Friday, January 25, 2019

Small things 25 Jan

  • Trump: McAmerica great again
  • I knew someone who wanted to be a Gregorian monk. He never got the chants.
  • Would you find a snapping turtle in a jazz club?
  • A vampire would naturally have pet mosquitoes, right?
  • The correct response to "please step out of the car" is NOT "Nah. I'm too drunk. Please come on in."
  • You never want to be kidnapped by a pack of mimes. They'll perform unspeakable acts on you....
  • Popsicle-mistic: When a friend sees you with one of those double, two-stick popsicles and thinks you're going to break it in half and share.
  • Airlines would rather you not wear stuff that might make other fliers uncomfortable. For instance, a parachute.
  • Static electricity - the universe's proof that if you caress something long enough, anything can be attracted to you.
  • The opposite of irony..... wrinkly

You're special

Thanks to my good friend Bernie, I found a great talk by one of my heroes - Ze Frank.

"Probably 70% of you think I'm lying when I say that you're special and I really hope you figure out a way to get over that, quickly."

Music sales by platform over the years

Vinyl is making a bit of a comeback, but CD sales are as low as they were just 3 years after their introduction. I find it funny that at the peak of music sales before CD, was exactly when I was working in a music warehouse, 1978.

Things I learned lately 25 Jan

  • The voice actor behind Tony the Tiger and the song "You're a men one, Mr. Grinch" are one in the same - Thurl Ravenscroft.
  • Some dogs' feet smell like corn chips. This is actually referred to as 'Frito Feet'.
  • Beaver College changed its name to Arcadia partly because anti-porn filters kept blocking access to its web site.
  • Baby porcupines are called porcupettes.
  • If you feel like you've previously experienced an event in a dream, it's called deja reve.
  • Legislators in Indiana, in 1897, tried to pass a bill redefining pi as 3.2
  • Ravens in captivity can learn to talk better than parrots.
  • Bones found at Seymour Island indicate that 37 to 40 million years ago, penguins stood 6 feet tall and weighed 250 pounds.

Friday, January 18, 2019

This is Canada after all......

[Open to man standing beside car, in the dark. The car is running. The man is scraping frost off the window.]

Man: "Canada, you have to do your part this winter. Do what you need to do to get your car ready for winter driving."

"That means scraping your windows clear. Brushing all the snow off the car."

"But it doesn't end there. Make sure you top up your windshield washer fluid regularly. And don't neglect your tires. You really should have snow tires on during the winter months."

"This is Canada after all."

[Man slides a shim down the inside of the window and unlocks the car, opens it, gets in and drives away.]

[Simultaneously, the car owner comes running out of their home]

"That's my car!!!!"


Don't leave your running car unattended. A message from the RCMP and your local police.

[Fade to black]

Small things 18 Jan

  • Hey kids! There was a time when you needed two metal keys for a car. One key started the car and the other key unlocked the doors. 
  • If North and South Dakota were to merge, what should the new state be called? Megakota. Doublekota. Newkota. Bigkota. Unikota. Solokota. Uberkota. Dakota 2.0. 
  • Maybe Jeff Bezos is only getting a divorce because he suddenly realized marriage is a type of union....
  • Canadian air traffic controller in Moncton NB and Gander NL decided to treat the controllers in the Long Island (NY) controller center to some pizza during their without-pay as a result of the government shutdown. They bought the gang 32 pizzas one night. That snowballed into more Canadian ATC units sending pizzas to 35 different units in the US as of Sunday morning (the 13th of Jan).
  • The difference between men's personal care products and women's personal care products: men get one product that is a shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, lotion, moisturizer, beard balm, toothpaste, sunscreen, lube and engine degreaser.
  • Trump could just tell his base: "The wall is built, it's the greatest wall ever, and Mexico paid for it." They would believe him and everyone would be happy.
  • Never break up in public. When she starts crying, people might think you just proposed and start clapping.
  • Solve for 3x = 1y. x=lefts, y=rights (or vice versa).
  • Spiderman would be nothing without skyscrapers.
  • Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right.

Then came the comments

Someone posted this infographic. Then the comments started coming in:

Untapped infinite hog supply in the ocean.
Each state lined with impenetrable wall of swine.
We've lost Canada and Mexico to the hogs already.
Hawaii also lost to hog overlords.
I can't see Iowa for all the hogs.
Nevada only safe harbour for Muslims.

He IS real!

