Thursday, 28 April 2011

X is not for foX

Yes.  Exile,  Get out

X is for X

Something that has irked me since I was old enough to know what irked meant are the alphabet friezes that kindergartens and doting parents pin up in on the walls so that junior can learn about the Alphabet.
Now for letters like A, B and C the choices are generally pretty easy. A is for apple, B is for Bee and C is fr Car and so on but when they get to the tail end of the alphabet, particularly todays letter, they being to run into difficulties.
It is generally solved by letting people know that X is for Xylophone or even foX.  But how hard would it have been for the designers to pick up a thesaurus and have words like:
  • Xiphias - a swordfish.
  • Xyster - Surgeons instrument for scraping bones, Presumably to be used on people that don't pay their bills.
  • Xenolithic - useful if you envision your child growing up to be a mechanic and running after dinosaurs [1]
  • Xenomorph - technical name of the Alien from the Alien movies.
  • Xanth - the world created by Piers Anthony [2]
  • Xoanon- a wooden image of a God [3]
That took about 10 seconds to search on the Internet so it's a lesson to take home if you ever find yourself in the enviable position of designing one of these. There are more words that start with X than Xylophone or foX.
Of course we can't go forward without hearing the argument that these words are far too difficult for a baby but really, when your 3 days old it's more a case of looking at the bright colours and seeing what everything tastes like rather than sitting back and contemplating the completeness of the universe.[4]

Alternatively why not have X is for X?
It is, after all, the global expression of the unknown.
"There are X soldiers over that hill"
"X by Y gives us 150m" define X

One final handy hint. If you manage to overthrow or otherwise incapacitate your mortal enemy just kill them. Don't send them into eXile, history has shown us so many times that it doesn't work. [5]

  1. I'll admit this ones a bit of a stretch but I can't use my A material all the time.  especially not with this post if you think about it.
  2. Exactly which God is up to you but Cthulhu might be a little risky.  Atheists could substitute XY chromosomes
  3. Use if you want to be certain your child grows up to be a geek
  4. Or perhaps they are.  Maybe on some level we are born knowing all and as we get older we forget what we know and replace it with what we have been told to learn.
  5. That always makes me go "aargh"  You kill them and then you don't have to worry about the woods marching on Dunsinane.  The combaticons being formed or a son that grows to be a man and hunts you down in revenge at his fathers banishment. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Thoughts on Whales

Chiswick! Fresh horses!
W is for Whales.

What comes to mind when you think of whales?
 Proud beasts majesticly swimming through the oceans, wise leviathans who can see across the centuries of time?
 Or perhaps images on the news telling you that, once again another pod of whales have beached themselves "accidentally"  The volenteers are running this way and that armed with buckets and wet towels in an attempt to keep them alive long enough to get them back out into the water?

Of course nothing is wrong with this practice [1] and whenever it happens I always end up on the side of the people trying to keep the whales alive rather than the people who call up the talk radio and suggest that the whale "should be butchered and sold to the Japanese" [2]

The Beachings:

The main problem with whales that have been floated is that they will frequently beach themselves on the same or another harder to get to beach which means that the whole process has to start again.
The other,only slightly lesser, problem with whales running aground in the way that they do is that with even one whale on the beach sunbathing is difficult and if there is a whole pod there then forget about it completely. No matter where they end up the whale family will invariably hog the best spots on the beach.

Now whales as a species have been around for a long time but in the time that they've been here the continents have drifted apart and as it stands now no amount of therapy is going to bring them back together.[3]

To put it simply the whales are traveling around relying solely on outdated maps and instead of updating to the more accurate GPS they are wandering around saying

"there was never an island here before"
"Oh this is great. You can't stop and ask directions!"
"Who am I going to ask?"
"Well what about those little pink things making all the noise down there"
"Heh, they're just upset because I'm going to have a better tan than them"

of course the GPS problem only really applies to the older whales. the younger whales, while being "hip and with it" have been known to use the GPS and thus avoid those inconvenient beaches, or at least all the really good ones that are already taken by older whales. [4]

So instead of constantly refloating the beached behemoths back into the watery depths we should concentrate on learning their language so that we can put radio beacons in the water that broadcast a variety of helpful messages such as the following.

Japan - すべての控えをクリア
Latin - Vatican City nantes excipit diligenter
Spanish - ¡Peligro! se está acercando a España. Por favor, tenga los papeles listos
England – Hello, this is a recording. If you're not a whale you can disregard this message but if you are it does rather look as though your coming a bit close to our green and verdant land and thats really not on is it? Why don't you just pack it in and go home?

Admittedly its a work in progress but perhaps the way to understand the whales is by translating their music which leads us into the subject of

Whale Songs:

Every single culture on earth has created an individual music styling. the many different kinds of music are far too vast to list here but that is not the purpose of this paper, the purpose, of this section at least, is to bring the famous whale songs to the fore.
Whale song is how the whales communicate with each other, a long drawn out series of clicks and moans that vary in pitch and time [5]. Very stoned people in particular embraced whale song with a passion rarely seen in todays cynical world.
Deals were done, records were cut and Whale Song rocketed up the charts, [6] well, not really.
Around the natal area of humans is when they get yearnings for whale songs and these recordings will all be thrown out on the day the whale language is translated and it is revealed exactly what the whales have been singing about the whole time. [7]

Body Modification:

One of the most telling signs of adolescence in humans and indeed throughout the animal world is the process of decoration. Birds will fluff out their feathers, and strut around in front of the female. Deer will grow their antlers long and fight with other deer. Humans will, do pretty much the same. [8]

So it is with the whale. When a young whale reaches the heady teenage years and his mind turns to opposite sex young whales will suddenly sprout a collection of body decoration that people wouldn't bat an eyelid at if it walked into a club. [9]

The disguised humpback whale will attempt to look cool by having barnacles in strategic places, it will always go for the more indie crowd where strange designs etched into the skin are accepted and, as long as it can keep up with the conversation about the bands, it should do fine. [10]

Killer whales, with their shiny black markings and disregard for anything that isn't another killer whale generally frequent the harder kind of goth clubs although it is not unusual for one to add a bow tie and top hat to its disguise and take in a high class event such as the opera, especially if Phantom is playing

While they are normally shunned by other whales as looking stupid the young Narwhal would be able to fit into the strange crowd with piercings with relative ease and would quickly be talked into getting even more.
This is why the next day, when he wakes up and looks at himself in the mirror and thinks "I look like a puffer fish" He immediately gets back to his classes and settles down to become an accountant


There seems to be no real conclusion to these thoughts. If the whales as a species were willing to meet us halfway on the whole beaching thing then we might be more willing to let them date our daughters.

