writing? It’s not that you have lost your muse. You’re one weenie short of a roast. You have a disorder of written expression (315.2).

Do you snore when you sleep? It’s not just a minor irritation spouses have to put up with anymore. If you saw logs, then you may be a chocolate chip short of a cookie. You probably have Breathing-Related Sleep Disorder (780.57).

If your son or daughter is rebellious, then it is not because the world is unfair to them and most certainly not because they are expressing their independence from their parents. Your teenage son or daughter is actually a doughnut short of a cop. He or she has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (313.81).

Threes (by John Atherton)

I think that I shall never c
A # lovelier than 3;
For 3 < 6 or 4,
And than 1 it’s slightly >.
All things in nature come in 3s,
Like , trio’s, Q.E.D.s;
While $s gain more dignity
if augmented 3 x 3 —

A 3 whose slender curves are pressed
By banks, for compound interest;
Oh, would that, paying loans or rent,
My rates were only 3%!

3² expands with rapture free,
And reaches toward ∞ ;
3 complements each x and y,
And intimately lives with π.
A circle’s # of °
Are best ÷ up by 3s,
But wrapped in dim obscurity
Is √(-3).

Atoms are split by men like me,
But only God is 1 in 3. digestive health nausea

Dying my wife's hair

The fun thing about colouring my wife’s hair isn’t about the hair so much, but more about the fact that we can talk and share our feelings more. My work keeps me so busy that I had to find ways to cut down on travel time, which is a barrier to things like exercise and finding further spare time to do things.

This morning (Saturday) I got up, went to work, did some heavy photocoying, which by the afternoon left only 1 hour in the gym before church. So I did that, came to church a bit late, then had a small supper and did my wife’s hair.

I think it is healthy for us to do things like that, since we can share our feelings, talk about things going on over the past week, and so on. It’s a great way to share things with each other. Of course, we both tell jokes also. It’s great.

She chose truffle brown.