Things I learned lately 18 Jan

  • Canada Dry contains such a minuscule amount of a ginger flavour extract that it could not possibly have any health benefits. In fact, the ginger compound content was far too low for humans to even taste. The cans say "Made with real ginger".
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan played on David Bowie's Let's Dance album.
  • Iggy Pop wrote the lyrics to David Bowie's song China Girl.
  • It wasn't until January 1925 that we knew for sure that other galaxies exist. This was thanks to the patient work of Edwin P Hubble at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California.
  • Youppi, formerly the Montreal Expos mascot, and currently the Montreal Canadiens mascot, is celebrating his 40th year as a team mascot in 2019. Youppi! is French for Yippee! His jersey number is '!'.
  • 10 to the power of 9990 is called one tremilliatrecennovemvigintillion. 10 to the power of 9999 is one one tremilliatrecendotrigintillion.
  • I guess in the spirit of 'Movember', 'Januhairy' is now a thing for women. No shaving.
  • In the 1640s the Dutch of New Amsterdam built a wall to keep out the British, the native Americans and the pirates (the bad hombres). In 1664 the British ignored the wall and took New Amsterdam by sea. It's now called New York. Where the wall once existed is now called Wall Street. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

A not so nice Christmas present

My wife and I went to Spruce Grove to visit our daughter and her fiance and his extended family on Christmas Eve. We had a nice dinner at their house. There weren't a lot of empty spaces on the street near their home, so we parked on the street directly across the street from their home. We checked, there were no signs indicating permit parking or any restrictions.

When dinner was over and we went out to pack the car with stuff, we noticed a note left on the windshield. It had been written by the resident of the house we parked in front of (he even admitted as much later to my daughter). The note was hand written and went on for several pages about how we should not have parked in front of their house, etc. Lots of expletives. Threats of towing the car.

I handed the note to my daughter and another guest at the dinner went to check if they had a note too, as they had parked right in front of me, also in front of the home across the street. Sure enough - another note. Same person, more expletives, more threats.

I was worried that maybe he had done something to the car and my first thought was the tires. They were OK. But it was dark and the car was covered in road dirt and snow so that's all I could tell at the time.

Fast forward a couple of days later and I took the car for a hand wash. Much to my surprise and dismay, the cleaned off dirt and grime revealed that the car had gotten keyed on the passenger side, closest to the house we had parked in front of. The scratches went right down to the metal. This would not buff out. My car's paint was in near mint condition. Not anymore.

I called my daughter to ask her to ask the other guest to check if they had suffered any damage and sure enough, they had been keyed as well. Same side of the car, even more extensively than mine (I have pics of both).

Now, under other circumstances, one could easily argue that the vandalism is coincidental with our visit, even though it happened to two cars parked beside each other. But the notes pretty much, in my opinion, made it clear who did it. What an idiot. If he had just keyed the cars and not left those threatening notes, we might not have put two and two together. Especially if I never bothered to call and ask if anyone else experienced any damage.

So, the car is in the shop undergoing $3,400 worth of repair and a cowardly, selfish, disrespectful little shit sits in his house thinking he got the last laugh. I'm waiting to see if our two insurance companies get enough information from the police to go after this guy.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Party lines

This article is especially for anyone who never knew of a time when you couldn't use the phone any time you wanted to.

So of course, there was once a time when there were no cell phones. Only land lines. But if you go even further back, like to the mid 20th century, not everyone had their own private phone land line. Many people, especially those who lived in rural areas where it was expensive to run a pair of phone wires to every home, used party lines.

Having a party line meant that you shared a phone line with possibly dozens of other people. That meant that you could not use the phone anytime you wanted to, you had to pick up the phone and listen to see if it was in use. That also meant that if someone was already using the line, anyone else on the same party line could hear the conversation. Needless to say, this caused a few issues. For one, even though people were often told not to hog the line for themselves and limit their calls to 5 minutes, there were always those who did what they wanted anyway. In fact, there was a law that said that if someone got on the party line and declared an emergency, you were supposed to relinquish the line. Sometimes people ignored that rule too. Some people even declared fake emergencies so that they could use the line and bump off whoever was using it at the time.

Ringing was a big problem, because every time the phone rang, you wouldn't know if it was for you until you picked up and listened. They even tried incorporating specific ring sequences to identify who the call was for (the ringing would have been done by a switchboard operator). You still had to listen every time the phone rang to see if it was for you. And nothing prevented you from listening in.

Party lines were in regular use in some parts of North America until the 1990s.

1 minute time machine

Imagine if every time you said something stupid, you just pressed a button on your time machine and went one minute back in time. Yeah, it's all fun and games until you mur... never mind [presses button].

Love this video.

Small things 11 Jan

  • Most New Year’s resolutions go in one year and out the other.
  • Whenever you have a panic attack, put the brown bag to your lips and drink from the bottle of liquor hidden inside.
  • I've been in jail. I did not pass go. I did not collect $200. It's not a fun way to experience Monopoly.
  • Impress your date - ask if they want to go back to your place to play doctor. If they say 'yes', make them wait in the living room for an hour.
  • Whenever you're feeling dumb, just remember, little red riding hood was fooled by a wolf in drag.
  • If we could just decide on a font to represent sarcasm, the internet might be a slightly gentler place.
  • If you don't have any kids, you're truly ending a real family tradition.
  • The significance of muscle memory really becomes apparent when you change your password or move your app icons around.
  • The first person on the moon does NOT hold a world record. He holds a moon record.