Whales of the world the ball is now in your court.

  1. .Despite the fact that it is really nothing more than a cry for attention and by rushing out there and helping them all we are doing is negatively reinforcing the belief that whales are unable to help themselves.
  2. This is the actual quote that sparked the neurons in my brain to think about this subject so thank you Captain Stupid.
  3. This is the only joke in this paper.
  4. Although a few of the younger whales have attempted to beach themselves on the more remote beaches they invariably find out that it is a short term gain and long term loss on their part.
  5. Sounding very much like a few girls I dated.
  6. They said that the band was bigger than Jesus and if you think about it they were right. 
  7. I don't know and neither do you, unless you're a whale and if you are you're probably writing a nasty comment about this blogs obvious anti whale bias.
  8. Although due to an evolutionary hiccup we have neither feathers nor antlers it doesn't stop us.
  9. They might be a little concerned that a whale has just walked in but we can probably assume that its in disguise, possibly a false mustache.
  10. Unless it makes the mistake of droning on about Whale Song, They split up, get over it.

V is for Vorpal (as if there was ever any doubt)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Dreaming of U

What on earth was I drinking last night? My head feels like there's a Frenchman living in it.

Todays post is U and U is for Unit [1] or more accuratly:

Unified Intelligence Taskforce. Or the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce as it was originally named.

Unit was established to give assistance to the doctor in his latest adventures against the Cybermen, Daleks or whoever the latest baddie was.  They didn't always understand the Doctors motives which led to the occasional friction between the two but in general they worked well togeter.
However, you've got to wonder at how it came to be formed in the first place. Presumably a letter was circulated through appropriate politicos and military types.
To whom it may concern,
                        As a Timelord from the planet Galifrey, Galactic Coordinates 10-0-11-0-0 by 0 center, constellation of Kasterborous.  I frequently find myself in dangerous situations often with the fate of your planet, the universe or, more rarely, reality itself at stake.  On these occasions I find that I am in need of assistance or specific equipment in order to prevail. 
As many of these encounters occur inside the various gravel quarries of your own country I would like to respectfully request the formation of a department from which I am able to requisition supplies and suitably photogenic assistants as required.

Please contact me from any police box in order to discuss this proposal.

I remain, yr obedient servant.
                   Who (Dr)

Now in what we laughingly continue to call “the real world” Any government department receiving this letter would quickly file it in the “What a loony” folder and forget all about it. [2]
But the government of the Whovian (?) universe saw the wisdom of such a department and gave the necessary orders. I am afraid that this proves they are better than us and we must hang our heads in shame [3]
  1. not Eunuch which should have been the word for E and accompanied by the ritual sniggering. 
  2. Right up until the time that the Daleks choose to invade that is.  I don't think he'd just stand by saying "I told you so" but he might be a bit smug about it, depending on which Doctor we're actually dealing with.
  3. Don't worry this is going to be a feint.  When their universe comes close to see if we're all right we'll let them have it!  Right in the Horsehead Nebula. That'll teach them to go round thinking they're better than us. 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Another Double Post? Whats with this guy?

Item the First:
 Its just been a little hectic around here lately.  Work drags along at a snails pace and when I get home it's one look at the bed and I'm asleep until it's time to go to work again until its time to sleep again But I'm coming to the end of my block so I should be getting in some awake time when the sun is in the sky. [1]

Item the second:

  Sesiumfrankalithicmixialabidiumrixidixidoxidexidroxide [2]
 S is for Swearing and I apoligize in advance for the terrible, terrible language in this post.

Here's the thing.  I swear, you swear.  He, she, they, them, us and we swear.  If we ever manage to translate an animal language I'm certain that they'll be swearing as well.  Why?  because swearing is verbal punctuation.  it lets listeners know that something is either going incredibly right, "oh cluck  yes".  Or incredibly wrong "Oh cluck no"

Certainly an interesting thing about swearing is that it isn't simply the words that are used but also the tone in which they are said that convey the real meaning of the words.
"You old basket" if said with a genuine smile will not be offensive while "You old basket" with a heavy emphasis on basket leaves no doubt that someone is a complete and total basket.
Body language too plays a vital part in deciphering the swearing, if the swearing is being done by someone dancing around clutching at their hand you can be fairly certain that they've just hit themselves with a hammer [3] but if the swearer has his hands clenched, not blinking and taking deliberate steps towards you then the time for diplomacy has most likely passed.

For a short time in his youth my younger brother developed a habit of self censoring. clucking became -cking while Fist became
It doesn't really translate well into the written word so here's a python sketch to show you broadly what he sounded like.  Don't you love how everything can be explained with Python?

The strange thing is that nobody ever found out where he picked up the habit.  I know it wasn't from me because I don't swear in a northern accent [4].  It wasn't Dad either even though he was from England.  Newcastle on Tyne [5] to be precise.
When Dad swore he'd say "muddy" for every second word so "Where is my lighter?" would become "Muddy Where muddy, is my muddy lighter"  I'm pretty sure that this is a regional dialect thing as I have a truck driving friend who does the same thing with clucking.  he isn't using it as the swearword per say.  It's just a placeholder until he can think up the next word he means.  Down here in Aotearoa we'll say "um" and "yeah, nah"

 Item the third:

Baldrick, believe me, eternity in the company of Beelzebub and all his hellish instruments of death will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil if we can't replace this dictionary.
 T is for The Beatles

Without whom the world would be a much grayer place with everyone wearing hats and ties. Personally my only link to them is the fact that my dad once met George Harrison at a party.  I live and hope that one day I'll pass Paul or Ringo [6] on the street and they'll stop and say "you look familiar.  Didn't your dad meet George once?"
Quick Edit: Anyone who says "don't use drugs, they'll mess you up" quickly shuts up when you mention that The Beatles wrote some of their best stuff when they were off their heads on acid

For the record my personal top ten goes in this order
  1. Yesterday
  2. Being for the benefit of Mr Kite
  3. Elenor Rigby
  4. Sgt Peppers
  5. I'm only sleeping
  6. The fool on the hill
  7. Taxman
  8. Money
  9. Hey Jude!
  10. Got to get you into my life.

Honorable Mention because they're also cool [7]

Item the  third:
The Cosmic Situation:

A couple of days ago I posted the tale of Cosmic and the Washing Machine.  He has now added the potatoes to the water inside the tub.  I know this because he was knocking on my door earlier wanting to know how I made the gin and was it the same way as he used to do it?
I told him that I made Gin by walking down the road to the bottle store and went back to bed.  He knocked again, which is an annoying habit of his but eventually realized that I wasn't going to answer and went away.

From where we live we have a bottle store in the next block and three blocks away is the library with books and resources galore on a bewildering variety of subjects but because we're not at home to Mr Sensible he's decided to simply fill the tub with water and throw the potatoes, a few chopped up but mostly whole into it.  For the record he's used Rua Potatoes and if he lit a fire under the washer then he'd get more use out of them.

There has been no sign of the landlord yet [8] although he usually turns up on thursdays I'm usually asleep of course.  Cosmic is one step ahead of the game, he's piled up some of the wooden palates to hide it from casual inspection.  

Here's your clucking notes:
  1. It's raining right now so, you know, figuratively speaking.
  2. Admittedly It's from Red Dwarf rather than Blackadder but I'm not going to pass up this opportunity
  3. Or your watching MTV and there is no hope for you.
  4. I generally say "You What?" Mum hated it because it made me 'sound common' (direct quote)  which only made me laugh because I am.
  5. I had to look that one up.  Some loving son I am!
  6. I might start worrying if I pass by John or George 
  7. Just, you know, not as cool 
  8. I'm not spilling the beans on this one.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Q and R double posting extravaganza

Imagine that - every single person in the village having an affair with the same duck.
If you were to serve up one of your meals in Staff HQ, you would be arrested for the greatest mass poisoning since Lucretia Borgia invited 500 of her close friends round for a wine and anthrax party.
Everything appears to be centered today.  Perhaps I am writing prose even though P was yesterday and it wasn't the word I used at all.  But Anyhoo, Double post today.

Q is for Questions.

The entirety of humankind is devoted to questioning everything. from each other to reality itself and while they say that we seek answers I would suggest instead that it is knowledge earned rather than knowledge given that drives us forward.

Questions can range from the big
"What is man role in the universe?"
"Is there a God?
"Why are we here?"
to the small
"What happens if I eat concrete??"
"How do they listen to this stuff?"
"Exactly what was on those missing 18 minutes and 22 seconds?" [1]

The interesting thing is that while the big questions may never be properly answered it is the responses to the little questions that leave us with more and more questions which build up and collectively have the power to radically shape the course of human history.

So here is my theory because you all knew that a theory was coming up.

Assuming that humanity is one day able to get through to the actual boss on the white telephone, we will, obviously, after we've made a bit of small talk and found out how the rest of the family is doing, going to have the opportunity to ask the biggest question in the history of ever.

Now no matter how the questions may start off it would simply boil down to "Why?"
and, as anyone who has ever had to answer the questions of a 4 year old knows, all the answers in the world will eventually boil down to "Because"

1: And why do journalists have to name everything something something gate?

My first real dog was a Rhodesian Ridge back named Tip. Although we'd had a pair of Old English Sheepdogs before I was too young to know anything about them other than "this carpet is moving"
Our family had sideways inherited Tip from an aunt who was going overseas and he was a very happy dog.

The problem with this was because when he was a pup he had lost the tip of his tail to a truck and when it had healed it had given him a perfect whip that was always hitting you when you least expected it or knocking something over. From a very early age he was a eunuch having made the decision that much easier when he jumped over a fence and managed to get himself caught.

Krypto the superdog this wasn't but we loved him

Our neighbours dog was a Rottweiler named Bruno and it would be nice to say that he and Tip got on with no problems but this would be what is known as "A lie" Both dogs decided on first contact that "this town ain't big enough for the both of us"

One day I was coming home from school, I would have been about 13 so a freshly minted turd former as they called us. I discovered that Tip slipped his collar and gone a wandering to check out what was going on (1) when he saw me coming he ran to greet me but as soon as he stepped paw out of neutral territory Bruno started barking canine insults along the lines "Here comes the balless wooonnnderrr" and "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough"

Tip didn't need much time to decide that A: he was hard enough and B: it was time to prove it He veered away from me with a precision that would have seriously impressed a greyhound. I followed because I knew what was coming.

There they were, hackles up, circling and snapping with fury in their bellies and fire in their eyes and suddenly I was in the middle of it holding a furry engine of death in my arms (2) and screaming out for Dad.

As soon as we got them apart both dogs went back to being perfectly normal (3) but we took extra care from then on which didn't stop the occasional encounter but that was definitely the worst one.