Who will get to Mars first?

Things I learned lately 11 Jan

  • In the US, Costco sells a giant 27 pound tub of mac and cheese (pictured) that lasts 20 years for $90. It's not what you think though - it's basically like Kraft Dinner, the cheese powder is separate and it has oxygen reducers to maintain freshness. So you can 'store' it for 20 years.
  • A 2018 study looked at 18,000 hospitalized CPR cases. Overall, only 28.5% of the adults who got CPR survived to eventually leave the hospital.
  • If you own an iPhone and you receive a call where the caller ID looks like it's coming from Apple Support, complete with logo, just remember that every iPhone has that number stored as a contact right out of the box. And, remember that people have the ability to spoof any caller ID when placing a call - with the right equipment. The logo and name are coming right from the contacts on your phone.
  • 44.5% of under-30 households in Canada don't have cable or satellite TV service.
  • There is a petition to the US government asking for the Northwest Angle to be given over to Canada. This disembodied parcel of land west of Lake of the Woods belongs to the US as a result of a mapping error from the 1800s.

  • The pyramids were as old to the Romans as the Romans are to us today.
  • Disneyland and Disneyworld are on opposite sides of the US, but they're both in Orange County.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

I win

Small things 5 Jan

  • The first 30% of any amateur video contains no worthwhile information.
  • They used to say that everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame. I think we've arrived at a time where most people would rather forego that 15 minutes.
  • When you dress a pet in clothes, they're basically a reverse furry.
  • Clothes: something you put on and take off. Responsibility: something you take on and put off.
  • If someone accuses you of being too sensitive, you can't argue without proving their point.
  • Putting documents on your desktop is the digital equivalent of throwing clothes on your chair.
  • With all the data they've collected, you would think that Google could open the world's best dating service.....
  • Tarzan spent most of his life in the jungle. Yet he did not have a beard......
  • Since telescopes use mirrors, we will never see the alien vampires coming.
  • Your dog probably thinks 'fetch' is a game you invented just for them.

Po po!

While watching some movie (whose title escapes me), I was introduced to the fact that some folks refer to the police as "the po-po".

I thought that was cute. So our family have been secretly referring to them as the po-po too.

But I decided to take it further. Olivia and I came up with pet names for all kinds of police.

Police - Po po
Mounted police - Ho po
Police on bikes - Bi po
Police walking the beat - Pedi po
Mall cops - Faux po
Police at the local donut shop - Po po at the Tim Ho
Police dog - Pup po
Police helicopter - Heli po
Police in a traffic control role - Go po
Police executing a warrant at a grow-op - Gro po
Rotund police officer - Hippo po (alternatively Lipo)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) - Ro co mo po
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) - Oh po po
Military police - Mo po
Where cops have a few drinks - Po pub

280 characters

In case you don't get this, McDonalds is famous for the soft serve ice cream machine always being broken.

Things I learned lately 5 Jan

  • More than 4 million electric vehicles had been sold worldwide as of Aug 2018. That puts us on track for over 5 million by mid 2019.
  • Cars that will no longer be sold after 2019 (in US): VW Beetle; Ford Fiesta; Ford Focus; Ford Fusion; Ford Taurus; Cadillac ATS; Chevrolet Volt.
  • President Trump averaged 15 falsehoods per day in 2018.
  • Supposedly, cat species can either roar or purr, but not both. Cheetahs and mountain lions are big cats that purr.
  • The ampersand used to be the 27th character in the alphabet.
  • In the Star Trek universe, the starship Enterprise is called Enterprise because of a line of ships and starships with that name, including one of the first manned Earth spaceships. In real life, the first space shuttle was called Enterprise because of the Star Trek starship.
  • Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy is why we have Star Trek. She overruled her team to produce the pilot!
  • Kukur Tihar is a Hindu Diwali festival day that celebrates dogs (pictured).
  • Spruce beer was first made by first nations people and was used to ward off scurvy.
  • Cheech & Chong, Jose Feliciano, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Robbie Robertson were all featured on Joni Mitchell's album 'Court and Spark'.
  • Copyright law in the US states that a work is protected by copyright for 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter. Do we really need copyright lengths that long? FWIW, Disney lobbied for that, which is funny considering that most of its early works copied other works that were in the public domain.
  • Of the top 10 most popular girl names in 2018, 9 of them end with the letter 'a'.