1: Make certain all the trees were still growing, maybe pay a visit to Miss Kitty
2: 'Oh yeah' I thought 'this is going on my resume'
3: Both of them a credit to caninekind and nobody knows nothing about no fight copper

Thursday, 21 April 2011

We're in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a sticky bun.
P is for Piracy

 Since many people at work have USB sticks I get a lot of movies from various locations. Usually I don't mind copying things over since the people don't mind me getting the movies as well
 So when a guy knocked on the door to the security hut I asked him what he wanted. He handed me a stick and the following conversation took place.
“I've got to run into town. I'll be back though”
“That's nice. What do you want me to do with this?”
“They said you'd give me movies”
“Who's they?” [1]
He gave me a blank look as clearly this was not going the way he had planned. Eventually I took pity on him.
“What movies did you want?”
 he rattled off a list of new releases and a few that weren't open anywhere in the world and I let him know that he was out of luck.
“Yeah but your computer friends would have them right?” he asked with the gleam of hope all but dying in his eyes.
 “Let me check something” I said and simulated a phone conversation complete with in jokes and references to things best left unmentioned [2] Eventually I gave him an address to go to and ask about getting some of the movies on his list.

 119 Ghuznee Street, Wellington [3]

 He went away smiling and I did to because I haven't seen him since. [4]

  1. “Well what the hecks an aluminum falcon?”
  2. Except by the person that has just mentioned them
  3. Better known as The New Zealand Film Commission 
  4. Note to anyone official.  This story is fictional, seriously.  Give me a call and we'll talk about a series 
Now I share this with you because that first example was a little short.
P is porn.

Don't worry, this is safe for work.
Once I had a folder for movies of questionable taste on my computer my only excuse was that I was young and foolish.  But that isn't the point of this story.  I went to a LAN party and everyone was having fun killing each other.  One of the other guys asked if he could use my computer since I was stepping out for some air  I told him sure and he sat down, looked up at me and said
"You've got a porn folder" in such a manor that I knew I had shattered his innocence
"Well yeah" I affected an air of nonchalance "who hasn't?"
From around the room everyone agreed that, they too had porn folders.
"Can I have a look?"
"Sure.  Knock yourself out" I said
So he did.  and he watched a full length feature film with a no plot and barely any dialogue.
Meanwhile bets were been taken among the rest of us about how long he'd last but he just sat there with his earphones on and his eyes glued to the screen.

2 Hours, Thats 190 minutes, later he finished the movie and everyone present thought "he'll make some excuse and go off for some alone time"
But he didn't.  he looks up and says "what map are we in?" just like nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Day the tenththsixthth

My God! In twenty four hours I'll be married to a walrus!
O is for "Oh Great Buddha he's at it again"

The following story takes place over three days.

Day 1
  • Our washing machine broke down, nothing surprising about that  since the landlord believes firmly in the "buy them cheap and clapped out and then replace them with another one that isn't as clapped out" method.  I mentioned to the Cosmic Cowboy [1] that we could use it to make some bathtub gin, except of course it would be washing machine gin ha ha.
  • Sometimes I want the mutant ability to erase the last 15 seconds because he looked at me and his eyes awakened with alcoholic anticipation [2]  and nonchalantly, for him at least, asked what you need.
    "Potatoes and some yeast" I hazard a guess "it's so easy to make alcohol I don't know why everyone isn't doing it" [3]  
  • Actually I do know why everyone isn't doing it its because while it's easy to make alcohol it's hard to make the damn stuff good enough for people to drink  
Day 2
  • I was driving away when I passed Cosmic returning to the house.  Slung over his shoulder was slung a large sack of potatoes and a happy look on his face.  Now while I don't want to jump to conclusions I was pretty certain that he hadn't suddenly become the president of the Petone Potato Fetishists Society.
Day 3 
  • I checked this morning and the broken machine has mysteriously teleported behind his homemade fence. he hasn't put anything inside, yet. 
  • Eventually the landlord is going to come around looking for his washing machine.
  • I've got ten bucks that says he doesn't bother to clean out the machine before dumping everything in.
  • I've got twenty bucks that says he'll be lucky if he ends up with potato soup. 
  • If he tries to set up a still in his room I am going to be solid gone so fast. 
  1. Whom I talked about back in the H post
  2. not really, I was just on an alliteration roll
  3. I'm pretty sure that sugar comes into it as well it's been far to long since I tried to ferment anything. 

Monday, 18 April 2011

Day the TenththFithth

Who locked the bloody door?
N is for:

Note - While I did have a clever and well thought out post ready for today the gremlins decided that it wasn't good enough and misplaced it.

Therefore today's subject is Nonsense.
We've all encountered nonsense at some point in our lives, It is a global language much like Esperanto tries to be. Since you are on the Internet I've no doubt you've read a great deal of it. [1]

So settle back in the big boys chair with your favorite hot drink because you're about to read some more, unless there is a powercut or something and then you probably wont.

The Analysis of Cinderella


The Shooting Star Sees The Sun. 


It would seem that there are only two kinds of people in both the real world and the storybook one.  One of these is the Haves and the other is the Havenots.
The Haves generally have it pretty good at the start of any story while the Havenots, rather predictably, have not [2]  Cinderella tells the story of a poor Havenot that is escalated into the world of the Haves and the consequences of her night of freedom.

The Story:
In a nutshell the story goes like this. Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and two stepdaughters, her father barely rates a mention in the story beyond a quick notation that he took a new wife who had two daughters of her own [3]
The prince, for reasons known only to himself decides to throw a massive ball.  Of course because of her status as a Havenot, Cinders isn't allowed to attend the ball and just to rub it in that little bit more she must help the ugly sisters into their own dresses [4]
With a long list of jobs to do Cinderella watches the three of them ride away. She then laments and sings a sad song [5]
Suddenly her fairy godmother appears [6] and with a few mice, rats and a pumpkin she waves the wand, says the magic words and Bing Bang Boom there's a coach and horses standing there.
Cinders is given some glass slippers and a fantastic gown but is warned to be back home by midnight because that's when the magic wears off.

Cinders arrives at the ball creating a stir because of her great beauty [7] and also because the prince is much taken by the “mysterious and beautiful stranger” [8] and forgives any social gaffs that she might make. [9] They dance together, under the light of the silvery moon, ignoring everyone else which leaves the other women free to talk amongst themselves about who this person is and why it is that she gets to hog the prince.

Alas!  The clock begins to strike midnight and the magic starts going away [10]  Cinderella runs down the stairs losing a single glass slipper on the way and the prince issues a decree that “Whoever this shoe fits will be my bride” [11]

So naturally the prince and entourage [12] come to the crucial house. Where both of the stepdaughters claim the shoe for themselves but are unable to actually get the damn thing on.
Finally Cinderella speaks up for the first time and tries on the shoe, of course it fits perfectly and just to seal the deal she brings out the spare [13]

With no thought to her scruffy appearance the prince takes her into his arms and together they ride off to start a new life together leaving the stepmother and her daughters alone in the house.


Q: When the good fairy gives her the coach and horses. Why doesn't Cinders simply pack up the house and take it down to the town for an emergency fire sale?
With the money she earned she should be able to afford the fare out of the kingdom with nobody being the wiser.

Q: The fairy godmother could do all this magic, mice into footmen, rats into horses etc. Why couldn't she magic the prince to Cinderella?
Obviously it would change the story from one of Girl meets Boy to Girl abducts boy, holds country to ransom, is caught and made to pay for her crimes in the dungeons [14]. But I'm just putting the thought out there.

Q: Who did the housework?
The quick answer would be the fairy godmother but if the the attention that she paid to Cinders case is any example I don't think she'd have done a very good job. What I'm getting at is that Cinderella was left with a long list of jobs to do, many of them more than likely quite unnecessary but that's beside the point, after midnight she flees the ball and runs back home. [15]

Now when the stepmother and sisters return home they are obviously not going to be in a very good mood, due to the fact that they were upstaged by the beautiful stranger who's sudden flight was the penultimate part of the ball.
The only person they are going to be able to take it out on is Cinderella who will have gotten home not long before the others, extremely tired from all the dancing [16]. The fact that none of the jobs on the list have been done should have seen her suffering some sort of punishment which would only seem to make her situation and rescue by the prince all the more dramatic.

This is an interesting case to say the least and were I to meet Cinderella in the flesh I would have to ask her why she stayed with the stepmother after being given the means to leave, via the pumpkin carriage. The fact that she:
a: Didn't leave for another town after gutting the house of anything valuable
 b: Disregarded the list of jobs that her stepmother had left [17]
 c: Exposed her secret to the prince in a manner that surely left a very bad taste in the mouth of her stepmother [18]

All points to the classic signs of masochist behavior. I predict that the prince will have an interesting time on his wedding night [19]

Have Notes:
  1. In extreme cases we've voted for it 
  2. But please, stop me if I'm getting too complicated
  3. Her father took a new wife who had two daughters of her own.
  4. The humiliation of this and also the taunting from the ugly sisters is a rather nice touch of psychological warfare on the stepmothers part.
  5. But we're not doing the Disney version.
  6. Where exactly was she before all of this ball stuff? She can't have been monitoring Cinders situation very closely.
  7. Right here is where the story falls apart for me because Cinders, although being beautiful and coming from a family that is good enough to receive an invitation to the princes ball, has been working as an unpaid servant since her father remarried.  Now I can accept that before all of this she was trained in dancing and proper etiquette for interacting with princes and other personages of varying importance but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and the idea that it all comes back to her in a flash, allowing her to become an instant expert is a little farfetched.
  8. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
  9. So there.
  10. As the magic so often does at the crucial moment
  11. This has been remarked upon before but it continues to be relevant. Given the number of people with the same size feet in the kingdom the chances of finding Cinders is a chance in a million. Possibly the prince had his hound dogs out with the scent.
  12. Including one servant to hold the shoe and presumably another to hold the hounds.
  13. If the shoes were created magically why didn't they vanish at midnight along with the rest of the magical gear?
  14. She eventually escapes, vowing vengeance and is eventually voted Miss Jihad 1172 (and if you get this reference then I take my hat off to you)
  15. Remember that because she was running to escape the prince, her energy levels would be down to nothing.
  16.  Don't worry there is a point somewhere in here
  17. Regardless of how petty they were
  18. Some versions have the prince asking if there is anyone else in the house and the stepmother saying “No there is nobody else” That's the moment I'm talking about.
  19. And would urge everyone to invest in riding crops

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Day the tenthfourthth

M is for Musicals.

For a long time M was going to be for Sun Wukong, otherwise known as The Monkey King but that entry is still very much in the planning stages.
So I got to thinking about other M words and dismissed Magic, Morgana, Merlin and Mordred in favor of Musicals because everyone likes a good musical number in their movies [1].
So here's a nice long post to make up for the rush job of yesterday. 

But what if the entire world was governed by the rules of the musical? A world where problems were dealt with by song and dance routines? One can only imagine that it would be a much more laid back and, dare I say, groovy place to live.
Of course I do not mean to suggest that such a world would become a utopia, mankind after all marches to beat of a million different drums [2]

I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that I have not written out any poetry nor have I copied down any lyrics of (un)popular songs in order to prove the points that I have made, this is a serious blog [3] and not the remains of a goth site that used to be on Geocities. You can tell the difference between the two by noting that nowhere do I have dripping blood nor clipart pictures of roses that are either dripping blood or wrapped in barbed wire, whilst dripping blood.

Song and Dance Routines:
This is the minimum standard that people would use to deal with their day to day problems. Generally it involves one person doing their thing while other people walk by without noticing or stand around looking interested, it would depend on the actual tone of the song being used and people would need to use their own judgement. As the problem grows in size you would get more and more people joining in on the number.

Broadway Showstoppers:
If the problems grow large enough the numbers will evolve into gigantic Broadway numbers however, due to the amount of time needed to set one of these up, three months as a conservative estimate, there will be a vote taken by all involved as to whether or not to take this drastic step.

With the entire planet breaking into spontaneous song and dance I am happy to report that, on the whole, crime levels will be incredibly low. While gangs will still exist, presumably they will hang around abandoned theaters, they will be unable to sneak up on anyone due to their habit of clicking their fingers.

Should two gangs actually fight it will be done with Dance fighting rather than stabbings and drive by shootings.[4]

Love is a thing that has cleverly eluded mankind since we woke up to the fact that all those mass orgies were getting boring and perhaps there was something more to life than hunting.
While many people in the world have found/grown to/or simply rented love it is true love that remains an ideal which is very rarely encountered and almost never captured [5]

However, if the love match would be impossible then the song becomes of of unrequited love or heartfelt yearning depending on the situation.

The Cad:
The Cad, although he is cut from the same cloth as the devilish rogue [6] the biggest difference is that the devilish rogue has his heart set on someone who is seemingly unobtainable [7] while the Cad chases after as many partners as they can get.

By landing multiple partners the Cad sets up a triangle, 3 people, or a knot, more than three. These triangles are notoriously unstable and when they collapse the first wronged partner will leave the Cad after a solo that, no matter where it begins, will always end on a lonely street that is lit by a single streetlight [8]

The other member of the triangle will stay with the Cad but never for very long, the second musical number will see them leave and the Cad will be alone to sing the last verse and the refrain by themselves. This is the critical juncture for the Cad because he is able to consciously make the decision to change his ways and become the remorse filled lover.

Back in what could be loosely called the real world the shrinks and analysts that specialise in helping people overcome their problems is a trade which one can only join after obtaining the proper degrees. As with anything worthwhile this is a process that takes time, patience, a great deal of study and a greater deal of the folding green.
Sadly this industry takes a severe hit as the whole thing can be run out of a bar with the phrase “Hey there, why the long face?”
The questioned party will sing a song which touches on their problems and also how they feel that nobody cares. It is, in short, everything that the average head shrink needs to make a fully competent diagnosis.

This is just a minor list of the advantages of turning the world on its ear and living to the beat of the musical rather than the slow ponderous march of reality maybe it would work and maybe it wouldn't but that's showbiz for ya.

Once more with footnotes:
  1. And I'm also incredibly rusty on Arthurian legends
  2. I don't know what instrument wombles march to. Possibly some kind of clockwork bagpipe
  3. Heh
  4. There is also a chance that Michael Jackson arrives to put a stop to the whole thing, although if he shows up now there is more of a chance that the gang war will stop and Thriller will start. So, you know, silver lining right there.
  5. While it can't be captured it can be released. True love is full of paradoxes but anyone who has it isn't going to complain.
  6. not to be confused with the Rogue, who is a gentlemanly thief or the Devilish Cad, who attempts to steal plots of land by tying people to railway tracks.
  7. See The Princess and the peasant syndrome, Appendix 3 Section 2 Paragraph 4
  8. There is an 80% chance of it raining as well which would make these triangles especially sought after in the more arid regions of the world.
Speaking of Movies (which nobody was) does anyone out there remember the name of a movie about a trapper up in the Yukon? I've seen it a bunch of times but never remember to record it or get the name of it.
  • The theme song was essentially “Trapper man Trapper man” something something “trying to be free” or “Just want to be free”
  • I'm pretty sure it was in French and dubbed into English. (or perhaps dubbed into American because those crazy canucks have got one strange accent eh?)
  • He freed a wolf from another trappers line
  • The other trapper, Frenchie (?) went to the law
  • The Trapper blew up his hut? Or took a shot at the police, whatever he did it made them get a band together and go after him.
  • the trapper led the group a merry dance, covering his tracks by running with a herd of elk and by causing an avalanche
  • he also managed to catch Frenchie and gave him a shave with an axe.

M is also for mistake and friends I can not urge you enough to stay away from the kitchen when you have been drinking. I was insanely drunk when I invented the recipe for Black Pudding Soup and for the safety of all involved I refrain from posting it here.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Day the teniththreeith

If you want something done properly, kill Baldrick before you start.

L is (1)  for La Amore.

Although I've been searching I haven't found it yet.  Therefore I am le sigh.

I didn't want to do this you know, rabbiting on all day about  Kiwis hunting pigs and Jim Hensons Muppets.

I wanted to be, A Lumberjack!

That's all today, got to get ready for work in the rain.

  1. and can only be 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A small interlude.

A slight pause in the proceedings because I was given an award!

This clearly calls for a hearty roistering.  Huzzah!

Incidently I will now remember to look at comments and a special thanks to Varmint for letting me know about Buddy Guy. I always thought you had to make a deal with the devil at the crossroads to sound like that.

Day the tenthtwoth

Run away from the hills! If you see hills, run the other way!

This is a difficult letter to write for. I could continue with the theme from J and write about Kermit but we're not at home to Mr Continuity.

Thus K is for Kiwis.

first the schoolyard version
  • They are the native bird of Aotearoa.
  • They are endangered. 
  • They are sweet and cuddly, there is nobody in the world who wouldn't want to pet a kiwi. If someone says they don't it's because they are lying to themselves and others.
So people are told these facts, have their pictures taken with the kiwi enclosure and go home happy and satisfied.
But there is a fourth fact that very few people are aware of.
  • Kiwis are determined to get their country back.

As these birds are surrounded by predators on all sides, wild cats, dogs, ferrets, stoats and possums. The kiwi has managed to form an alliance with the humans. They will run around and look cute for anyone with a camera and the humans will help them with breeding programs, and predator eradication. (1)

The problem is that we are going about it all wrong.
First of all the breeding programs are a good idea because that helps to keep the numbers up, but after the chicks are born they are taught only how to be kiwis and that is where the mistakes are being made.
The kiwis are being targeted by everything simply because they are the avian equivalent of the nerdy student who goes around with a pocket protector and a tie, all the time (2)
Instead of reinforcing this belief what we need to do is simple, when the kiwi egg is ready to hatch it is taken away and given to a hunting dog and, in the same way a duck raised by a hen will think it's a chicken, the young kiwi "pup" will grow up believing that it is merely a strangly shaped dog.

Eventually they would be placed back into the wild and these improved kiwis would have a suprise ready for the ferret brothers when they arrive to hassle the fresh meat.  (3)
It would take a while but the predators would eventually learn that the Kiwi is the top dog round these parts and keep their heads down when the roving mobs are about. (4)
Once the kiwis had gotten properly settled and the mysterious Mr Beak had taken all the mobs under his wing they would then begin to go after other, larger prey. They would go after the wildest of wild pigs, bringing them down with a combination of finely sharpened beaks to the vulnerable parts.

Inside ten years of this scheme starting there would be
A: No predators in the land and
B: Global respect for our national symbol, which, by the way is no longer endangered (5)
C: Hunting Kiwis would be in great demand all around the world

  1. It's a win win situation because we get the cute kiwis and they don't have to worry about trying to find a hot chick for Saturday night if you know what I mean
  2. That one that not even the geeks want to have around
  3. Double the surprise if it's a cat that attempts to shake them down
  4. If they flew it would be flocks 
  5. Although the number of kiwi/canine pairings is a trifle worrying 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Day the onethzeroth

Ha ! I laugh at danger and drop ice cubes down the vest of fear.

J is for Jim Henson

For those of you that don't know Jim Henson was the creator of The Muppets, he did films, songs, dances, television shows that are still shown around the world and available at stores [1] the world over.
I was introduced to them back when I was very young and it influenced me greatly.   If I were offered a job with the Jim Henson Company I'd take it instantly.

At first it was Sesame Street, the Muppet show and Fraggle Rock that I watched.  My young eyes entranced at the antics of the muppets and it didn't matter that you could see the wires that controlled Kermits arms.
 When I was older I found out about The Storyteller and The Jim Henson Hour.  Of course Labryinth and The Dark Crystal were required viewing at my house [2]  The jokes may be dated by todays standards but the sketches, songs and lessons to be learned [3] are timeless

For special bonus points Check out The Cube

Jim Henson died in 1990 and I still miss him.

J is also for J.R.R Tolkien
An author who really needs no introduction, Lord of the Rings, The Silmarilion, The Hobbit are all his and it's a large part of the rich fantasy work that we enjoy in our liturature today.
J is also for James Earl Jones
Whose comanding tones told Luke "No. I am your father" and everyone walked out and said "oh my god" [4] but before that he riddled Conan with the secret of steel [5]
J is also for Jimmy Hendrix
Without which the musical world would have been markedly different.   I'm not old enough to remember Hendrix live but he's still alot better than some of the insipid stuff we get told is music these days.
J is also for Joan of Arc
Who heard God but still got burned at the stake.
J is also for John Lennon
Who was one fourth of a group that nobodys ever heard of. He also spent a week in bed with Yoko as a form of protest
J is also for Judy Garland
Who was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz [6]

Bonus Mention: J is for Journey to the west
The continuing stoory of Monkey, Pigsy and the other one. Do not attempt to read it in one sitting.

  1. 1:and dodgy internet torrenting sites, not that I'd know anything about those 
  2. 2: Something that amazes me to this day is that amount of people who will give Dark Crystal a look and dismiss it as a kids film.  Aargh!
  3. 3: Mainly Sesame Street but the one thing I learned from Miss Piggy is that if someone does something you don't like then it's perfectly all right to karate chop them into little pieces of frog.
  4. 4: Yes, even the atheists 
  5. 5:and then had him crucified on the tree of woe but nobodys perfect
  6. 6: Come round for dinner and be subjected to Wizard of Oz and the Muppets.  And mum wonders why I don't have a girlfriend.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Day the ninththth

Blackadder: Baldrick, have you no idea what irony is? 
Baldrick: Yes, it's like goldy and bronzy only it's made out of iron.
I is for insomnia and I am on my second day of no sleep although posting on the internet probably isn't helping.

I have been lumbered with insomnia since forever ago. Thankfully it isn't chronic but like everything else it has both good and bad points. On the plus side it has contributed to my love of books and reading. On the negative side you do tend to be sleepy and lethargic all during the day, leading others to wonder just what is going on. More than one person has asked me if I were on some kind of medication or just assumed I was stoned.

One of the symptoms of my insomnia, I hesitate to call it an attack, for me is something that I call “Heavy Brain” Heavy Brain refers to the point where you are in bed, comfortable and warm, but your brain is zooming round from one subject to another picking up on all sorts of weird things.

Now when I say weird I do not mean weird as is “Ooh isn't that strange?” but rather weird as in trying to attempting to to go sleep by counting sheep in binary and then calculating your own name in an algebraic frenzy. It is Heavy Brain that makes the dark silhouettes of perfectly normal things into dark silhouettes of edlritch terrors that have risen from the murky depths that man knows not, presumably for the sole purpose of keeping you awake (1).

A problem of Heavy Brain is that your brain will frequently trick you into getting up. The reasoning, after all, is sound enough.

  1. You don't feel tired and have gotten bored with just lying there. So you decide to get up and work on the things that you have been thinking about
  2. For a while everything is fine but you'll find yourself needing to concentrate harder and harder, This will wake your body up but only for a short time.
  3. For a time your work will suffer, art will become harder, writing will dissolve into mad scribblings or pages of gibberish. (2)
  4. Eventually you feel sufficiently tired enough to go back to bed and thats when the whole thing starts up again.
Q: If its such a problem for you why don't you seek professional help instead of using the Internet to moan about it?
I have never gone to see a doctor about my insomnia. It's not that I dislike doctors, in general, are fine.  Doctors in specific are not. For some reason they seem determined to stick things into me or draw off samples of this and that. No thank you Doctors of today.
I wouldn't mind a witch doctor. It would be pretty neat if he came to my house and simply waved a chicken in my face before pronouncing me cured and by the way here's a chicken for your dinner (3).

No, as I say I've gone to no doctor about this and I don't intend to. You may well ask why and I can't stop you, short of severing your vocal cords but even then you can blink it out in Morse code along with any messages for the authorities. It isn't because I don't want them poking things into me.(4).
No it's because the medical professions believe that you can fix everything with pills and strange poky things and thats what I think is wrong.

Q: What cures have you tried then?
  • Sleeping pills: Over the counter, not prescription. They knock me out faster than a one two combination from Ali but it takes me forever to wake up again (5). They are in my bathroom cabinet as a last defense against the really bad nights.
  • Incense: Smelled nice but did absolutely nothing.
  • Sleeping Tapes: Don't seem to work on me although I know people that swear by them.
  • Television: At three in the morning there is nothing on that doesn't rot your brain and although you can and will fall asleep in front of the television set, it does function as a white noise. On some level deep in your subconscious your brain cells are dropping dead from seeing the same infomercial demonstrate the same wonder product over and over again while the audience looks on and goes “Wow!”
  • Reading: This was my own solution was to read. Big books little books it didn't matter. Looking back some of them were horribly above my age level but I read them just the same.
    Examples include:
    A tree grows in Brooklyn – I remember mum seeing it in my room and commenting that when she was a girl one of the nurses took it away from her because one of the characters had an abortion and that wasn't any proper subject for a young lady to read about.
    The Great Deception – Brilliant book about a man who meets his double and one of them replaces the other, Or does he?
    Lord Of The Rings, J R R Tolkien – Come on people it's LOTR! Do you need an explanation? The Silmarillion was a different story, reads like the bible and still very hard to get through without taking notes about who is who and why the giant spider is eating a tree (6).Butterfly – Revenge! Simply one of the best books ever.

Q: This is just an excuse to list your favorite books again!  Enough of your moaning get with the good points.
Very well, A memory of school.
After a restless night of reading such heavy material I then returned to school where I distinctly remember the class engaging in a group reading activity, which was everyone reads along while someone reads the story out loud. Of course this class dragged at a snails pace for me (7) mainly because I had David Eddings burning a hole in my schoolbag. The story itself was a forgettable tale of a girl who had emigrated to New Zealand with her family to escape the ravages of war,(8) which is fair enough, but it was incredibly boring, focusing on the impact of different cultures and the fact that things that were different from her country.
I leafed through the pages without much hope. There was no villain (9), everybody that she met was saccharine sweet. There was no task to complete. there was no kind of hook that would make this book interesting and thus it was perfect for students.

I had long given up my attempt to look interested by this tale and not even tried to slow down to the point of the rest of the class who were sitting around page 18. But I did not realize just how far ahead of the class I was until the girl next to me looked over and said “Are you on page 80?” in a voice that was calculated to be loud enough for everyone to hear.
Of course the teacher stopped the class and demanded that I stand and read aloud which I did but spoke so quickly and without emotion that the other students complained that they could not understand me and that I was going too fast for them, I responded with “This is how I read” and continued until the teacher let me sit down.

For all my life I will be warmed by the memory of the dirty look that the teacher gave me. Her punishment of the one who had dared to rush ahead had failed miserably and she did not call on me again, skipping over me when it came my appointed turn to read out loud to the class. I can not remember if there was any official test about the book but I would have passed it easily (10).

From then on the teacher cast a blind eye to my activities reasoning that as long as I was reading something and not actively destroying the classroom then her job was done By the time the class had finished the 100 page book I had finished the first book of The Elenium and was making serious inroads on the second. (11)

I think that one of the reasons for my insomnia is that I no longer have any animals to sleep with. In my younger days I had a cat who would sleep in my room and took great pleasure in stopping me from reading, either by sitting on the book in that smug way that cats do or by insisting that I pay attention to him right now.
Later on Tui the dog, a Newfoundland/Ridgeback Cross, would be next to the couch where I had passed out in front of the downstairs television, yet again.

Right now I am in a a boarding house. Due to space considerations and the rental agreement I have no pets. Fish would be permitted but but I've always considered fish to be rather boring, Although it describes the human condition quite well. Swimming around, eating things and waiting for death does not make for a very interesting pet (12).

Incidentally the longest period, so far, that I've spent awake is four days. Although it was a time of extreme stress and mental anguish all of which will most likely be covered when I do Ten terribly revealing Secrets for the letter T.
In that time I passed through mere tiredness to lethargy and finally to lethargy +1 which is a really fun time for the whole family.
My eyes stopped focusing properly. A fence post would look like a person until I got really close up.
My manual dexterity crashed through the floor.
Concentration levels? Forget about it!
The really stupid part was that I took a couple of the sleeping pills my body rebelled against them! I got very drowsy for about 5 hours but still couldn't go to sleep. After the drowsiness wore off I was punished with the illusion of having more energy.

  1. This is the reason that I never picked up any Lovecraft until I was much older.
  2. So nothing like this blog at all.
  3. Ladies and gentlemen theres an example of heavy brain thinking right there.
  4. I have four tattoos and am working on a fifth so no fear of needles
  5. My awareness level is about the same as a really bad hangover
  6. See what I did there was peak your interest. Now you'll have to read the book to see what I'm talking about!
  7. I was 14 or 15 at the time and you'd think we'd outgrown story time but no.
  8. It may have been Yugoslavia but don't quote me on that. Somewhere in that neck of the woods.
  9. Except for the publisher, ahem
  10. But ultimately would have been marked down for inappropriate use of sarcasm in my answers
  11. To read it out in the open would have been disrespectful, I used the official book to read the unofficial one.
  12. For anyone thinking of using the “But fish are so beautiful” argument I counter with “Yes but I could get the same effect with a dog, a snorkel and half a can of spray paint”